This is by no means the only Bollywood-meets-Alcohol story! It seems this is a janam janam ka rishta!
The last flight for the day on a busy domestic route was very popular with celebrities. It was almost like a commute for some of them. For a short period, it became a weekly commute for me too. Celeb spotting was at its peak around this time but lost much of its initial charm mainly because it happened every time! Rajesh Khanna & family, Varun Gandhi, the Khans, various cricketers with their Bollywood arm-candies was all roz-ka!
Among the exceptions was this stunning lady who used to be something of a item in the 80’s (or was it the 70’s? I forget). She has lost none of her innocent good looks and is still quite a stunner! On most of the flights, she could be heard sharing beauty secrets with her co-passengers, also from the Page 3 circuit. On one such flight, Business Class on the 737-900 was less crowded than normal. I was in 4D while she was in 4A with 4B in between vacant. She turned down the offer for dinner and instead asked the FA to get her some coke after takeoff. One thing was sure – that medicine bottle she had retrieved from her handbag did not contain Dettol! So while the rest of us were having our dinner, madam was having her own little party in the sky! 😛 The FA’s clearly knew what was up but didn’t bat an eyelid! They even bought the star some munchies from the galley! Madam saw me looking as she was pouring herself another small and realized her game was up! The khadus looks I got from that babyfaced superstar after that were something I tell you! But to her credit, she didn’t stop and she held herself well! Now this is an idea no? Carrying your stock in a Dettol bottle in your handbag!
The same late evening flight was the stage for many more encounters with celebs not just from Bollywood but politics and media as well. A popular news anchor getting a little too cosy with a young and upcoming politician was one such. Nothing too serious, but there is a line beyond which PDA might be considered noteworthy is what I am saying! Speaking of PDA, there was this Page 3 celebrity in his 50’s! Not sure what he does exactly, but we see him on debates on news channels off-and-on. On one occasion this gentleman thought it would be appropriate to snuggle into a vacant seat next to a hunky one-film wonder and play a little game of footsie. At one point, he proceeded to grab the chikna and plant atleast 2 kisses – one on each rosy cheek, even as the unfortunate sod tried to squirm away! Classic #CreepyUncle wala scene!
Then there was this woman who was something of a big item in the 90’s though I couldn’t stand any of her films. She has since married and is now playing house with a hunky superstar. But this woman sure could talk! While the plane was at the gate, or preparing for departure, She would chatter away on the phone oblivious to those around her, discussing details that many of us would be quite reserved about – Like investments in property around Noida/Ghaziabad! And she was LOUD! Wasn’t she worried about tax people listening in on her conversations?
But she was nothing compared to this other dancing queen of yesteryear. Now THAT woman can talk! Once she realized that her seatmate was a Maharashtrian, she got talking. And it was yakkity-yak-yak all the way to London! Never felt more relieved getting off a flight as on that occasion!
This last incident also happened around 2 years back. I was scheduled to take an early morning 6am flight out of Bangalore for Mumbai. Now we all hate these early morning flights, especially out of Bangalore since we have to check out of the hotel atleast at 4 if we are to make it in time! So it was on one such occassion, we had boarded and were awaiting pushback. There were just 2 of us in the business class section: myself in 2A and an old Bengali gentleman in 2F who looked like he had retired from Govt service. For some reason the flight was not pushing back despite all passengers having boarded. The Attendant told us twice it was an “ATC delay”.
Around 20 minutes after scheduled departure time a familiar looking face from TV and film runs in and takes his seat in 1F. Trackpants, rubber slippers, dishevelled hair – he looked like he had just been woken up to catch this flight. The doors were closed and we pushed back immediately – it was obvious the flight had been held for this one celebrity! After takeoff, our baba refuses his breakfast and instead asks for more orange juice and then some more! Clearly he is trying to erase a bad hangover. The trays were cleared and the FA’s retreat to the galley area in the front and close the curtains. Our man gets up, takes a look around the cabin, and retrieves his kit from the carryon bag along with freshly ironed clothes.
Leaving the clothes neatly folded behind on the seat, he goes into the washroom up front and returns 10 minutes later all cleaned up. Standing in front of his seat,he then takes off his tshirt, sprays on some deo and changes into a nice dress shirt. Startled, I instinctively look back to see if the curtain separating Business cabin from Economy was in place! When I turn my head again, baba had pulled of his trackpants as well and was changing into nicely tailored pants! The FA’s who were in the front galley area must have suspected something! ‘Cos I saw that curtain separate for a second and then come hurriedly back together again even as Baba was pulling up his pants! FA-aunty and her colleague had a full moon sighting that December morning! 😛 Our man was now completely dressed and ready to meet the parents so to speak! Well almost! ‘Cos he was “going commando”! 😛