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Lost and found, right here in India

Lost and found, right here in India

Photo for representational purpose only. - File photo



Priya S Tandon

OUR friends were visiting their daughter in California. After she picked them up from the airport, they stopped at a shopping mall to buy groceries, leaving their suitcases in the car. When they came back to the parking lot, they were horrified to see that the car windows had been smashed and the boot was empty. Their suitcases containing clothes, valuables, shoes, etc., besides two laptops and EarPods, were gone.

The daughter, who had been living in the US for some years, called the cops. A police officer came as soon as possible; though courteous, he said there was nothing he could do right away. He said such incidents were common — eight to 10 of them happened every day, in that parking lot!

The daughter flicked open her iPhone and through the ‘Find my device’ app, showed the officer the location of her EarPods and MacBook. The officer expressed his inability to enter anyone’s premises without a search warrant.

On her pleading, he agreed to accompany them to the place where she could ‘virtually see’ her MacBook and EarPods. The cop reiterated that he could not help her in the absence of the search warrant. He said she could try ringing the doorbell. If anyone opened the door and agreed to give the stuff back, it would be her good luck. She asked him what good was his being there. He replied, ‘If they assault you or pull out a gun in our presence we can take action. The laws here are such.’

They returned tired, dejected, helpless and utterly numbed by the experience.

Last week, my son went to New Delhi by the Shatabdi train. After having de-boarded and taken a cab, he suddenly realised that his iPad was missing. A quick mental recap made him realise that he had left it in the seat pocket of the train. He asked the cabbie to zip back to the railway station. A quick look on the ‘Find my device’ app showed him that his iPad was not on the train track but somewhere in the adjoining Paharganj area. He ran to the police kiosk at the station, introduced himself and solicited help. The officer agreed to send a constable with my son to the location of the iPad. In the narrow bylanes of Paharganj, they walked till they reached a dilapidated three-storeyed building. My son clicked on his iPhone’s location beeper, but through closed doors and multiple floors he couldn’t hear the beep. It was close by, but exactly where?

Through the police constable, he spoke to a senior officer and told him all. The officer deputed someone to find out who lived at that location and in an hour, the iPad was restored to its rightful owner.

This is India today. The greener pastures are on this side of the fence now. The tables have been turned!


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