This Mumbaikar recruits ‘X sleuths’ to get back his Airpod lost in Kerala from Goa

09:55 AM Jan 06, 2024 | PTI |

When Nikhil Jain, a social media marketing professional from Mumbai, lost his Airpod while vacationing in Kerala, he knew that his case was more for the sleuths of the social media than the police.


His faith in social media was not misplaced.

In just a day, with the help of X (formerly Twitter) members, Jain managed to track down the person who took the expensive earphones to his house in Goa and convinced him to give them back. Now, two weeks later, he finally managed to collect his device from a Goan police station.

“The incident happened inside a national park in Kerala, I left my Airpod in a bus there. I waited for the bus to come back and realised that someone took them. There was no signal inside, so I had to leave the area to track the device. And when I finally did, it was already on the move, and was in another national park about 40km from where I was. But the next day I could track it to a hotel nearby,” Jain told PTI.

Jain said he then approached the hotel along with the Kerala police, but they could not do much as the location did not pinpoint to any exact room and the hotel authorities refused to help further citing client privilege.


“So, I watched my device travel through Mangalore to Goa. When it stayed put in Goa, I figured the person is from there,” said Jain, co-founder of Stonks Studio, a social media content agency.

On December 21, 2023 Jain (@niquotein) posted on X along with location coordinates: “I recently lost my new airpods in kerala and this ** person is travelling with it. the person is in south goa since 2 days, so I’m guessing they live there. does anyone here live around dr. alvaro de loyola furtado road in south goa? rt for reach, etc (sic).” ** The sleuths from X took over. Within minutes, user @ItsMeAshwin12 posted the picture of the house with the help of Google Street Map along with the message, “Airpods are in this house, Twitter, do ur thing and go get them (sic).” While most jumped into the conversation to discuss technical details of tracking Airpods, a day later, the X post reached a target close enough – the neighbour’s relative.

Edward Mascarenhas (@Kooledd) posted on December 22, 2023: “My relatives stay exactly there and I sent them the deets. They mentioned their neighbors did go to Kerala recently (sic).” He then followed it up with another post: “So they got in touch with them and they mentioned they’ll drop it off at Margoa police station (sic).” “By December 22 evening, the device was at Margoa police station,” Jain told PTI.

Jain said he then called the police station. “They confirmed that the device was indeed with them,” added Jain.

Now, the only thing remaining for him was to collect it. “Many from X, of course, volunteered. But my friend and former colleague, Sanket (@iamsexified) chipped in, saying he will be going to Goa in a few days, so I decided to wait for him to collect the device,” said Jain.

Finally, last night, Jain posted in X, with a picture of Sanket triumphantly holding the device: “CAN U BELIEVE!!? thank u to angel sanket, goa police, kerala police, twitter, find my feature, twitter and everyone who replied to this tweet! what a beautiful story. what a community-like feeling. world is so big and yet small (sic).”

The original post, which saw 1.2 million views, became a target for some new-age guerrilla marketing too. Within a few hours of the post, Ather Energy (@atherenergy) jumped in with an offer: “There’s a fully charged, mission-ready Ather 450X waiting for you at Margoa. Over and out.”

A Bengaluru-based bakery went a step further to cash in on the buzz. It quickly opened X account, @bitesofben48552, on the same day, and posted its offer: “We’ve just joined @X to inform you that we’re dispatching a package of quick bites to ensure you’re fueled for your crucial mission. Hopefully, we’re not late. Kindly share your address, and we’ll deliver it from Bengaluru to your doorstep.” Jain said although he or Sanket did not use any of these offers, the thought counted. “It made me feel good about the entire incident. Although initially I was pissed off with the person who walked away with my Airpod, I am grateful that they went to the police station and handed over the device. They could have easily chucked it somewhere and that would have made it a lot more complicated,” said Jain.

As if to prove his point, another X user, Ritesh Ambastha (@riteshambastha) posted: “I’ve lost the Airpod in the house I’m living in; and it’s been 3 months I’m looking for it. I wish you the best (sic).” Jain’s story is also proof that persistence pays. X user Himanshu Gupta (@himanshu_gg), recalls how he too lost one of his buds in Kerala while he was travelling in July last year, but didn’t think to mobilize X to get it back then. Although, he posted in X with the coordinates when it happened, he just gave up with a “I knew I will loose it someday, but not like this (sic)” and instead started canvassing for some “hidden gems” to visit in Kerala from X users.

Jain said he kept at it because he kept thinking what a story it would be to tell his children if he did find them through X. “It worked out in the end. And I am happy and grateful,” said Jain.


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