In a nutshell, I thought my laptop was stolen at the security check conveyor belt at an international airport, had a tryst with the airport and airline authorities.. until things drastically changed after an email to the lost and found department. So, @rule 1 if you ever lose something in an airport, please take note that the authorities take no responsibility. They’ll ask you to write down a complaint in a form in their lost and found department, so please do it without delay and stay calm. And when you do, you may just get lucky like I did.
The first things I did during my layover was to buy a notebook to make a detailed inventory of the unsaved files in my laptop and send a mail to the lost and found. And as I was changing passwords and trying to recollect the maze that my laptop is, my inbox announced, You’ve got mail. It was a reply from the lost and found that changed the stolen laptop to accidentally taken, to a hope that I will get to see it again, sooner enough, before I head back home.
It was sheer coincidence that the man who took my laptop and I had mailed the lost and found almost at the same time and he happened to be at the city where I was during the layover. Stroke of luck! totally. He drove down to the airport, returned the laptop to the baggage service. On my part, I had to convince the airline officer at the transit to make that call to baggage service and get me my laptop. He did it finally, and he told me later, “if not for your insistence, I would have stuck by the rules” which reminded me that line from Rekha’s Hindi film Khoobsurat, and a recent Malayalam film, Traffic. When Rekha’s character reminded the doctor of his oath to serve patients whatever the circumstances when her uncle was lying ill at home in bad weather, a senior doctor reminded a police commissioner that this day would pass like any other if you say no, but if you say yes, it may create a difference.
The rule was, “ask the person to courier the laptop home! because they could not allow any baggage inside the airport” I couldn’t believe my ears when the airline officer told this to me without batting an eyelid when I was telling him that a stranger was driving down to the airport at that moment to return my laptop to me. Which brings me to rule 2 @ airport, people don’t listen to you properly, they have a few set scenarios (the ever so normal ones) they hear the head and tail of your complaint and will give you a standard reply. So, @ rule 3 stay calm (again) and explain to them the situation as clearly as possible and they will relent.. like this man did (It all depends on you)
I will have to thank these strangers in my section on acknowledgements in my thesis for sure…., a stranger who mailed to tell me that he has my laptop, a stranger who I talked to over whatsapp, I may need to include whatsapp as well, and made arrangements for the drop, a stranger with whom my friends coordinated the plan of how and when to make the drop.., another stranger who was willing to be the middle man.. there are still a bunch of good people in the world! The 2 stewards who hip hip hurrahed when the laptop finally came and given to me! By that half an hour of wait, we all at the transit desk had got talking, and they were explaining why they had to behave without mercy to customers.. and many many stories
There is not doubt that the two of us who temporarily lost our laptops that night were lucky. So with luck on my side I stride on, with more faith in humanity.. ready to meet and interact with more strangers. ..