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This one's got a happy ending

If I had to ask you to write a story about what happened this morning, my question would be 'Why did my mother stare in disbelief when autokkaran K. Ramesh came knocking on our door today?' Let me tell you what happened. It all started last night when I took an auto home from Besant Nagar. I paid the autorickshaw driver the bargained Rs.60 and entered my parents' house. No sooner had I set the bags down than I realised that I had left my camera behind in the auto. I raced to the door but the auto had already left. We went back to Besant Nagar auto stand scanning every passing auto frantically for one that bore a 'Jesus' sticker at the top of the windscreen and a picture of MGR at the bottom. Predictably enough, we drew a blank. With little else to do, we left word at the auto stand and lodged a detailed complaint at the Mylapore police station.

At this point, I'd like to tell you a little bit about my camera. It was claimed to be the world's smallest camcorder at the time of its launch in March 2005. Its high street price, when I checked at the start of this year, was £500. It was perfect for the sort of fly-on-the-wall documentaries I was starting to make. I had bought it after much deliberation and so was understandably upset on losing it.

Which is why when Ramesh came knocking on our door this morning, my mother could scarcely believe her eyes. She followed me down to Saravana Bhavan where I had gone for breakfast. As if our reaction on receiving the news was not confirmation enough, I gave a detailed description of my camera which left Ramesh in no doubt as to who it belonged to.

He told me that a couple that had got into the auto after me had claimed the camera theirs. And that he (Ramesh) had refused to part with it as he wasn't convinced that it was. He did not budge despite repeated threats from them. He told me that he had left it at home as he didn't want to be carrying it around and risk losing it. We drove all the way to Sholinganallur where I was further confronted by his wife. If the owner has lodged a police complaint, she told me, then the police will be after us. Fortunately, there was some footage of me in the tape in the camera and I played it back to her. And she too was convinced about the ownership.

Ramesh would not accept my small token of gratitude and I had to pry open his fingers and thrust the rupee notes into his hand. Later we went to Mylapore police station to withdraw my complaint and the Inspector was full of praise for Ramesh. You should have seen him beaming, his eyes glistening with pride.

Madras autos, like the city itself, have had a lot of bad press. But incidents such as this prove that there's still plenty that is good about them.


Nice story Ammani...thanks for are you in Chennai? I will be there on the 13th. Hope to catch up this time too.,
B o o said…
This happened for real? Wow, lucky you and kudos to Ramesh. I have had experiences where I had to go back to auto stand and ask. But going from home to home looking for the right owner of the camera, wow! Such a nice nam, this Ramesh is!
Mathangi said…
Is it really true?? such ppl still exist in chennai?? u must be really lucky !
Jasmine said…
Oh you mean this is a true story?
Deepa said…
I so agree with the moral of the story. I've met more good-drivers than bad ones.
KB said…
Its rare that such incidents get highlighted and get the attention they deserve. Its heartening to read such news in the midst of all kinds of negative news. Thanks for taking the time to post the story!

and yes, I think its more of a fixed mindset due to a few bad incidents about the auto drivers community in Chennai. Bad news spreads fast they say *sigh*
Navneeth said…
That's great to read. I don't doubt the fact that there are still people like him, it's just that they are rare, very rare. :)
monu said…
that reminds me of the time i left m,y company access card (i would have to pay 650 bucks to get another one) on the auto. I thought i left the card at home and called home...but it wasnt home..magically it appears in the afternoon at the reception and the security guy asks me if i came in auto??

u r lucky for u saw the person's face..i still dont know who my secret angerl was
A4ISMS said…
Ever hear the decalaration, 'Mera Bharat Mahaan'? It is people like Ramesh who make it seem real!
s said…
what goes around comes around, ammani. You deserved that and in turn a kind hearted soul has been given a well deserved mention in India's most popular (female) blogger's post. Relieved would be an understatement on that occasion i'm sure.
Its really good that u got ur cam back. Looks like there are still some good auto walas in our singara chennai.

I left my Sony Ericsson mobile in the auto in Bangalore and realised that I had lost it 4 hrs later. This happened 2 years back. Unfortunately the auto driver did not turn out to be like Ramesh. He flicked the phone and had removed the SIM card :(
Navneeth said…
Unfortunately the auto driver did not turn out to be like Ramesh. He flicked the phone and had removed the SIM card :(

As long as you didn't see him take it, I think it's unfair to blame him. It could've easily been another passenger.
askbabloo said…
nice story, nice imagination..keep dreaming good things about Chennai autowallas
Yeah u r right...It could be another passenger too...Anyways me lost the phone :(
DesiGirl said…
Read this story at the Chennai Metblogs link. I am dead chuffed that an automan from my neck of the woods (Besant Nagar) turned out to have such a heart of gold. waah-waah. Such honesty, of course, is few and far between and very, very heartwarming.
Chitra said…
Really lad for you. I am also glad that he got a mention here. :)
Anonymous said…
Yes! Agreed that there are a few good people like Ramesh in our society. But there are many people who take extreme pelasure in stealing other peoples stuff..
God Bless Ramesh!
First time here :)
Nice blog.. Nice post...
Trust me...I laughed like anything seeing your BLOG TITLE... hehehe nice one...

Keep writing :)
Swapna said…
That's so nice. You don't see too many people like that these days.
MumbaiGirl said…
The passengers who tried to take it were probably better off than him-shame on them.
itchingtowrite said…
hey good u found the camera and great to know abt this good guy. may be u shud send teh story to the newspaper! that wud make his day!
Eroteme said…
Lucky You... Been a while since I came here. You've been active engaging half the blog-world!! :-D
Ajitkumar Wagle said…
This incidence of yours makes one beleve that there is still some honesty left in this dishonest world that we see all around.
Sri said…
Ramesh deserves a grand appearance(photograph) on this GREAT blog!!!
blogSurya said…
You know Ammani, this happened to my friend while I was in Bangalore on a weekend.
All three of us started from my friends place to pizza corner in Brigade Road, mounted our bikes and suddenly felt lazy to find parking spaces in those busy roads. Hence thot of picking a auto, we got one, one of my friend was straight from office and was holding his back pack with Laptop and other letters and ID card.
Now in Bangalore its mandatory that eveny auto driver should fix an ID card laminated and color printed facing the passengers.Its a rule here.
As we were discussing few things my eyes caught few of the informations from the ID card hanged.
We got down from the auto walked to pizza corner and I asked him for his laptop since it had WI-FI there, he jumped on the couch screaming.
Later we walked to the place where we got down and the way we ran from pizza corner, for sure they would have thot there was some problem with the MENU card.
Fortunately, in one of the letters my friends mobile number was there and the driver called us and we met at the same place and got everything intact. We had no words to praise his honesty. Tipped him forcibly and left home....bad idea, being lazy!

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