Yesterday’s 9.55am flight (Indigo) from Kolkata to Bangalore had a pleasant surprise for its passengers’ in store. That’s because we had the IPL team of Royal Challengers Bangalore as our co-passengers.
Starting from international star players like Yuvraj Singh and Muttiah Muralitharan to Parthiv Patel, Ashok Dinda, Mitchell Starc and Varun Aaron, I spotted quite a few of them.
Most of the passengers went crazy, clicking selfies and pictures of their wives and kids (who were made to stand beside the celebrity passengers). Some even abandoned the basic etiquette of requesting and taking permission from the cricketers before clicking with gay abandon.
I, for one, got autographs of 5 players (it surely did help to have Varun Aaron seated next to me, whom I asked and who agreed to get autographs of his and some of his teammates seated in the next two rows, for me). The images were clicked by another of my co-passengers on my request (I felt too shy to click myself, thinking I may irritate the players, most of whom looked tired and wanted just to have a good sleep on board the 2.5hrs flight).
Though I don’t follow the IPL, it was indeed an experience watching these guys from such close quarters, listening to their cricketing talks and being privy to some fun moments (one player disturbing the other’s sleep trying to tickle the nostrils with a piece of paper, a humorous discussion of the difference between a tiger and liger, etc).
Despite the frenzy surrounding them and complete loss of privacy, these cricketers smiled and allowed almost everyone to click pictures/selfies and get autographs. I had been to Eden Gardens for a few times in the past but never did I have the chance to witness such a close company of those, whom we called our “Cricketing Gods”.
Phew! What an amazing experience I had!