The world might appear bleak given the headlines we often read, but there are good samaritans all around us.

Vikrams daughter gets lost engagement ring back from cab driver its not just her whos lucky
Features Good Samaritans Saturday, August 13, 2016 - 15:04

The rich, and even the middle classes, live in the fear that the rest of the world is out to ransack them. Gated communities with security pat-downs for domestic helpers are common – just to make sure they haven’t stolen a silver bowl here, a wad of cash there.

This is not to deny that such instances happen… but then, we have CCTVs at supermarkets where the wealthy shop for a reason: dishonesty exists across social classes. And so does honesty, as Akshita, actor Chiyaan Vikram’s daughter, will attest.

Four days after Akshita lost her engagement ring worth several lakhs in an ice-cream parlour on Khader Nawaz Khan Road in Chennai, it was returned to the groom’s family by 36-year-old, Lakshmanan, a cab driver.

Akshita and Manu Ranjith, great-grandson of Kalaignar Karunanidhi, recently got engaged.

Soon after the ring went missing, a case was registered at the Thousand Lights police station. The police reportedly verified the CCTV footage at the parlour as part of the investigation. 

The cab driver, Lakshmanan, is part of the Gandhi Foundation. He did not realize the value of the ring that he had found till he came to know about the incident from news reports. Through Rajesh, another member of the Gandhi Foundation, he contacted the groom’s family and told them about the ring in his possession. The family has since confirmed that the ring has been returned to them.

The world might appear to be a bleak place at most times, given the headlines of our newspapers, but such good Samaritans are all around us, across the country.

Priyanka Raman, a marketing professional, recalls her experience in Mumbai when she’d gone shopping with her friend. The two of them picked up quite a haul and forgot to take the shopping bags that they had kept in the luggage carrier in the autorickshaw before getting down.

They realized what had happened after a while and came down from the apartment building only to find the autorickshaw driver waiting for them patiently. He refused to take the money that they offered him.

Priyanka adds that she’s had several such wonderful experiences with the drivers in Mumbai.

Ranjani Prasad, who works at Ambedkar University in Delhi, loves to strike up a conversation with the drivers who take her around the city.

“My personal take on the horrendous things you hear about in Delhi is that it’s media exaggeration. Safety is a threat anywhere you go. Sometimes, when you are used to being public transport passengers, you find ways to entertain yourself,” she says.

Once, Ranjani and a driver got along so well that when she got off, he refused to take money from her because she was like a “daughter to him”.

Another time, Ranjani took an autorickshaw to Subroto Park, a defence colony, where all the routes are monitored. She left her phone behind in the auto and went to her friend’s place. The autorickshaw driver did not know which flat she’d gone to and realizing that he could not come back once he’d left the colony because of the rules, he chose to wait for two hours till Ranjani came out of the building!

Parasuraman, a senior citizen and a retired accountant, misplaced his expensive pair of glasses in a Chennai cab when he was on his way to catch a train to Mumbai. He realized what had happened only after the train had started moving and called the cab driver.

The cab driver assured him that he would return the glasses to Parasuraman’s family in Chennai and kept his word.

While passengers are usually pleasantly surprised to retrieve a lost item, sometimes, the humanity displayed by near strangers can truly astound us.

Chintha, a journalist, says, “In Thiruvananthapuram, it’s very difficult to flag down an auto in the suburbs after eight in the night. One night, my little girl and I were scouring the roads for an auto to take us home and none of the passing autorickshaws were willing to stop as they were all headed home after a hard day’s work.”

What happened after that? Chintha says that a young man named Unni stopped and offered to drop them in his auto, without even asking about their destination. She says, “On the way, Unni told me that he was standing at an adjacent medical shop and talking to his friends when he noticed us trying to hitch a ride. Though he had already finished work for the day, he decided to come to our rescue. And now I have a friend for life!”

Maybe the next time you travel in a cab or an auto, it might be a good idea to stop fidgeting with your phone and talk to the stranger in whom you’ve placed your trust. 15 minutes or an hour…you might just make a new friend!

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