I dragged myself to office that morning after sleepily dragging myself from the bed for solid one hour, snoozing the alarm twenty times. Anticipating a totally uninteresting day, I settled with my machine to complete the application which I had been again dragging for more than a week now. With some motivation, or irritation rather, I managed to wrap it up for good…phew! Within an hour or two since I commenced work, I saw my team-mates gathering around. Like a lightening bolt, I remembered our manager’s invitation for a lunch treat at Marriott, one good reason which normally gets me enthused. But on that day, I was crest-fallen. Having prided myself as a good gourmet, how could I possibly relish the flavors when my tongue refused to sense anything but a bland feel, thanks to that dreadful cold again. I was glad when my team’s good work and awards of recognition last quarter had aroused my manager’s generosity, but why should I be so unprivileged to miss out a treat at a five-star restaurant which usually is out of my budget. So again, I allowed myself to be dragged along with all others. What a dragging day!
Marriott, no doubt lived upto my expectations, a proper five star hotel as it should be. Yellow lights generally does the magic of creating a rich surrounding which tube light fails to do. The restaurant was glowing elegantly with yellow lights (though I don’t understand its purpose on a broad daylight). Air conditioned atmosphere instigated another “Achhuu” which I carefully suppressed to prevent the waiter taking me for a country girl. After taking so much pains, I vowed to curse the whole damn world if the food wasn’t promising. Somehow, Marriott chefs didn’t give me a chance to do that. After three helpings of everything displayed on the buffet, I was in a dilemma whether to hold on to my determination of no-ice-cream-today or to yield in to temptation. The ice cream counter was too much to resist any temptation. Inspite of my cold, which I comfortably forgot at the sight of food, I indulged myself in a full four course meal.
One of my colleagues nudged me asking if I had seen Yuvan Shankar Raja. He pointed towards another table at the other side and my gaze followed. Yes, there was Yuvan Shankar Raja, music director, son of a legend, Illayaraja, sitting among his friends and having his lunch much like a simple college student (Now don’t ask me which ‘simple’ college student eats at 5 star hotels. The previous line was just to emphasis that he was very much down to earth). A few of my team mates noticed too but nobody was reacting. Either they found it silly and childish to hype about a celebrity or they got used to seeing celebrities around in Chennai or they simply didn’t dare. Whatever, I couldn’t control bubbling from within. Not that I am a die-hard fan of Yuvan…just that he was a celebrity and that is more than sufficient reason to boast among my cousins and family when I go home this weekend.
I was frantically searching for a paper to get his autograph. Damn the star hotel which has no papers in need except for tissue papers… tissue papers are for different needs and I definitely didn’t want to humiliate Yuvan by stretching it to him to sign :-> I mustered all the charm that I could manage out of that cold-affected-pitable-face of mine and walked up to him to request him for a photograph. He complied so obediently that I was even tempted to try commanding him :-> He was very short in height, shorter than the shortest member of my team and I judged him to be a reserved person. I didn’t remember any of his latest work or could re-collect his earlier masterpieces at that moment to appreciate him. So, all I could do was tell him that we were from iNautix which he might have probably guessed from our ID tags still hanging around our necks.
He posed for us, a few of us took snaps with him and dismissed him after his use for us was done :-> I wonder what he must have commented on us when he returned back to his table to join his friends. Who cares! I definitely didn’t care…now I have proof and that’s enough. I was visualizing the oohs and aahs from my cousins when I show them the snap and was trying to make out a story to supplement it…something like Yuvan actually had lunch with us. Wow, I would be the centre of their attraction while they interview me all about it. I wished my cold was not evident on the snap. I wished I had worn a better salwar. I wished so many things but the wishes of the cam in my mobile was all so cruel.
The snap was taken indoors and my mobile didn’t support a flash…result is that blurred snap you see above. Still, for all my efforts, I want it to be well-paid. Hence, I boldly, loudly announce everyone out there “The snap above certainly has Yuvan in it (second from the left) and I am posing at the rightmost end”. Feeling a little better after the self-publicity, I go on to hunt for the next celebrity that I could get hold of and next time, I’d pull him/her outdoors before asking them to smile please.