My heart is so full with gratitude now i think i might just explode. The absolute worst thing that could happen to any poly student facing the impending doom of 4 presentations and 5 projects due in the coming weeks, happened to me.

I lost my laptop. I freaked out. The only logical thing to do then was to try to get help but the customer hotline was already closed and besides filing an online lost & found report- there was practically nothing i could do.

My boyfriend (you the MVP for sending me down without hesitation), immediately drove down from Bukit Timah and offered to send me to Eunos Interchange, in hopes that i would be able to find it there. The odds were slim. I mean, besides a wad full of $100 bills, i don’t think anything could be more tantalising than a lonely, vulnerable, unprotected laptop commuting alone on the treacherous journey aboard public transport, right?

It was just yelling to be stolen.

At the interchange, we immediately enquired with a group of bus drivers but nobody said they heard about a missing laptop. I don’t think my heart could have sank any lower.

One bus driver who happened to drive a 61 told me that i probably arrived too late, and it was probably already gone, but offered to call his colleague to keep a lookout for me anyway. After giving him my particulars, it was about 1030PM and i just sat at the bus stop dejectedly, hoping that the stars would align and a miracle would somehow happen.

And it did!

A 61 turned into the interchange and when i approached the bus uncle, i was literally flabbergasted (big word, but honestly very apt) to find out that my laptop was with him! I was hesitant and i was mindful to not keep my hopes up because i while i couldn’t really remember what ethnicity the bus driver was, my (equally clueless) friend told me that “he was Chinese, i think”.

My hero wasn’t Chinese, nor was he a knight in shining armour riding a horse (he drove a bus) but instead, was a nice, unassuming man by the name of Mr Ramasamy K.

Lo and behold, I sit here now typing on the very laptop that the said noble man had saved.

According to the bus uncle, he was monitoring the unattended laptop for awhile. When a middle aged man allegedly tried to take my laptop after noticing it, he knew something was up. The man was seated at the back of the bus and came to the front once to survey the surroundings, and the second time, to take my laptop before attempting to alight.

Mr Ramasamy recalled that the man was not holding anything when he boarded the bus and so he asked the man if the laptop was his. The man was unable to answer as to what brand the laptop was and even came up with a lame excuse on the pretext that he was taking the laptop to the police station. Mr Ramasamy did not let him alight, and even threatened to call the police if he did not hand the laptop to him.

I think grateful is an understatement as to what i am feeling right now. Throughout the whole nerve-wrecking ordeal, all the SMRT staff were very helpful. Most of all, Mr Ramasamy was just about the sweetest and most genuine stranger i’ve met in a long while. He didn’t lament about the fact that i was causing him trouble and taking up his time or that i was careless, but told me to be careful the next time.

This simple act of kindness embodied the spirit of service, and made me appreciate bus drivers even more. Generally, most bus 61 drivers i’ve met are very friendly, and i have occasionally met some who even take time to greet each and ever passenger when they board. None of these gestures are part of their job, and none of these will get them a pay raise – but the fact that these unsung heroes do these things from their hearts just to make someone’s day suck a little less, is really comforting.

Now, I trust when SMRT says “We Care”, because today, i met someone who really does.

While i will make sure to smile and be thankful (and not lament about waiting for busses) the next time i board a bus, i hope everyone else will do the same too.

Chelsey C.

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