8 PM last evening just as I reached home from work I received a call from my cousin sister in Jalgaon. Her husband landed in Chennai a few hours earlier, she said. Delighted to hear that, I said, BTW, where is he? He was on his way to Vellore to attend a relative under medical care. Unfortunately, he had left behind his mobile phone in the auto from Chennai airport to the city as he headed for Vellore. Too bad, I said, this is a bad city. Close the connection with the service provider IMMEDIATELY I said. She said I did not get her point.The autodriver had just called her and he wants to return it! Interesting, I said.
My wife took the challenge of speaking to the autodriver as she speaks Tamil. He said he has a stand near the airport and if we come there, the instrument is all ours. See you in twenty minutes we told him. At plus 15 minutes we bundled into the car and headed for the airport. Everybody knows the Guindy/GST road traffic. We reached there at plus 60 mins(9 PM). We had been instructed to look for Anna Auto Stand, identifiable by a Jayalithaa picture near the Airport signal. There was no driver Sathya at the stand. I called him again and he said he was near Kilpauk dropping a passenger. I had a flow of not so kind words goading to be uttered, but I resisted.Did I travel 11 KM one way for this joke?!Please note down my phone number and address and if possible, deliver it to me today itself I pleaded. And yes, I will pay you your fare. I was worried about the phone being used to make STD calls.
At plus 70 mins(9:10 PM) we started our way back best-guessing whether we would get it back at all. Reached home at plus 120 minutes (10 PM) trying to get the phone out of my mind. Bad luck. At few mins past eleven pm(plus 190 mins), I received a call. The person said he is calling from a pharmacy few kms away from my house. What the hell I was about to ask him.It is past eleven and I have not ordered any medicines, thank you. No, I got him wrong. An autodriver wants to return a mobile phone. Can I come and pick it up please?!!
At 11:30 PM(three and a half hour after I was called by my cousin sister), I had the phone in my hand. It had not been used except to call two numbers. The first one said HOME, the second was mine. Two learnings:
- Chennai still has a soul.
- All wise men have an entry called HOME on their phone!