The following sentence is from 'Rickshaw Kindness' in Reader's digest, August.2018. I am confused with the use of the possessive 'my' in the sentence. Please explain it to me.

The driver apologised, saying that he had to call on the help of this lady to use my mobile to return the call.

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    Can you give more detail about the specific source of your confusion? For instance, do you think the sentence should be saying her mobile instead? – Jason Bassford Aug 28 '18 at 2:35

Based on a clarifying comment, the question is why my phone is being used instead of his phone.

A clue to what's going on can be seen when looking at the sentence in the context of the story itself.

A link to Jennifer Cardoza's article "Rickshaw Kindness: Simple generosity can mean the world" shows that the story is written in the first person.

Here are the second and third paragraphs of the story:

I left my apartment carrying two bags, a handbag and a lunch bag, and boarded an autorickshaw passing nearby. As I walked to the bus stop, I realised I had only my lunch bag – I had left my handbag, containing two ATM cards, a new mobile phone and a sizeable amount of cash, in the autorickshaw!

It took me a few seconds to calm down. Here I was – without so much as a single cent to pay for my bus fare, no mobile to call for help and not a Public Call Office in sight. My work phone number was stored in my mobile so I couldn’t even ring to tell them about my predicament. To add to my woes, I did not have the key to my apartment either. I felt as though I was blindfolded in the middle of a forest.

Accessing the complete story, including the example sentence, requires signing up for an account on the website. But I don't believe I need to do that.

From the context, I either know or am assuming several things:

  • Reader's Digest normally has autobiographical stories submitted by its readers. So, it's likely that the protagonist in this story is Jennifer Cardoza herself.
  • Jennifer forgot her handbag in the back seat of a rickshaw.
  • The use of my mobile in the example sentence refers to the mobile belonging to Jennifer—which is in her handbag.
  • At some point in the story, Jennifer must call the rickshaw driver from some other phone to inquire about her lost handbag.
  • Also at some point, somebody calls her—but the call goes to her mobile, still in the rickshaw.
  • Another lady must have become a passenger in the rickshaw.
  • In order for Jennifer to get back in touch with whoever called her mobile (still in the rickshaw), she tells the driver to instruct the new passenger to return the call.
  • In order to return the call, the new passenger must use Jennifer's lost phone.

This is why my phone is being used, not his phone.

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