Do Not Loose Your Mobile Phone In India

I am using a mobile phone for almost fourteen years and never lost one. Weather I traveled in a train, a crowded bus or fell asleep while traveling.  I have seen people lose one easily. It naturally builds up a confidence, My mobile phone cannot get stolen or lost.

Very recently I lost mine and cannot remember exactly when and where I lost it. It was when I came back home that I realized, it was missing. For security reasons in India one is  supposed to report the loss to the nearest Police station within 24 hours. This is to protect misuse of the mobile phone and to get a duplicate Sim issued from the mobile company.

Next morning I went to the nearest Police Station to register a complaint. The 10×10 feet room I entered had piles of files on the side racks, with film of dust on them. The room has not been painted in years, two bulbs lit up the otherwise dark room. About a dozen blank looking young guy’s have been made to sit on the floor against the shabby wall. Didn’t understand if they were criminals or just held back for interrogation. There were two tables around which four duty cops were sitting on very old wooden chairs. They were in duty uniform but none of them wore shoes, all in their slippers. The wireless was going on, monotonously. 

As I stood in front of a table one of them looked up and asked what I wanted I said I lost my mobile and wanted to register the loss. He pointed to another cop sitting on the other table, who was busy talking on the mobile.

I patiently waited for the cop to finish on the mobile then he turned to me “yes?”

I handed him the two copies of letter written in English. I did not expect the cops to get me back the lost mobile phone. Only need a received copy of the complaint letter from the Police Station to get a duplicate Sim. He looked at the letter and said “Get the letter written in Hindi” 

I said I am not so good in Hindi writing and it is only a couple of line letter written in most simple English.

He said, “I have to read, understand and write a report in my register in Hindi, get it written by someone outside if you cannot” there was a register in front of him.

Then I requested if I can get a blank sheet? Then I may try to find someone to write for me. His answer was “buy one from outside shop”

Well very citizen friendly and helpful Police Force of Agra.

I was loosing my patient and asked the aged fat cop “You are next to a world heritage site where thousands of foreign tourists come. If one of them comes here to lodge a complaint, will you ask him to first learn to write in Hindi and then pen down the complaint? It is most obvious they will write a complaint in English”

He stared blankly at me for a few seconds then he folded hands and said “I am sorry but I cannot accept your complain written in English.”

Hindi might be  the National language of India but English is followed everywhere in Government departments, banks, post office etc.

I came back without being able to lodge the complaint at that moment.

Couple of days later I was telling this story to a friend. With great attention and patience he listened to my story. Then he smiled at me and asked “did you pay him some money?” I asked why I would have to pay money. My mobile got lost and I am not demanding it from them, I went to simply register that, it got lost.

He laughed aloud and said ” They charge Rs.100/- to register a mobile loss! If you don’t pay how can your loss get registered?”

We surely are living in heaven!

About Sanjoy Dutt

Sanjoy Dutt, an engineer, and a linguist is passionate about traveling and writing. He has lived and worked in various places in India and Nepal and now lives in America. While exposed to the struggles of life in early childhood he is a strong believer that challenges in life makes you stronger. He and his wife Lindsay enjoy exploring areas of the US and occasionally struggle with the pots and pans in the kitchen. Sometimes the experiments are delightful.​ Sanjoy has written travelogues and short stories for various journals in Bengali and English. As a child, Sanjoy loved drawing pictures. He has done all the illustrations for his book 'Calcutta in Shorts'.
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