On 13th August 2009, since morning I was excited as I was off from my office for next ten days. Actually I had planned to go to my native place Chamba in Himachal Pradesh. Chamba being very interior district of Himachal does not have train connectivity and needless to mention that no Airport as well. The only way to reach Chamba from Delhi is by Road.
Since I am in Gurgaon, it takes around 2 hours from Gurgaon to ISBT Kashmiri Gate in Delhi. I was visiting my hometown after 6 months. I hired a cab from Gurgaon and started at 3:00 PM. I dont remember when I slept in cab. I woke up at ISBT Kashmiri Gate only and I was shocked that its 4:50 PM. My bus was to leave at 5:00 PM sharp. I got down from Cab with my two luggage bags, one of them was really heavy almost twenty KG and I had to carry that.
It was a hot day with 39 Degree temprature with high humidity levels. As usual I started feeling uncomfortable, but no choice. Since we were close to Independance Day, the security was really tight at places like ISBT, it took me couple of minutes there in queue for checking.
I was agitated with the kind of crowd around and I was running out of time. To divert my mind I thought of updating my paying guest about my holidays as I had forgotten to update them in advance . I suddenly realised that I left my cellphone in cab. It was the moment when I could not do anything else than to go back to the place where cab dropped me, obviously the cab was not there.
Immediately I checked my pockets for any paper which would have my office number so that I would contact my office and would get Cab owner number and then I would be able to call driver to come back to the same place where he dropped me. As usual I did not have any paper in my pockets and my bags as well. Unfortunately this time I was not carrying my notebook also which has my cellphone back-up.
A small boy (physically challenged) who was running a mobile PCO shop, could notice my uncomfortableness. Although I knew that he would not have any telephone directory with him, I did not want to leave any options unexplored, so I asked him, but the answer obvious.
Next possibility which I could think at that time was Internet. But its India, no internet cyber cafe was around ISBT.
Disappointed and fully sweating, I entered the ISBT and asked few people for Internet if they have on their cellphone. Again disappointment.
The other option which I could think at that time was to find out Nestle brands on shop inside ISBT. Any product carry manufacturer address and contact numbers. Keeping that in mind I approached a shop but AGAIN DISAPPOINTMENT. No shop had kept Maggi Noodle, Nescafe Coffee, Chocolates, Eclairs etc. Immediately after it I realised that I have Milkybar Chocolates in my bag. I was so happy as if I got my cellphone back. I went to PCO shop with an enthusiasm and hope. But this was also for a while because the moment I looked at Milkybar chocolate it had only address. NO PHONE NUMBER.
As I mentioned in the beginning I did not want to leave any option unexplored, so I called on a number which was given on Milkybar Chocolate for "Consumer Complaints". Since it was already more than 5:30 PM no one attended that call. I replaced last 4 digits with some of friend's extension number but no one picked-up the call. Lastly someone attended that call and I requested her to connect me to the right person. But she had left for the day. Moreover it was a long weekend.
Now I was clear that I will not go home without Cellphone. So I went outside ISBT and took an Auto to the nearest place where Internet would be available. Auto driver could sense the urgency and he asked the reason for it. He showed bit of sympathy and quoted and heavy price. I agreed quitely to what he quoted. Auto driver asked me if he can provide me internet on cellphone, I said that would be great. He asked me to sit inside Auto meanwhile he will check with couple of his friends for GPRS enabled cellphone.
In absence of Auto driver I was thinking that even if I get internet now it will be of no use as I do not have any other number except my office numbers which is closed by this time.
Suddenly I realised "WHY I HAVE BEEN RUNNING HERE AND THERE TO FIND MY OFFICE NUMBER OR SOME OTHER CONTACT NUMBER, I HAVE MY OWN CELL NUMBER ?" In the meantime Auto driver came and said that I need to go to one of shop here to access internet on cellphone. Till this time I had ruled out the option of internet. I asked him to make a call on my cell number immediately. He called twice and said that cellphone has been switched off, I could not believe this. I called on my number and third time AND MY CAB DRIVER ATTENDED THE PHONE. His voice gave me such a big relief that I started feeling comfortable although I was sweating completely. I asked him to come back immediately to the same place where he dropped me. It was already 6:15 PM, traffic peak hours. He took 2 hours to come there.
Now it was 8:30 PM in the evening, I re-entered ISBT with a relief that I got Cellphone but with uncertainity in mind about Bus availability. I stood in a queue for approximately 45 minutes to get a ticket. When my turn came, I was told that Tickets are not available for today and then I had to buy a ticket for next day. Half heartedly I came back to Gurgaon and I reached Gurgaon at 11:30 PM.
It was a bad day for me. But after a long time I faced such a difficult situation and I was surprised with my own behaviour in that situation. You will say that Any fool will call on his/her own cell number first in this situation But fact of the matter is what you do when you are actually in tough position.If and then does not exists in real world.