It is not the fiction or story from some advertisements screening on the television. This is the real experience of a tourist who lost her wallet on her trip to Goa with all her cards, license, IDs everything. A wallet may not be just filled with the cash currency but it carries the most crucial credentials sometimes. This is the real story about how she got everything back and that too due to an effort of one honest Goan.
Goa is always been so much different, being the part of India it has been highly influenced by western culture and customs. People in Goa are considered to be the most lovely people in India. This is the place if you just ask for an address the person will drop you to the doorstep without any expectations. But then things started changing slowly in this tiny state. New developments and commercialization made Goa a completely different place.
Goa was supposed to be the most preferred tourism destination in the world for the tourists but now things are changing. But the people of Goa are always considered to be the most honest and hospitable.
This is the story of ‘Savie’ from Hyderabad who came down to Goa on a holiday trip, while on her way back she lost her wallet somewhere in Goa. The message was received on the Facebook page of Goa Prism describing the loss and seeking help.
We were not sure whether we could be of any help to Savie keeping in mind the existing scenario of Goa, where daylight robberies take place in the town, who will return her wallet which was the easy catch. We just let go the thing, but one day we received the message from ‘Savie’ claiming that she got her wallet back and it was the Goan who took all the selfless efforts to send her wallet to Hyderabad through courier, it was the most pleasant surprise.
Savie calls him Santa who gifted her on the Christmas day “As a child, I never believed in Santa Claus. I did see the fat guy in a red suit that made an appearance during Christmas. But my naїve parents never made me believe that he actually came to place a gift under the Christmas tree.
For many children in small Indian towns who grew up in the 90s, Santa was more of a Christmas prop. As for the Santas in school and in the church, we as kids were more interested in knowing who was behind the mask. These Santas only gave us sweets and never gifts. But now in my thirties, I find myself believing in Santa Claus,” says Savie.
Savie was in Goa on her road trip “This December, I went on a road trip with my family. We drove from Pune to Hyderabad with stopovers in Goa, Karwar, Hubli and Hampi. On our last day in Goa, I felt that the leather sling bag I was carrying felt lighter. Rather than checking why I simply felt happy about it and carried on checking out the fares at the Anjuna Flea Market.
I even looked at new wallets and thought of buying one. Only when I had to pay for an ice-cream, I realized that my wallet was missing. All my debit cards, my credit cards, my PAN card and my driving license – I had lost every document I was carrying. I looked around as if I could spot someone who might have picked my wallet. I emptied the entire car trunk and checked every bag. We went back to the hotel from where we had checked out an hour ago. But the wallet was not to be found.” She narrated.
“I raked my brain to figure out where I might have left it and tried to remember when I saw it last. I had bought some candles outside the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa. We went back there, checked with the security guards, the vendors, the volunteers, went to see the rector, and also left my contact details with the staff.
I then remembered that my purse had fallen open at a restaurant in Panjim. I had hastily put back all the things back in it. I was so excited to be meeting a friend after 11 years, that I didn’t remember if I had put the wallet back in. We went back to the restaurant and inquired with the manager, who called all the waiters who were on duty the previous day. But all denied having found the wallet.” She was completely frustrated with the loss.
Finally, she left Goa with a very heavy heart. “I checked the 50-odd unread messages on my phone, to see if anyone had tried to use my card. Thankfully, no one had tried. I then scrolled through the first hundred unread emails among 5000 odd unread emails on my phone. I even checked the promotional emails to see if there was any email from the bank. Worse still, I did not know my account numbers or card numbers or even bank customer care numbers. I had to wait until we reached my mother’s place in Karwar where the rest of my luggage was,” she says.
The next morning Savie gets all her four cards blocked and applies for the new PAN card. “My only worry was my driving license. I didn’t have any copy of it. And I didn’t know my license number. The DL was issued in Rajasthan, where I no longer live. I didn’t see any chance of applying for a reissue of the license. I had to reapply, visit the RTO offices, wait in line, undergo the one-month learners’ time and appear for the tests too. Oh! That sounded too much.” She states.
After few days while Savie was in traveling she receives the call from some unknown number and then she finds the messages calming that her wallet was found by someone who is trying to get in touch with her “I went through my phone again. There was a text message informing me that someone had found my wallet. I called back, but now I couldn’t get through. The network was weak on the road. When the phone finally got connected, the gentleman said, “I have been calling you since five days.” He sounded exasperated. “I have been traveling. The connectivity is bad in certain places,” I tried to explain myself.
“Okay. Actually, I was in urgency to reach you since I didn’t want you to block your cards. I wanted to tell you that your wallet is safe with me,” he replied. My savior’s name was Riyaz Mulla. He had found my wallet on the roadside near Panjim bus stand. “Did you have any money in it? He asked. “Not much maybe hundred rupees,” I said. “That is not there, “he replied, and listed out all the bank cards and store loyalty cards in it. Most importantly, my PAN card and Driving License was safe. He took down my address and promised to courier it on my Hyderabad address. “The whole wallet will be heavy. Since I have already blocked my cards, please send me just the PAN card and DL,” I said. “No. No. I will send the whole purse,” he replied.
Savie continued to narrate “After a week when I reached Hyderabad, the courier arrived marked as “Most Urgent.” Mr. Mulla had paid Rs. 350 as courier charges. The whole purse wasn’t even worth the cost paid for the courier. He could have simply sent the PAN card and DL. When I opened the packet, I was in for more surprise.
All my cards were neatly placed in a zip pouch. The pouch also contained the loyalty cards, the visiting cards of shops I had visited, a 2012 calendar with Sai Baba’s picture that I had kept when I had visited Shirdi in 2011, a picture of Vaishno Devi, and a picture of Mother Mary commemorating my grandfather’s death anniversary in 1990. The coins which were in the purse were also intact in it. There was also a registration card of Inamdar Hospital in Pune, from where Mr. Mulla got my phone number. How someone could be so thoughtful, I wondered.”
“I thought I could send him a small gift to say, “Thank you.” But Mr. Mulla has not agreed to send me his address. He went out of his way to find and send my wallet to me. This Christmas season, I wonder if he is my Santa Claus. Perhaps, Santa exists. Maybe he works through different people. My Santa came in the form of Riyaz Mulla but he chose to remain behind the mask!” With this note, she concludes her true to life story of lost and found.
The story above shows how people in Goa still have that honesty left in them which is becoming rare nowadays. But the honest people like Mr Mulla are rewriting history. Every place has its own identity and Goa’s identity rests in the simplicity and honesty of the people.
About the Author – This story was originally written by Savie Kernel who is associated with woodpie.com, a website which helps readers find book recommendations and exchange books.