Friday, August 09, 2013

One Never Looses One's Hard Earned Money

I, along with Jeet, was driving  back from Jalandhar yesterday. We had started from my in-laws' village at nine a.m. with an intention to reach Delhi before nightfall. It takes roughly seven to eight hours by road (making provision of wastage of almost one hour for  negotiating potholes at Ludhiana, the so called "Manchester of India").  Jeet's Mausa ji had hitched a lift with us to be dropped at Jalandhar where he had to visit an eye specialist. While dropping him off at By-Pass at Jalandhar, Jeet, who was sitting in the rear seat till then, got out of the car to say bye to him and then occupied the front seat.

Till recently she used to carry her mobile phone in her hand bag and whenever the phone rang she would start unzipping all the  pockets of her bag one by one and would invariably unzip the one in the end which actually carried her phone. By that time the caller would have disconnected. But a few days back Geetu had gifted her a lovely mobile cover, done up with nice mirror work and attached with a string, which she could wear around her neck like a "Mangal Sutra" (the nuptial necklace). This would ensure two things, firstly that she would promptly attend the incoming calls and secondly, that there were no chances of her misplacing her phone till she wore it around her neck, religiously.

Coming back to our episode, she somehow decided not to wear the phone around her neck during the journey and rather kept it in her lap and when she got out of the car to say bye to our uncle, the inevitable happened ie., the phone slipped and got dropped outside the car. It was only after we had covered approximately three kilometers, that she started frantically looking for her phone, suspecting that she had dropped it at the place where her mausa ji had got down. After pulling up the car to the left on the busy flyover, i rang up her number and not hearing any ring tone in the car, we concluded that her mobile phone was lost for ever. It was a cute little Samsung phone with a slide screen which i had gifted to her last year after her earlier phone was chewed up by our dear Bruno Singh Labrador.

 She asked me to take a U turn to get back to the spot where she had got out of the car. That place was a tri junction of NH 1 and NH 1-A where all the buses coming from Amritsar or Jammu would halt and pick up waiting passengers, numbering anytime around fifty to sixty. In addition to that, a number of cycle and scooter rickshaws also waited there to ferry the passengers who alighted from these buses to various places in Jalandhar City. So the chances of getting back her phone from that spot were one in a million. But Jeet repeated her famous dialogue that one never looses one's hard earned money. As i looked for some U turn which was not in sight on the busy National Highway, my mobile phone rang and the call was from Jeet's phone. Jeet's eyes brightened up and she attended the call and told the caller that it was her phone which she had dropped at Jalandhar by-pass. The caller told her that her phone was safe and that she could collect it from Ludhiana. She snapped back at the caller and told him that she had dropped it a few minutes ago at Jalandhar and how come it had reached Ludhiana which was almost two hours journey from Jalandhar. At this i once again pulled up the car to the left and took my phone from her to talk to the caller myself. I asked him point blank that where was he at that moment. Hearing a male voice, he fumbled for a while and then told me that he was on board a bus, heading towards Ludhiana. I was sure that the bus in which he was traveling must be either behind our car or at the most may be a few steps ahead of me. I told him that i was also traveling in the same direction and that we could meet on the way where he could hand over the phone to us. He suggested that he would get down at Phagwara bus stop in front of ICICI Bank and would wait for us. I told him my car registration number and drove ahead. After reaching Phagwara, i slowed down and looked for the bus stop and the ICICI Bank branch. There was a traffic constable at one of the intersections and i  pulled up the car near him and inquired about the location of  the bus stop. He told us that the bus stop was right in front of us and after i narrated to him our story he told me to wait there itself. A number of buses were coming from Jalandhar side and were driving away after dropping or picking up passengers at the bus stop. We waited for a while and after no one came towards us, the police constable suggested to me to ask the man about the registration number of the bus in which he was traveling so that we could locate the bus. I rang him up on Jeet's number but it gave a message that the phone was either switched off or was out of reach. I crossed my fingers and hoped that the man had not changed his mind to hand over the phone to us. Since the caller had asked me to wait at the bus stop in front of ICICI Bank, I asked the Policeman that where the said Bank was and he pointed towards it which was a few steps away from there. I thanked the policeman for his help and pulled up the car in front of ICICI bank. Once again we waited there for a while. While Jeet sat in the car itself, i waited outside and looked for the man who would hand over the phone to us. Then suddenly i saw a young boy knocking at the window of our car. I walked up to him and there he was, holding Jeet's mobile phone. He told us that at Jalandhar bus stop the mobile phone was picked up by a rickshaw puller and that he had to pay him Rs 400/- for the phone. I immediately took out Rs 500/- and handed them over to him which he promptly accepted. I asked him that whether he wanted to get dropped somewhere on the way, he firstly refused and while we started to drive away he again hailed our car and told us to drop him nearby. I asked him to hop in at the rear seat. I asked his name which he told us was Honey Singh. He sported a light beard and wore an ear ring in one of the ears- a typical fashion in vogue in many parts of India, particularly with youngsters. After a while he took out a memory chip from his pocket and handed it to me, telling us that he had taken out the memory chip to copy the music which he said he had liked a lot. He also asked me to talk to his brother to tell him that we had got our phone back. He said that he had called his brother from Jeet's phone who insisted that he must return the mobile phone to the rightful owner. I dialed his brother's number from the last dialed list on Jeet's phone and informed him about our getting back the phone and thanked him that he had given good 'Samskars' to his younger brother. After a while Honey Singh got down and we bade good bye to each other. Jeet looked into   my eyes and said, "Dekhiya, hakk di kamayee kitey naheen jandi" (see, one never looses one's hard earned money). I remembered another episode about thirty years ago when she had first uttered these words which i have narrated in this blog which you can read by clicking here


How do we know said...

i so wish this was true for everyone! hats off to Jeet's faith.

Balvinder Singh said...

Yes HDWK, Jeet has unwavering faith and gets my unflinching support. This combination has seen us through many difficult situations in life.

BK Chowla, said...

Very intersting.As for phone,well,my wife has the same habbit with her phone.She can never find it when it rings

Anonymous said...

very interesting story and nice end

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