It was an interesting experience. My son Shaji and me had gone to the SBI Branch, Calicut for getting an ATM card for him. After submiting the application, we took an auto riksha to go to SBI Branch at Kallai, about 8 kms from the town for settling a loan taken earlier. We paid the auto and started for the Bank. After two-three minutes, Shaji told me that his mobile phone is missing and probably it was forgotten in the auto while getting down. We rushed back to the road, but the auto has already gone. We waited there for some time. Then we went to the nearby auto stand to find out whether the auto was there. But no sign of it.
We tried calling the missing telephone. Ring was going, but nobody took the phone. Number of times we called but still No reply.
It was a costly mobile but more costly were the information in it. Immediately we came back to the city and filed a compalint in the Town Police Station.They passed the complaint to the concerned Police Station.
Calicut has a tradition of missed things being returned by the auto drivers. Though fully not convinced myself, I told my son that there is every chance that the mobile will be got returned. Some times the drivers hand over such missed articles to the Union offices. Hence I contacted the Secretaries of CITU and INTUC, Com.T.Dasan and Advocate M.Rajan respectively and requested to help. All of us were together in the workers movement here and it was a pleasure to speak to them. They were also happy to speak to me. Both of them assured that the mobile may be found out by evening or tomorrow. It gave some relief to us, though we were not much hopeful.
After half-an hour again we rang the lost mobile number. Somebody answered. My son told him that it is his telephone which was lost in auto. The person at the other end told that he is speaking from the City Traffic police station and the mobile is with him. We rushed back to the Traffic Police Station. The constable on duty asked us about the details of the mobile as also how we lost it. Getting convinced he handed over the phone to us. He told that one auto driver Mr. Mahendran has brought the mobile to the Police Station and had handed over the same stating that some body has forgotten to take his mobile and he found it later.
We thanked the police and returned. I called the number of Mr. Mahendran, auto driver and expressed our thanks and wanted to meet him and thank in person. He said that it was not at all necessary and he was in another part of the town at that time. And so, we could not meet him.
Within 3-4 hours of the loss, we got it back. When we told our friends here, they said it is not a surprise at all. They cited many cases where the auto drivers have returned such missed things either to the police or to their union offices.
Our experience in both the police stations were much helpful. The honesty of the auto-driver is also much appreciated.
I am very much happy that Calicut, even after becoming a big city, is keeping its tradition by the auto-drivers. Not only that they ply wherever the customer wants to go, but also they charge exactly what the meter shows and they return the missed things to the owners. Congratulations and thanks to you all for such good service.