Lt Cdr Juby Matthew | Empowering Goa

In 2001, I had just completed my Naval Academy training and was on leave. I decided to utilize half of my leave for travel, so after 15 days or so I said goodbye to my parents and started off to Bangalore to meet my new girlfriend as she was doing her MBBS from Bangalore.

Spent 4 days in Bangalore and then we decided to go to Goa for couple of days. She managed 4 days leave from her college and we headed for Bangalore airport from Airforce officers base where I was staying (The privilege of being a military guy…. You have good accommodation, vehicle, food, old monk – all at your disposal).

Well I decided to take an auto instead of Airforce vehicle as I didn’t want my colleagues to later pull me up for my new girlfriend. When we reached the airport the guy said the fare was Rs. 180. I took a Rs. 500 note and gave it to him, and we started picking up our luggage. Now I was looking at the auto guy to give back the balance, and he was staring at me asking for additional Rs 80 as “You have given me only Rs. 100.” I said “What? You said the fare was Rs. 180, now it is Rs. 580?”

He said “No, you have given me only Rs. 100”..shit maan.

I knew I didn’t have a single Rs. 100 note with me. That’s because, just before boarding the auto I had withdrawn Rs. 10k from an ATM and all notes were of Rs. 500 denomination, so how the hell could I give him Rs. 100? That guy was clearly lying, and on top of that he was arguing with me.

I was in no mood to get cheated. So I went to the nearby police pit and informed the police officers stationed there. A constable came and started speaking to the auto driver in Kannada (the local language), and to my shock he says, “Sir it’s ok, you might be mistaken, please give the balance and let’s close the matter.”

I was totally pissed off, even my GF started arguing with the police guy and said fk him. Even if we miss the flight, we are not going to pay him a single rupee besides the fare, today we are gonna take our balance money back.

Now the major part, our military training .

Till then I hadn’t told the police guy that I am a Naval officer .

I pick up my phone, muted the ringtone and pretended to call my friend in the Navy. (I made sure the police guy and the auto guy could clearly hear me).

Conversation went like this:

Me: Jai Hind! This is Lieutenant Mathew, could you please connect me to the military Intelligence department.

(By this time the police guy started “sir sir wait sir”, I simply brushed him aside)

After about 20 seconds I pretended to talk to someone from military Intelligence.

Me: Jai Hind, Sir this is Lieutenant Mathew from 300 squadron Navy. Sir I am calling from Bangalore Airport. The driver of the auto which I boarded possesses some confidential military documents, and I suspect he is into some illegal business which can breach national security.

While talking over phone I took out my Gen Form (It’s an official document we all military guys get while on leave, its nothing just a document stating so and so officer is on leave from so and so date) and flashed it to the auto driver and police guy.

I could see the fear on both their faces, the police guy went pale and was literally shivering and murmuring “Stop sir, stop sir”.

Conversation continues….

Me: Ok sir, ok fine I have a constable with me, but he is of no help. His name is…..looking at his name tag (he tried to hide with his palm)

Sir, his name is Constable “Vedalingam”.

Ok sir I will tell him to arrest this auto guy, if he doesn’t take appropriate action I will call u back in 2 minutes and you can send the IB guys posted here in the airport” and I disconnected.


Yes that was the reaction of the constable to the auto guy, and in 00.01 sec, a Rs. 500 note emerged from his shirt collar.

The auto driver started begging and holding my leg, constable continued hitting him, I also didn’t stop the I was enjoying it.

Now the constable turned to me and said pls tell ur military Intelligence guy that the matter has been sorted and it was not any confidential documents blah blah… I said ok that I will do ..but pls return me my exact balance. I don’t want all the Rs. 500 back…now this guy had some change inside his trouser secret pocket..ha ha

He paid me back the balance..and here we go and my girlfriend had something to laugh during the flight…but she was also amused with the way I handled it.


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