TV actor Saumya Tandon, best known for playing Anita Bhabhi in Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hain, was recently robbed by her cab driver during her trip to Istanbul.
Saumya said, “I had gone to shop from the grand bazaar and after that had a Turkish bath so was feeling relaxed. I was on my way to Karakoy for dinner. I took a taxi from the street. I noticed that the taxi meter was not on the mirror, a norm here (in Istanbul), but the driver said this was normal. Soon I was absorbed in the scenic beauty and when my stoppage came, he stopped the car in the middle of the road and asked me to pay up. He told me he had to rush for his Ramzan prayer and started scolding me for taking time to find the change.”
She further said, “When I asked him to show the meter, he showed me some other meter and it said 50 lira ( twice the normal fare). When I gave him the money, he returned it and said it was ‘wrong money’. As the currency is new and in Turkey both euro and lira work, I thought he wanted euro so I opened my purse which had my euros. But before I could realise what happened, he put his hand inside my purse and started telling me something which I didn’t understand.”
“When I asked him to wait and not put his hand inside my wallet and he started screaming and pointing to everyone, honking as he stopped the car in the middle of the road. He also created kept pointing to the watch and hinting prayer time for Ramzan,” she added.
Saumya said the driver took 1,000 euros from her: “When he left, I checked my wallet and realised that he had taken a thousand euros from there while he distracted me with the honking and shouting. It was very disturbing but the incident has made me wiser and more cautious.”
Asked if she contacted the police, Saumya said, “Police couldn’t help me because I didn’t have the receipt of the travel, so no license plate number. The lesson for all tourists travelling is always take the taxi receipt for safety.”
“But there is a bright side to every thing. Bow I am travelling in trams. I made an Istanbul card. It’s so much more fun, safe and I get to know more about the city through its local transport. In fact, in the tram yesterday I met an Indian origin group who are big fans of Bhabhiji even though they barely spoke Hindi, and clicked pictures with me on the way,” she said.
Saumya is holidaying in Istanbul and will return to Mumbai on June 14.