Vijay came rushing into the house, panicking. It's the new 'serious'...those words we all dread to hear.
He was walking in our street, took out the phone from his shirt pocket, sent a message, put phone back in his pocket, and crossed the main road. And then it was gone.
"What do I do?" he asked.
I had read all about it several times, but couldn't remember! "Google it", I said.
"What to do if you lose phone?"
"Android phone - how to trace?
"Call my phone", he said, even as he was at the computer.
I dialled. No response.
"They're not picking up...maybe they want to keep it"
I dialled once again after a while.
This time, someone did pick up. "Hello...", he said.
One kind of relief!
"Hello...our phone is with you?"
"Yes, I am in Barkatpura. Come and pick it up."
I immediately tried to analyse the kind of person he was, by his manner of speaking. Sounded simple enough, but one never knows. My imagination works overtime at such times.
Vijay hurriedly made his way to the door.
"Wait, I am coming!" I said. What if there was a gang of guys who take him to a lonely galli (is there any such in the city?!) and say, "give us [huge amount of money] or else you won't get your phone back"? I should be with Vijay so we can tackle this together! :) (how, I don't know!)
We fight over whether we should go in the car or an auto. I say car, he says auto. Auto it is, in the hot afternoon sun.
As we walk to get an auto, I notice that the stitches at the bottom of Vijay's shirt pocket have given way. "Look!" I said. "Your phone must have slipped out of your pocket!"
"Oh ****", he says. And goes on to use other words to curse the garment company's flimsy stitching! "...should never buy ready-made shirts****". "Come on, it never happened before", I say.
Through the auto ride he recounts all the precious info that the chap who found his phone had access to. Whatsapp messages, bank info, emails, photos... "Don't you have a pass code?" I ask. "No", he says. "It was too bothersome, so I removed it".
We reach Barkatpura. He wants to get off the auto even before the auto stops! I hold him back.
We call Vijay's phone. The guy says come to the petrol pump. Vijay wants to get off and run across the road. I say let the auto drop us off over there. The auto guy says, "I'll take you, sit down". Together we manage to get him back into the auto!
There are four guys and some bikes.
One of them hands Vijay the phone, points to another wearing a red shirt and says, "He found it".
"Thank you very much", Vijay says, and takes it. He pulls out his wallet and gives red shirt a reward of Rs 200. The guy takes it. Then says give me some more. Another Rs 50 note exchanges hands.
Still, we are grateful he returned the phone. We turn to come back.
The first guy tells us that his office is down that road. That they deal in real estate. And that if we want to buy any property, we should contact him.
In that one extra minute, he did not miss a chance to advertise his business!
We get back home in the same auto. "Good we went in an auto", I say. "Otherwise they would've expected us to pay more." Vijay utters the words he so loves. "I told you".
Back home, he spends some quality time with his phone, going through its contents with great concentration. He then sets a 20-digit pass code, which he diligently inputs each time he now wants to use his phone! :)
"Hey, look at this!" he exclaims a little later when he finds a skewed photo of the road and traffic on his phone. A photo that he didn't take! WHO could have taken it?
He now has his detective hat on and is trying to figure out how that photo was taken...did the phone take it by itself when it fell? If so, how exactly could that have happened? Or did red shirt take the photo as he picked it up and drove away?...I guess we'll never know!