Even though Gandhiji had made it a fashion statement for half naked men to go out in Khadi, sixty five years into independence the new generation sometimes cannot hide its mirth at seeing the country aspiring for Digital India with men still latching on to old fashion. In my new found maturity and control, I have been trying to laugh off such laughing episodes even if at my expense! When a young girl in resplendent clothes standing under the Labour statue (ironically, with half naked men straining at physical labour!) burst out into laughter at my attire, I smiled back at her and told her to ask her parents to take her to see Gandhi statue further down Marina Beach and tell her the story of Gandhi’s vow at Madurai. I am still looking for her since that encounter to see if she has been sensitized to Gandhi’s gear.
I sometimes cross celebrities during my morning run and for fear of rejection do not initiate conversation with them. Today when I was into my second loop from Lighthouse, just after crossing Netaji statue, I thought I saw comedian actor Vivek! Now, I am a huge fan of his, but, having crossed him after a brief hesitation, I thought he also showed some interest (could it be my gear!). I steeled myself and retraced my steps to talk to him. I found him also coming towards me. He initiated the conversation that he would like to speak to me. I was gushing like a star struck teenager who is tongue tied in the presence of its heartthrob. I recovered quickly and said that he can, but, only after I have asked him my questions. Next few moments it was a flurry of talk from me on how big fan I am of his vivek-ful comedy and how he has single handedly raised the standard of comedy in Tamil movies. In the process his questions about my running (particularly barefoot!) went largely unanswered. He obliged me with a snap with him which I am inserting to buttress my claim.
He asked his colleague to take my mobile number so that he could Whatsapp the photos to me. I had the presence of mind to tell him that I am smart, but, do not have a smart phone (now how is that for a joke on Vivek, we laughingly call such instances as ‘Hanuman ke High jump_aaa’!). I think I will be able to have normal conversation with him if and when I get to meet him again!
I was flying in my run after this encounter and took timeout when I crossed Sundar Purush to tell him the story. It took me a greater part of the rest of the run to get back to ground. I was an instant hit with my daughter and wife when I told them of this encounter. To think that I was in half a mind to bunk my run today! I am excluding other regular features in this post (including Biscuit’s antics!) to my subsequent posts.