Travel by Kingfisher Red a couple of times,I bet you wouldn't feel comfortable in a national carrier like AIR INDIA.But,if it's the only flight available at that instant of time,you wouldn't mind swiping your VISA credit card at a cash counter where "Bon Voyage" is wished with almost no movement of facial muscles by a sari-clad woman who is usually as old as your elder sister's married friend's mother.Well,who doesn't like svelte figures in micro-minis?
Air India's service is pathetic-No second opinion to that-But,when you own an Apple product or any equivalent,you wouldn't bother even if it were a five-hour journey.
It becomes even more interesting if your neighbor,the aisle passenger,is a woman in a chiffon sari and is breathtakingly beautiful.To me,she's beyond the list of adjectives I had once mugged up to describe women of her kind.And according to the odds that I had established statistically,she could hardly possess the kind of wisdom that a man would be jealous of.
In India, where the dogma:"Maintain a light year distance from men" still prevails,Gauri had the nerve to start the conversation.After we shared a few light moments,she told me a story.
And the story of this journey is the tale I want to recount today.
"You see that old man in seat 24C.He looks more like veteran B'wood actor Dilip Kumar,doesn't he?"
Gauri was right.Indeed he was a doppelganger of Dilip Kumar.
"You see,this man reminds me of something profound.",Gauri said enthusiastically.
"During his hey-days,they say Dilip ji always chose the fastest and costliest mode of transport.I don't remember the place to which he was travelling but I'm sure it was a flight journey and it was business class.Like any other actor of his stature,he too was a natty dresser and craved for attention.The business class didn't disappoint him.Some said 'Salam',while others greeted him with genial smiles as he came back from the restroom.Dilip ji reacted accordingly.After all,he's an actor.He sat down and grabbed the daily.The stewardess served food.But,Dilip ji was piqued because his neighbor didn't give him the respect he deserved.The passengers say that he was restless for quite some time.His neighbor was calm and reading the newspaper.They say Dilip ji's neighbor never displayed any emotions while reading the newspaper until he(Dilip ji) introduced himself.
"I'm Dilip Kumar.I'm an actor."
"Haan.I know you."The old man replied."I've seen your movies ...Nadiya ke par ,Aan , Jugnu..Aap bahut achi acting karte hain."
Now that Dilip Kumar's ego was satisfied,he started talking about his movies to pass time. He spoke as to How tiresome the shoots were,how they finance movies,how they raked in huge profits,why people like him and finally about his stardom.In short,he told him all that you would like to know if you met him.People say he even revealed some of the contemporary B'wood secrets.
The flight landed.Before he bade goodbye,Dilip Kumar thought it would be rude on his part if he didn't ask the old mans name.
"Saab,Mein toh Bhool hi gaya.Aap ka naam kya hain?",he asked respectfully.
"Mera naam Ghanshyam Das hain.Log pyaar se G.D.Birla bulate hain."
"What ?? He was G.D.Birla??? And what happened after that" I asked her eagerly.
"Yeah..It was G.D.Birla himself.Well,I've no clue about that.But if I were him,a mild stroke would've definitely ensued."Gauri said in a mocking tone.
She continued,"Now that you've listened to the story so patiently,I would like to tell you something more.
Don't surmise that your co-passenger is a jerk or a lame guy just because he's not rummaging through his backpack for his MACBook or updating his Facebook status via a smartphone or flaunting his swanky electronic gadgets. He might as well be a billionaire.And who knows he might be contemplating over a 100 cr project deal!
You see,looks are deceptive!"
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