Monday, May 27, 2013

Note: Lost & Found

The alarm rings at 4 am. She jumps off the bed, brushes her teeth, then downloads the remnants of sizzlers had the previous night at Red Box at the bog, has a quick shower, slips into a comfortable pair of jeans & top and is ready with bag, baggage and all. Reaches the airport 5 minutes to 5 am, well in time. After check-in, proceeds to Security Check. Empties laptop, phone & handbag on the tray for the screening, and after security check picks up laptop & handbag from tray, and rolls the suitcase to the lounge.

After a sip of piping hot Latte, turns around to find that passengers headed to COK are already in line to board the bus to the flight parked at the International bay. Gulps down the coffee and scoots to join. After a long & boring bus ride, she boards the plane, exchanging friendly smiles with the crew, and finding her seat - the middle seat! It's just 5.40 am. Flight takes off only at 6.25 am. Plenty of time to kill, she thinks.

She puts her hand in the handbag looking for her phone to send an SMS to her hubby. And phone! She desperately looks for it again, in her handbag, in her suitcase, around her...but no, no phone! It must be at the Security Check counter!! Panic sets in...she thinks of all the valuable info stored in her phone...hoping fervently it hasn't got in the hands of the wrong people. She tells the cabin crew that she's left her phone behind, gives all the details of the model - Samsung Note, white colour, the colour of the case, and writes down her mobile no. on the boarding pass in a shaky hand. The guy agrees to help, comes back in a couple of minutes (what seemed like eternity) to say they've informed the security and also tried to call my number but no answer.

Her co-passenger comes in to occupy his seat. She hurriedly explains the situation and borrows the phone to make a call to her phone. It rings and rings...and finally someone answers.
He: Hello
She: Hello, this is my phone...who is this?
He: This is BOM Airport Security
She: Can you have my phone delivered to me. I'm on "this flight" which is scheduled to take-off in about 15 minutes
He: Please handover phone to cabin crew
Cabin crew & Security guy have a conversation
Cabin crew: We'll try to get your phone for you ma'am
She: (Heart jumping with joy) That will be great!
Cabin crew returns in a short while. Sorry ma'am, looks like it will take some time and since all passengers have boarded the flight, we will have to take-off
She: (Heart sinking) But...but my phone...
Cabin crew: What you can do is, report it at COK airport at the Lost & Found desk
She: (Ready to sob) Can someone pick it up from BOM airport for me
Cabin crew: (clueless) You may report at COK airport and they'll guide you ma'am
She: (Wants to swear, but the feeling of loss was way to overpowering) OK, whatever!

Co-passengers try to console her that she'll get her phone back soon enough. One thing she's relieved about is her phone is "found" and not in the wrong hands as feared. But the hassle of getting it back, still worries her. She tries to pick-up normal conversation with an Aunty-ji sitting on her right (which she normally would never do, if not for the phone incident) just to keep her mind off replaying the security check scene over and over again in her mind.  What perplexes her is how the phone was not on the tray where she had left it, right above the laptop. Was it a deliberate move, by someone? She would never know, but she is almost relieved of her worst fears.

She munches on the awful South Indian breakfast served on the flight, disinterestedly, has some black tea, and tries to take a nap, but the scene keeps replaying itself, she stays awake and waits for touchdown. The flight of stairs and short bus ride after, she gets to the airport, files a complaint with the Flight staff, sees her husband waiting and rambles her sad story. She speaks to the BOM airport terminal manager, and he assures her that the phone is with him and she could send anyone to pick it up, with her authorization letter quoting the Lost and Found number and id proof.

Her boss picks it up from the airport and after tamper-proof packing sends it across by air cargo. It arrives in one shape. Hallelujah! That's when she realizes how inextricably her life is linked with her phone. And to think of it gone, was like losing a lifeline!

Anyway, all is well that ends well. The Note is back in her hands and she's back in business :)