Hit and Run…..but you can’t hide!!!
Driving to my office speeding at 40 kmph (that’s what Delhi traffic allows you at best) listening to the oldies on a Friday morning I had the day’s activities listed out….calls to potential clients, office meetings, market strategy….the works….and as I gave the indicator to exit out of the flyover at AIIMs a car zips by me from the left side and makes a sharp right turn…..the metal bodies of both the cars bang against each other….a loud metal sheet tearing sound something akin to scraping nails on a chalk board ……the driver did not stop and despite the fact that our cars had a side collision it kept moving on despite my blaring horn asking him to stop…..finally the car did stop and out stepped a woman ….Oh my God…..!!!!! ”What were you doing at this speed trying to overtake me from the left”…I screamed at her.
Her “I was in a rush to get to office”
Me “Great….so you bang up my car…..you better pay for the damages”
Her “ Sorry, galti ho gai”
Me “Sorry? That does not help the matter”
Her “My car also got damaged”
Me “ Coz that’s your stupid mistake”.
Her “I’m not stupid”
Me “Yes you are….you’re stupid and dumb”
Her ”Sorry bol diya tha na”
Me “I don’t care…now either you decide to pay for the damages or I call the cops”.
Her “OK, I don’t have any cash now so I’ll transfer the amount ….here is my mobile no”.
After we exchanged numbers she got into her car and zipped off again as if nothing much had happened. What a f***ing crazy woman….women drivers @*#!*^%#.
Later in the day I realized that in all that I did not even know her name and neither did I have the presence of mind to take her address….but then she had shown good faith and given her mobile number. So she would stand up to her word…….that is where I went wrong and this is my experience about it……
After a couple of days I messaged her that the mechanic had estimated the damages at 4k and that she should transfer the amount……no response. The next day another message went out to her mobile and then over the next week a total of 7 messages had been sent to her number with the same status….no response.
I had only a number….no name, no address and no idea where she worked….how the hell was I to track her down. It was not that I could not shell out the 4k for the damage to my car but it was more of an anger of being made a ‘fuddu’ (dumb ass is what I could best translate into) that kept this issue alive and top most on my mind every day.
I narrated this issue over dinner and my wife responds “you should know how to drive carefully….all that Vodka is numbing your sense” and I know she can be equally supportive in other instances also :-). My daughter was all sympathy for her dad but it was my son who sprang into action “Pa, give me the number” and in the next 60 seconds I had her name a Ms Aparna ******.
There is an application on many smart phones called True Caller which is a global phone directory application and accessible via a web site so basically all one needs to do is dial the number and the name of the person appears (in most cases). The name True caller comes from the app being able to show the True name of the Caller.
So now I had a number and a name…..and the next couple of days I spent in googling for her with several combinations but nothing fruitful and then was the turn of Facebook….yes the Facebook and after scrolling about 20 profiles I had her…..the Aparna ****who I could identify through the photo’s that she had uploaded….I had found the bitch and even after 10 days of constant texting, from polite to the not so polite….she remained silent.
Her FB profile did not give me any more useful information but I did come across a company name on her profile as her work place…..it was back to google for the company….a certain Continental group….. there was a list of 4 companies with the same name with offices in Delhi and it was not until I had reached the 3rd company that the lady at the reception told me that there was a lady called Aparna in the company. After much persuasion she transferred the call to HR and despite explaining to them my dilemma they refused to make any comments and asked me to send an official mail to them. I knew that the company had no legal obligation to disclose the information of any of it employees and the mail reply was no different except it stated that the lady in question was no longer in the services of the company….again I had reached a dead end.
My hopes were diminishing as I had exhausted all options….now I knew her number, her name, her ex company….but then a blank after that….and then came a colleague to my rescue….”Sir, number dena, mein apna jugaad lagata hoon”….I fed him all the details that I knew and then waited…..the next day he came back with the name of a company that she as currently working with….I have no idea what he did or how did he do it but I knew I was close to catching the culprit.
Googled the name of the company and the next 5 minutes I was talking to the lady at the reception. “Ma’m, I believe that Ms Aparna **** is working with your company”. “Yes, she is….” and I knew I had her. She refused to transfer the call till she was convinced as to why I wanted to talk to her and then I had no option but to spill out my story….”Ma’m it’s a hit and run case” and the rest of the story followed….how she avoided my messages and it had taken me two weeks of research and a jugaad to come to this stage. “So if she does not want trouble and please ask her to return my call or respond to my messages”.
Two day later I got the following message…”Apologies for all the inconvenience. I myself was passing tru bad times. My father in law passed away n my mother in law is hospitalizes plus I have a 8 month. Old baby to look after. I have not even attended office frm quite sum tym yesterday only I got the message from my office. This is not the excuse but the justification of aa the tym passed bt without my response. I wud request you to send mm a scanned copy of the bill with yur account details to email@example.com.
The next week I had the money in my account and I sent the car for repairs.
Mission Accomplished…..Run…..but you can’t hide….not with the technology available today.