The Secret of Blue Bottle
There was a junk shop owner. His name was Sultan. He had almost every kind of rejected items, broken and intact in his shop.
Almost everyday people came with their rejected household items and sold to Sultan, but there was hardly anyone who would come and buy something from his shop. Sultan was a poor man, but not being able to sell anything made him poorer.
One day while Sultan was sitting in his shop, fanning himself with a piece of uneven cardboard, a beggar came to his shop with a little blue bottle in his hand. He wanted to sell it to Sultan.
“But I have dozen of such bottles in my shop. What will I do with it? I am sorry, I cannot buy it,” said Sultan irritably.
“Sultan, I haven’t eaten anything for the last three days. I am starving. I shall be grateful if you buy it and pay me whatever little you can, “said the beggar in a requesting tone.
Sultan, despite being poor, was a king –hearted man. He pitied the beggar, took the blue bottle from him and gave him the only one rupee note that he possessed and said, “Old man, this is the only money I had. I am giving it to you. This money will fetch you meals for today and tomorrow; and after that Allah will take care of you.”
The beggar thanked him profusely for his kind act and said,” I am only a beggar; I have nothing that I can give you. But I wish this bottle brings you good luck.” Saying this the beggar left.
Sultan was sitting idle in his shop waiting for someone to come and by something from him. But unfortunately none turned up.
Not knowing what to do, he picked up the blue bottle sold by the beggar and began fiddling with it. Suddenly he noticed something inscribed on the bottle. It was in Arabic language. He began reading it carefully. It read-
“Fill me with water, shake and take,
For old or new disease’ sake.
But tell no soul of this my charm
For that will do you only harm.”
Sultan read it and re-read it. And then he filled it with water and shook it well. After having done this, he decided to put the inscription to test by trying it on somebody.
Suddenly he remembered that his neighbour’s son had been ill for the last few months and all the Hakims of the town had given up hopes. He poured the treated water from the blue bottle into a cup and went to his neighbour’s house with it.
The name of his neighbour was Ahmed. Sultan said, “How is your son, Ahmed?”
Ahmed spoke in a sad tone. “Oh Sultan! My son is terribly ill. All the hakims have given up hopes. I don’t know what to do. The Hakims have stopped giving him medicine also.”
Sultan said, “Ahmed! Don’t lose heart. Allah is great. Have faith in Him. I have got a cup of treated water. Please ask your son to drink it. I have prepared it specially for him. Have faith in Allah, and your son will be all right.”
Ahmed, who had given up all his hopes, saw up harm in trying it. He made his son drink the water, and lo! There was a miracle. His son became all right immediately. He left his bed and stood erect as if nothing had happened to him. He said that he was feeling very hungry and wanted to eat something.
Seeing his son hale and hearty Ahmed became very happy and embraced Sultan with joy and emotion.
Sultan himself was very much surprised. He was not aware of the blue bottle’s miraculous powers. He had only wanted to put it to test and now he had realized that the blue bottle was not an ordinary bottle.
Sultan came back home in a happy mood. Soon the news spread like wildfire in the town.
People in the city and from far off villages, rich and poor, thronged to get their incurable aliments treated with miraculous water.
He cured everyone and they returned happy and satisfied. Sultan never asked for money from anyone. He happily accepted whatever they gave some rich people gave him enough money to open a dispensary.
Now Sultan had a dispensary of his own and was satisfied with his life. From Sultan he had become Hakim Sultan. But his wife, Jameela was very greedy. She was not satisfied. She kept on pestering her husband to ask the patients for more money. Sultan was aware of his wife’s nature. And perhaps this was the reason why he had not disclosed the secret of the blue bottle to his wife.
Jameela was surprised how her husband had suddenly became a miracle man. He was simply a junkman. She asked Sultan many times how he attained this miraculous power , but Sultan always avoided it.
But Jameela was not a person who would give up so easily. One day she told her husband that she wanted to go and see her parents and would stay with them for a few days. Sultan gave his consent.
While leaving for her parent’s home she left the back door open deliberately. She went out of the front door wishing Sultan goodbye. Then she returhed through a lane to the back door, and opening it a little, she watched Sultan filling up the blue bottle with plain water, shaking it vigorously and then pouring it into a cup to give to patients.
“So, this is the secret of his miraculous power,” mumbled Jameela.
Then when Sultan went out to give the treated water to his patients, she entered the dispensary stealthily and replace the blue bottle with an ordinary one and left for her parents home.
From then onwards his treated water stopped showing any effects. People who were once in full of praise for him, turned hostile. They began accusing him of cheating simple and innocent people. Sultan was aghast. Things had taken a queer turn. It was beyond intelligence to understand the real game.
Gradually events took such an ugly shape that the matter was taken to king’s court. He was hauled before the king and was accused of practicing black magic and playing with the lives of innocent people. He pleaded his innocence but everything went against him. He was thrown into prison awaiting trial.
On the final day of hearing he was sentenced to a long term of imprisonment. But before he could be taken to prison, and old man- the same beggar who had sold the blue bottle to him- stepped out from among the crowd and begged the king to grant him half an hour time before sending him for imprisonment.
The beggar assured the king that Sultan was innocent, and in order to prove his point, he asked for the blue bottle that had been confiscated from Sultan’s dispensary.
The blue bottle was given to him. He filled it with plain water, shook it and mumbled a few magic words. He gave the blue bottle to Sultan and asked him to proceed with it as usual.
A man, half crippled with arthritis, was called in the court. He was not able to walk straight. His knee joints were swollen and he suffered from extreme pain.
He was given the treated water to drink. And again there was a miracle. Not only the man suffering from arthritis became well, he turned youthful also.
Since the king himself saw the miracle happening , he set Sultan free with lots of gifts.
When sultan came out of the court, he thanked the beggar for having saved him from life imprisonment. The beggar said, “Look Sultan , now everybody knows the secret of the blue bottle, it won’t work again.”
Sultan’s wife , jameela was also standing there. He looked at jameela angrily and said, “jameela, it is only you who knows how you have ruined your husband. Now you have deprived yourself and your husband as well of the earning that could have helped you prosper in your life. And not only that, you have deprived the ailing people also of the miraculous cure that could have saved many a life. I curse you, you will never remain physically healthy, whereas Sultan will always remain hale and hearty.”
Saying this the beggar disappeared.