Dubai: The ambitious mission of a globetrotting Indian cyclist was back on track after his missing passport was found on a street in Al Barsha by an Indian worker.
“It could have been devastating. I would have not only have lost all chronicles of my past journeys but also several future travel permits. I would also have had to surely abandon my trip and go back home,” said a relieved Somen Debnath, who has pedalled nearly 100,000km through 81 countries since leaving his home in West Bengal in 2004.
The ambitious cyclist has plans to cover the rest of the world — over 200 countries and 200,000km — by 2020 for world peace and global AIDS awareness. However, his project looked under threat as he had lost his passport soon after arriving here from Oman. Worse, he didn’t even have a clue to where he had lost the important document. “I had checked all places I thought relevant and even made a police case that night, but I feared the worst,” Debnath recalled of his sleepless night in Dubai.
His night-long ordeal however came to an end the next morning when a stranger flagged him on Facebook the next morning saying he had found his passport. “It [passport] was inside a red pouch that lay on a road. Cars zipped past the pouch sometimes even running over it,” said Esmail who spotted the travel document.
Luckily, Debanth’s four-booklet passport was not damaged so Esmail and his friends went online to search for its owner.
“I saw many websites on Debnath and soon figured out that he’s a well-known globetrotter,” said Esmail’s Bangladeshi colleague Abdul Rahim who used his friend Mujtaba Abbas Hussainy’s online account to contact Debnath.
“I am glad they had the ingenuity to use the internet and find me,” said Debnath who met the men the next morning to exchange pleasantries and most importantly collect his lost passport.
With all plans in place once again, Debnath is now awaiting the arrival of an upgraded cycle from Germany before scooting off to Africa to resume his odyssey.