My Lost Bag Saga

I know I have to blog about my move and the madness surrounding it but before that I have to tell you about my New Year party. I have to say it’s one of the best parties I have had simply because it made me start the new year on the note that good people are not so hard to find J

The party started at about 4:50 on January 1st 2012 when, after a shopping trip to IKEA, I got home and realized that my bag was missing. And inside it were 2 phones, my wallet, my driving license, my insurance card and just basically everything of any importance. Now it so happened that while my mom and I were loading some of the heavy IKEA stuff into my car, I had dropped my bag on to the pavement and forgotten to pick it up. Panic hit me like a cyclone straight in my face.

I rushed back to the festival city parking lot in an inebriated state of worry (cant remember how many speeding tickets I racked up on that trip). Checked the exact place I left it...and surprise surprise!!! It was not there. My heart started to pound if I had been dancing at the disco. Remember? It's my new year party. I then ran to the mall. Checked with the information counter. Nothing. Checked with the ikea and hyper panda information counter (because they have staff in the parking lot who collect the trolleys). Nothing. By now I was so close to tears that I was having a hard time holding it back. After spending an hour trying to chase the bag that I had lost for barely 20 minutes my mom and I climbed into the car to go back home- absolutely dejected. My head was throbbing with pain- thanks to the stress I had been through. Some time in between all this I managed to call my bank and block my ATM card.

Now all this while I had been trying to call my phone and it was ringing. I found this a bit odd because if someone had stolen my bag, the first thing they'd do is switch off the phone. But if they didn't want to steal it, why wouldn't they return it to lost and found or at least answer my phone? I just couldn't make sense of the whole thing.

Once home I prayed Maghrib and sat on my prayer mat just wondering if I should close my eyes and let my dam of tears to break open. Suddenly my dad's phone rang. I hoped it was something to do with my bag but it turned out to be my cousin who works in Rashidiya. He asked my dad to speak to me. I signalled I didn't want to talk but my dad was already handing me the phone.
"Hi," I said.
"Hey did you lose something?" he asked. Oh God. How is this news spreading?
"yes I did, why?"
"someone just called me and said they had found a phone belonging to you"
And he gave me the number of the person who had called. This was turning into one interesting party (And even though I wasnt in the mood to listen to joke then, my cousin told me something that had me cracking up for days. Apparently whoever found my phone called him and said I have found your phone. And my bro had lost a phone that very morning- it had fallen into the toilet. He was absolutely amazed that Dubai had become so advanced that people were finding phones in the sewage pipe- before realizing it wasn't his phone that had been found)

By now, all my energy had seeped through my legs to the ground and I didn't want to phone this person. I made Arfaz do it. The man who questioned Arfaz about the contents of it etc. Obviously he gave me the phone and I stammered out everything I could remember. He asked me what car I was driving and I gingerly answered- a Lexus. He said he would be in Lulu Qusais in about 45 minutes and asked us to meet him there. And its only when a crisis occurs that all the bad thoughts in the universe starts to hit me. What did this man really want? Why didn't he just give my bag to lost and found? Why was he insisting on returning it to us himself? Was he going to bargain for money? And why did he ask for the make of my car? Was it to see how much money he should bargain for? Shucks- I should have said I drive a really cheap car. Oh God!!! I'm tired of this party.

I reached Qusais Lulu in 40 minutes and waited for him to call. My hands were sweating. I had never been so nervous- not even when my 12th standard board exam results were due. He called a few minutes later and we met in the parking lot. He was a well built Pakistani laborer in shalwar khameez who spoke only Urdu. He told us how he had pulled into the parking that I had got out of at festival city. He found my bag there and was worried to leave it on the pavement thinking someone might steal it. So he put it in his car and left a note on his dashboard with his number- in case I came looking for it (and which would have been there when I madly ran back and forth that pavement, had I looked). And then when he returned to his room, he browsed through my phone and called the first number on it, which was my cousin's. I didn't know what to say. It was so very sweet of him. He asked me to check the bag to see if anything was missing. Of course I didn't. After thanking him and giving him some money (which he initially refused- and I had thought he wanted to bargain) Arfaz led me away before I fell at his feet and started worshipping the ground he walked upon.

On our way back home, I realized something else- this poor man wouldn't have known how to navigate my ultra-sophisticated Samsung phone ( I can barely make a call on that phone without getting lost). So he had gone back to his room in Sonapur and charged my dead Nokia phone (which I carried around only because I had so many contacts in it) and then looked up my cousin's number. This poor soul had gone through so much trouble and taken so much effort just to make sure that I got my bag back. Wow!! So why didn't he just return it to lost and found? Because I highly doubt he even knows something like that exists. And thus ended my big new year party.

Moral of the story? Always carry simple, and easy to navigate phones. And oh, don't forget your bag/ wallet/ keys anywhere.

I relate this story to my colleagues who shake their head in disbelief. "I can categorically tell you that something like this will only happen in Dubai," says Maddy. "If it was in India, once gone don't even hope to get it back." "Neither would it happen in the UK," Christine says. "if the person who finds it is kind enough, he will probably mail the cards back to you. But money and phone, gone." And we all said a silent prayer of thanks to be able to live in such a beautiful country.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Dubai Festival City


fynali iladijas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
fynali iladijas said...

Glad you got your belongings back!
Do pray for that poor soul!