Today I am not going to share any of my travel experiences but a true incident that took place with me during one of my tour in Himachal Pradesh which further intensify my belief in moral values.
In December of 2018, my wife and I were travelling from New Delhi to Manali on a vacation trip. We took a sleeper bus from ‘Majnu ka Tila’ in North Delhi. En route, we stepped down at some place for dinner. Having boarded the bus again, I put the wallet in the side pocket of my jacket, reclined the seat, put on the blanket, and slept. Next morning, we reached Manali, collected our luggage, took cab and started towards our hotel.
We had barely covered a distance of almost 1 km, and got stuck in a traffic jam on the Mall Road as it was the peak season and Manali was jam packed. So our cab driver took a turn and tried through a narrow alley. There too was the same situation, our cab came to a halt. I had to purchase shaving foam as the one I was carrying was about to finish. I spotted a shop and since the cab was standing still so I decided to purchase the same in meanwhile. When I looked for the wallet in the pocket of my jacket, it wasn’t there. I changed colour as all my cards, cash, identity card, driving license, every thing was in the wallet itself.
I hurriedly searched my camera bag, my rucksack and everywhere where it could be but in vein. I realised at once that I have lost it. We were not having the bus driver’s phone number either. Although I didn’t have any hope to find it back, still as a last try, I called our booking agent in Delhi for bus driver’s or attendant’s phone number. After trying for several times, finally they attended the call and asked for the details. Thankfully I retained the booking messages. The booking agent provided me bus driver’s phone number. I called the bus driver and enquired about my lost wallet. I waited with bated breath as the driver took some time to respond.
To my pleasant surprise, he confirmed that the wallet was with him and told me not to worry. As the cab was stuck in a jam and couldn’t take a U- turn so without wasting a minute I jumped out of cab, asked my wife to come to bus stand with the cab, started to the bus stand on foot itself. I was almost jogging and reached the bus stand before even my cab. It took me few seconds to locate my bus as there were so many, and all were looking alike. I met the driver and asked for the wallet. He returned it to me and asked me to count the belongings. I summarily checked it, every single penny was there. With bottom of my heart I thanked him and offered Rs. 500/- as a token gift which he refused to accept.
Although neither I know his name nor I remember his face but his honesty still brings smile to my face and I am grateful to him. Once bitten twice shy, now I always take extra precautions lest this kind of happenings happen again.
I had heard that the people of Himachal are very honest and simple and it proved this time. Long live this honesty…
I will soon share my travel experiences of Manali, which was full of delight, food and of course shopping.
Fun fact: I don’t know how I came to know about a contest of SanDisk and I really don’t know what came to my mind that I shared this experience of mine with them. To my surprise I won a 24 carat gold coin for that, which actually I would like to dedicate to the honesty of that bus driver.