Been through hell and heaven and back

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I have been wondering what to blog about. As if answering my prayers, God has given me a strong reason/urge to write.
Some incidents just blow us apart… they make us think… they shake us out of our material world… they make us aware of the higher powers…
I came home from Jazz, lunch and some chores by auto around 2.30 pm. The auto guy drove inside the complex despite my request not to. As a habit I get off near the gate and walk to the building. No specific reason. Why make the guard open the gate for an auto? This time (for the first time) he drove inside. I paid him, took the change and came home. I killed an hour since there was a movie at 4.15 pm at the multiplex nearby. I left home at 4.05 pm. I removed my sunglasses from the purse and put them on. After walking 10-15 steps something made me check the purse for my wallet (I never do this… the wallet is always inside). The wallet was not there and it had the movie ticket (I purchased the ticket last night – I never do this). If the ticket would have been in my purse I would not have bothered with the wallet… didn’t really need the money. I rushed home since I was late for the movie. No sign of the wallet anywhere. And its a big wallet- very hard to miss.
There were only 3 options:
– The wallet is at home and I just need to search thoroughly
– Between the time that I paid the auto and came home it fell somewhere- maybe in the lift
– Between the time that I left home and walked those 10-15 steps it fell somewhere

I searched everywhere but no sign. I didn’t think it was stolen ‘coz there was no opportunity for anything like that. Also, the thief would have started using my cards and I would have received a sms. Thats when I remembered there is one debit card which is for a joint account with my dad and so there is no sms sent when it is used. I blocked that card first. I didn’t want to block the credit cards since I was not convinced they are stolen. Finally, after searching the house for an hour, praying to God, shedding a few tears, informing my dad (smartest thing I did), checking online on how to get a duplicate Pan card and driving license… I blocked the balance cards.
Now, I did not have even 1 rupee. I don’t like keeping too much cash on me and never keep money at home. I could either call my bro who stays in Andheri and travel all the way and back (but no money for auto) or request him to come and give it to me…. or I could request my dad to request my masi to lend me money (she stays in Mulund)… or I could call KC’s mom/bro and request them to lend me money somehow… or I could call my colleague who stays in Mulund and request her. Whew!!! It was so much easier in Gurgaon when I could just “borrow” some money from KC’s smiley bank (he collects coins in it… probably has thousands of rupees by now) if he was not around.
Do you know how low I went? There is no junk at home (avoid temptation) and I badly needed a chocolate (but – no money). I was looking for the wallet in my leather couch and found 3 Ritz minis below it. They had disappeared more than a month back when KC and me were eating them. I had accused KC of eating all of them (even the flavours he did not like) and he swore he didn’t. The mystery of the missing Ritz chocolate was solved. I managed to eat 1- the other 2 were too stale, even for my depressed state.
Then dad called… and said; “Your wallet has been found”. Huh??? He is in Gujarat… I lost my wallet in Mumbai… Some guy had called him. I called the “guy”. His wife/mother works in the complex, found the wallet near the gate and took it home. They had been trying to find out my contact no (my official visiting card was in the wallet!!!) and then called the contact no on the driving license (dad’s no). I rushed to pick it up… thanked them profusely… paid them some money… and came home.

Things I learned today:
– Always keep emergency cash at home
– Do not carry purses without a zip
– I have changed my contact no every year…. my dad has the same contact no since he bought a mobile number… and thats why he could be contacted
– There is a higher power above… I will not start visiting temples and all but there are times when I cannot ignore this power… I don’t like to call it “God”… there are too many cliches attached with it…
– Being able to block the cards immediately is a smart thing. I don’t understand why the maid took the wallet home. If she would have even mentioned it to the guard he would have called me. I had informed them as soon as I found out about the wallet. Was it ‘coz she and the guy could not use the cards and decided to return the wallet since it was of no use? And its better if they return the cash also incase I go to the cops.
– Never carry too much cash. I barely have 1000 bucks… the loss wouldn’t have been huge. Of course, I will have to survive the next 1-2 days in that much money.

Last month, I faced another problem with my debit card. I had withdrawn excess cash by mistake since I had to pay the broker and everyone while shifting. I did not use the ATM for atleast 15 days. I had gone to Powai to pick up my clothes from the laundry after work. I had only 60 bucks in the wallet and visited the ATM. I could not remember the pin. My mind went blank… completely blank. After 3 tries, the card got blocked. I called the bank but they could not help… had dinner and waited for a bus to take me home. I reached home at 10.30 pm. On the bus, I remembered the pin clearly… there was no doubt. How can such incidents be explained? The mysteries of the mind. How can I forget the PIN and remember it clearly in a few hours? Thankfully, I did not block the card and could use it the next day.

The last time that my wallet was stolen was in Chennai. I was an intern at Taj Coromandel and was staying in a shady hotel for 300 bucks at Nugambakkam for a week. I paid the auto and dropped my wallet. Some stole the money from it and threw it away. I found it lying near the road. It was my last day in Chennai and all the money was gone. I didn’t know anyone there… my dad got my debit card blocked when I informed him earlier. I was just glad to get the documents like pan card back. Thankfully, my friend through the internet- Tanuj was in town and he lent me money.

Its been hell of a few hours but I guess… “Alls well that ends well”.

2 thoughts on “Been through hell and heaven and back

  1. wow what an adventure. I am so impressed by your presence of mind. thanks for writing down this experience. Will help me recall if (GOd forbid) I ever go through such a situation.

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