Catching a glimpse of a celebrity is a perk of Air travel. I too had my fair share of this perk. I was once even puzzled that why ACP Pradyuman did not recognize me after so much of acquaintance, before I realized that it’s just me who knows him and not the other way! Saina Nehwal stood face to face on a airport bus ride. I found myself with Manisha Koirala at enquiry counter of an airline at Delhi airport. She looked more beautiful than on the screen, so I was even wondering if I have mistaken someone to her, only till the airlines staff called her saying, “Ms. Koirala, ….”. Anil Kapoor, Naseeruddin Shah, Hema Malini were also sighted, to name some more.
It has always been difficult for me to decide what should I do when I see a celebrity. Go and say that I recognized them or take a secret selfie? And then there is the fear of rejection! Once I found myself walking by side of Rahul Dravid from airplane to the terminal at Hyderabad. My heart came to my mouth just to ask him if he was Rahul Dravid. He nodded in affirmation, we shook hands with smiles and he disappeared in the rest room of the terminal.
Once when I was waiting for my flight to Nanded from Mumbai, I unexpectedly had a celebrity encounter. Movie and TV actress and, of late, Bigg Boss Marathi fame, Resham Tipnis was also waiting for the same flight. She had chosen to stroll in the aisle of the waiting area at the gate with phone in her hand. I stood up from my seat a couple of times to go and greet her but slumped back in the end. As usual I just decided to forget it and got back to my Kindle.
After few hours of delay the flight was announced and we were asked to board the airport bus. As usual staying clear of that first burst of rat race, I got much behind into the queue. When I finally got into the bus, it was totally full with sitting and even standing people, except one seat. Guess which one – beside Ms. Tipnis! It looked like the universe was conspiring to break my jinx. I darted swiftly to that empty seat and asked her if I could take it. She welcomed it with a smile, “Of course!” While making myself comfortable in the seat I could not avoid looking at disappointed faces around me.
It was not over yet as my next worry was what do I speak. I took more time than what was needed but finally spoke about her charming presence in the Big Boss Marathi season 1 and how she was a strong candidate which I had genuinely felt. She thanked me and very soon we started talking about the housemates of the then ongoing season of Bigg Boss. We endlessly spoke, including what was her visit for. And just before getting down, I even asked if I could take a selfie and she happily obliged. Although, even after a couple of attempts, I could not match her 70 mm smile. It seems that, be it with a layman or with a celebrity the key to a good communication is – be yourself and be honest.