This morning a colleague of mine took a wrong short cut thru the woods on his way to work and ended up hopelessly lost on the Autobahn; finally requiring a couple of police officers to pick him up and drop him off at the office with a friendly warning.

While we were joking about it a few hours later, it reminded me of the first time I got lost: in second grade on the busy streets of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.
And now that I think about it, kinda strikes me weird because there really were a million things that could have gone wrong that night and it was nothing short of a miracle that I made it home.

I was just your regular second grade, smart alec, know-it-all kid who one day decided to walk home from school because my dad was held up at a meeting and couldn’t make it on time to pick me up from school like he did everyday.
Needless to say, within no time I was lost, and I knew it.
Now this was way before mobile phones (we didn’t even have a phone at home!) and all I knew was to keep walking.
I guess it was purely in the Plan of The Creator that I accidentally stumbled upon a garage where at that exact time, the guy who ran the restaurant across the street from my house, chose to come to fix his car.

He recognized me as ‘that kid from our street’ and borrowed another car to drive me two blocks to my home; and offered me dinner while we waited for mom and dad (who were of course, freaking out from searching all over town and finally came back home hopeless, to call the police!)
Needless to say, that night I didn’t feel a thing; and so, went to sleep and went back to school the next day.

17 years later, the memories of that night, haunt me to this day.
There is a lot in life we take for granted.


Anonymous said...

I just read somewhere that every year, around 45,000 children get lost in India. Its scary, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

I was also lost when I was in 1st grade! You remembered me of that day.

Rayees Ahamed said...


Jeddah is ok , crime rate is relatively less i guess. but recently my cousin got lost in chennai, actually he bunked his school and went for a movie at vetri theatre of chrompet. He was kidnapped on knife point and transported to Andhra. But our guy was little smart to give them dekaa and escape in some railway crossing near hyderabad... And then he called from there through someones mobile and we went to bring him.

He is a well grown boy , and Luckily escaped Alhamdulillah, but such exceptions are very few when compared to the amount of female children kidnapped, abused and forced to cater red-light areas, and hungry rich predators.

Ela said...

Scary to read Rayees's comment.....then it is good that i never tried to get lost in Chennai...i do it here often and if i don't have a map with me then always make it back safely though...

And coming to the children being kidnapped in India, we really need to have strict laws and more volunteer manpower to bring such abuses against children under control.
I was really surprised that in a country where Software engineers are abound and IT is the booming industry, it is hard to come across well built and managed websites regarding philanthropic projects!

Alok said...

"There is a lot in life we take for granted."

Yeah, and that is the spirit of this post, and it made me feel a bright glow inside. Thank you. :)

A wo(a)ndering mind said...

Rahman!! i picturise this cute little boy lost on the streets..'smiles'
Thank god you were found..

A wo(a)ndering mind said...

Rahman!! i picturise this cute little boy lost on the streets..'smiles'
Thank god you were found..

-=A.R.N.=- said...

That's really really sad. Makes me angry to think abt it...what DO our police force do anyway?

Yup Jeddah is relatively safe alright...or who knows where I'd have ended up :(
Scares me to think abt it.
Your cousin is a real lucky (or resourceful) guy!

-=A.R.N.=- said...

Hmmm, looks like I'm not the only one huh?
How did you make it back?

The only thing we can do is pray for the lost souls.
And like I said earlier, what DOES our police force do really?

-=A.R.N.=- said...

welcome back dude...been a while.
and you're right abt the granted part.
We all do forget don't we? :)

@wondering mind
I was 7, in a school uniform with a backpack on my back and black school shoes. I must've been anything but cute.

Anonymous said...

I went here and there for an hour but coudn't make it back. Then my school's principal saw me and he dropped me at my home.