Tuesday, July 17, 2012

With a Cricket Legend at Airport

Great to be back home, after a week away 'on work' !  
Not work, in its sense the corporate world considers work, but my own definition, within my 'third innings' phase :)
Amchi Mumbai rocks !! At its best during monsoon...

As I drove to the airport, at Blore, I was happy to note the difference in the landscape, already, post few good showers. 
Thank God, for the showers...pray, let more torrential-type come down...

The idea of having airport so far away from city has its own advantages & disadvantages. As I took the route via Budigere ( or Mudigere?), I thought...till couple of years ago, that belt, especially areas around Devanahalli, would have been like thousands of remote, Indian villages. But, now they will see so many vehicles & passenges passing by, always in a hurry to reach airport. 
I was no exception, as I pushed taxi-driver to press accelerator more, as I was taking no chances of delayed arrival at airport & refusal to board by Jet Airways. 

As I moved up the elevator in Blore airport ( escalator-area under renovation.... already !), I saw the cricket legend coming toward the elevator. I hoped, he travelled by Jet, same flight I was to take. 

On an earlier flight to Mumbai, I got in early & as always, had a sound sleep, most of the flight. But when we waited for arrival of buses at Mumbai, another passenger form the same first row (all-economy flight!), but on the other side of aisle, caught my attention! As all the passengers waited, Jet Airways was taking a VIP passenger in a special vehicle, ahead of us, mortals :)

A fellow passenger, standing next to me commented to Jet-staff, 'you give preference to a cricket legend, when one of greatest scientists sitting patiently just two rows behind'. I looked behind, there was the familiar face, of a great scientist. Jet Airways staff gave some feeble response!

I thought, the legend may travel in the same flight with me to Mumbai ! "High hopes", kid would have added :)

I politely subjected myself to the security check, something I always do in fond-rememberance of my late father, who was a career-fauji, an exemplary one that too. This is not a child saying, 'my father greatest'. But a seasoned corporate-executive with over 20 yrs experience ! 

Suddenly, I saw the Legend was right behind me. As I stepped down from the pedestal, I saw the security staff asking the legend to put his wallet on the x-ray machine - and the latter was not really enjoying, neverthless complying, quickly. There was an element of speed in all his actions, a sense of urgency, I felt. For a legend in his 'third innings', ( or 'second innings' as per the cricket world), I felt he was in too much hurry. But then, I was in a hurry to take a quick bite before the flight, having not 'broken' my fast till noon !!

Just for records, this legend called it a day, few days after I called it a day. Couple of friends made comparisons of the timing.... but all similarities end there. 

As I picked up my Macbook from the tray, the legend was next to me, picking up his wallet from the tray, right next to mine. Then he took his tray & placed it on my empty tray and placed it on the x-ray machine.

I was relly impressed by this gesture. Usually we would at best take our stuff and walk away. But, the legend went a step beyond. 

As I collected my bag with couple of books, pulled out wallet, pen etc from laptop bag & put laptop in the bag, I saw him proceeding towards the book-shop, 'Crossword'. I thought may be he wanted to check if his recently-released book was on display or might check the reponse to it... :)

As my stomach was protesting, I proceeded to the other end, ordered for a mysore sada dosa. It was while having the delicious dosa, I realized 'I did not say a customary thank you' :(

I could have spoken to him. Also, given him reference of a 'mutual friend', in case he was in no mood for a conversation. 

Second time/flight unlucky... At least next time I will carry a copy of TIMELESS STEEL & may be just say 'hi', without interefering with his thoughts & quick movements !

Proud of you, Rahul Dravid. Not for the 'tray-incident' @ airport, but the value-system you represent. God Bless

No comments: