Just firm faith, just the one...
- Ajit Doiphode
It was November 8, 2008. I was on my way to my in-laws' place in Vita, Sangli for some work. Since I had made plans at the last minute I did not have a reservation.
I, therefore, boarded a bus from CBD Belapur and decided to get off at Karad. Several passengers got in and out of the bus at various stops. At Pune, one such passenger came and sat next to me and bought a ticket for Kolhapur. As I later found out, his name was Vaibhav Patil.
I got down at around 4 or 5 am on the highway at Karad and headed for Vita. The money needed for the onward journey was in my pocket.
It was only when I reached Vita did I realize that I had lost my wallet containing money, my ID card and a photograph of Bapu. Had I dropped my wallet somewhere or was it stolen? I could not even begin to guess. I did not mention about my wallet to my in-laws or to my wife. I did not want to worry them. However there was one thought, a very reassuring one, that kept recurring in my mind: my wallet could not be lost forever. It had Bapu’s photo in it. I would surely get my wallet back. I had to!
That day around 1 pm or so, my wife called me on my cell phone and asked if my wallet had been misplaced. I was stunned. I asked her why she was asking me such a question. It was then that she told me that she had received a call from Kolhapur. The stranger had told her that he had found the wallet and had left his cell number with her. I asked her how the man found out their landline number as there was no identification of mine in the wallet except the office ID card (I work with MTNL as Sr. Sub Divisional Engineer). To that, she had no clue.
When I called up the person in Kolhapur, he identified himself as Vaibhav Patil. He told me that he had found the wallet on the seat after I got down at Karad. Since there was no identification on it, he went to the nearest BSNL office and found out my landline number.
Patil had gone to his uncle’s place in Kolhapur and had to nearly waste half an hour trying to trace my number. He was headed to Pune the following day and said that he could hand me my wallet at Karad if I could meet him at the stop there. If that was not possible, then he could courier the wallet to my address.
Accordingly, I met Patil at the Karad bus stop and took possession of my wallet. I thanked him profusely for his good deed. I showed him Bapu’s photograph from my wallet and mentioned to him that it was my “Sadguru", my Bapu. I added that it was because of Bapu’s photograph in my wallet that it had landed in the hands of an honest and good person like him.
My family was elated when I narrated this incident to him. My mother-in-law added that Bapu himself must have entrusted the good Samaritan with the job of returning my belonging.
I had merely called out to Bapu. And as always he fulfilled his promise of reaching out to me in my time of need.