Are we malignant with misconceptions?
My full-time job of teaching is a real cash cow. Even though it is tiring, I feel satiated in what I do for the children each day. My day at work ends at 03:00 PM and I take school bus back home. Spending most of my time under the scrutinizing eyes of several children, I prefer to conceal myself altogether from their eyes in the bus at least. Scrolling through the various social networking sites, I devote myself to this pastime that fits the bill.
Last week, I landed myself in an inevitable situation. The enervating heat had made me weary and clumsy. I got down at the bus stop, hired an auto and headed back home. Forced by habit, my mind probed me to check my phone only after an hour and lo and behold, the phone was missing. All my blood, sweat and tears seemed futile- losing an iPhone was a big thing. Trying numbers of the driver and the conductor had made my fingers numb. The idea of finding my phone back seemed like a pie in the sky! But apparently, all the odds were not against me; some were in my favour too. My cousin, who worked in Ecospace, in one of the leading IT firms, had taken leave on that day. When I called her and informed about my carelessness, she came over and aided in locating my phone through ‘Find my phone’ application. Rolling my eyes time and again, I couldn’t believe what I saw. My phone seemed to saunter on the roads of Bangalore. From R. T Nagar, it went to Geddahalli, then Ulsoor and then to Jayanagar. It stopped moving in Jayanagar.
I could feel the time slipping through my fingers. My cousin sent a message from her phone asking the person who found it, to call back. I even tried calling my number but no one picked the call. Now, under normal circumstances like those, the phone is either switched off or the sim is taken out. I inferred that the phone was with an unlettered harmless lunatic who did not know how to operate an iPhone. Where on one hand I breathed a sigh of relief, on the other hand, my mind grinned at my hollow victory. With little joy and fear, I urged my sister to go to the location and get my phone.
What followed next was equivalent to going to hell in a handcraft. Cursing my own folly time and again, I folded my palms and prayed to the supreme power. Parallel to what was happening in my life, the ‘unlettered harmless lunatic’ had something else going on in his life. With my phone in his hand, he reached his house and narrated the story to his wife. Like a blessing in disguise, his wife tried her luck with the phone and luckily, she could decipher how to use it. Just at that moment, I called my number and this time, the phone was attended by the man’s wife. She spoke pure Kannada and I couldn’t understand a word. I urged her to use keywords and eventually was able to understand that they lived in Jayanagar. The lady told me to collect the phone from Indira Canteen in that location. Speeding like a bullet train, I called up my sister immediately and asked her to reach Indira Canteen in Jayanagar. As simple as it might seem, the number of Indira Canteens in that area made me jump out of my skin- the lady was also not clear in giving directions. It took my sister another hour to locate the right canteen but the wait was still not over. By that time, I had reached the spot too. We searched for the lady, tried calling on my number but to no avail; the phone was switched off.
It was 7 in the evening and there was no sign of anyone looking for us. Just then my sister’s phone beeped. An unknown person had called and he claimed that some lady had given him the phone as she couldn’t read or write much. That man explained the exact location and asked us to come and take the phone. On reaching the right Indira Canteen, we found two men looking out for us; one was in rags (I presumed him to be the illiterate fellow) and the other one seemed educated. The man asked us to call on his number (as a proof of identification) and returned the phone. I was so exhausted and enraged that I felt like lashing out. But before I could let the harsh words escape my mouth, the man added, ‘Madam, this man has been running around trying to find someone who could use the phone and inform you. His wife knew little and so she called but soon the battery died and she came here. I had come here for lunch and the lady requested me to stay back with this man and safely return your phone.’
I could not believe my ears. How wrong had I been in my judgement! Out of guilt and that little element of joy, I handed out ₹1000 to that man. He refused but I insisted. After much persuasion, he took the money rushed towards the bakery. As was my wont, I formed an opinion assuming that he went to buy something for himself. But then the other man said, ‘When he came here, he told me about his kids- two of them, a girl and a boy- who had not eaten anything since morning. Such is the luck, madam. I feel your phone was misplaced because God wanted to provide something for those kids.’
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