When a Nigerian tourist absent-mindedly left behind his expensive BlackBerry 9810 in a cab on Saturday morning, he gave up all hope of ever retrieving it. An outsider in an alien city where everyone spoke an unfamiliar language -- he knew that chances of recovering his gadget were little, or none. However, thanks to an honest cabbie's persistent attempts to overcome the language barrier, Stevil Alauta, who is visiting Mumbai to attend an IT seminar, was restored his phone.
Language no bar: Masood (right) returns the phone to Alauta
Minutes after getting off the cab at Vashi, where he is staying with his brother, Alauta realised with a sinking heart that he had forgotten his phone in the cab.
"I rushed to my brother's house, borrowed his phone and called up my own telephone number. The cabbie answered the phone, but what he said was lost to me, as I don't know Hindi, and he couldn't speak in English.
Four hours later, Alauta was surprised to receive another phone call from the cabbie in custody of his precious gadget. This time, the do-gooder had roped in the aid of a hotel-owner known to him, to ensure that nothing would be lost in translation.
Alauta added, "Because it is my only means to internet access, it was crucial that I retrieved it. I felt a surge of relief when I received a second call on my brother's mobile. This time, the man on the other end could speak English. The mediator gave me the address to his hotel in Bandra-Kurla Complex, and we recovered it from there. The good-hearted cab driver was also present there."
The Good Samaritan
Masood Ahmed, the cab driver, said, "After dropping the tourist off in Vashi, I picked up another passenger, While I was ferrying him, we heard a mobile phone ringing. The passenger handed the mobile to me, and I answered the call, but didn't understand what the man on the other end was saying. I went to Bandra-Kurla Complex and asked my friend to intercede on my behalf.
Harun Jagrala, who helped effect this retrieval, said, "The honest driver has been frequenting my hotel for the past five years. Since I am well-acquainted with him, he approached me for help. He explained what has happened. I am quite well-versed in English, so I spoke with the tourist and gave him the address to my hotel. He came soon to pick it up." Ahmed added, "The Nigerian was very happy to get back his mobile phone. He hugged me, and the gesture made me proud of my honesty. He also offered me cash, which I refused to accept."