As I stepped into the office of Srilakshmi, she greeted me with a wide smile. Her first question to me was about my Hyderabad trip. I was so excited for it and everyone in my world knew and it was natural that she asked about it. I smiled back and said it was great except that my dream of meeting my idol /crush still remains a dream.
After that brief discussion about my dream boy, we got down to business. She was organizing a mega event to raise funds for the benefit of the kids in the home. She mentioned that she needs our support and volunteers to manage the event which was due in 3 weeks. I assured our support and spoke to my organization to get the approval for the same.
So with all set, we started working on the weekends to make this event a success. The event was planned to showcase the skills and talent of the kids from our NGO. Srilakshmi ma’am was working on roping some big celebrity as a chief guest so we get more attention to our event. The bigger the attention, the greater the help and support for the NGO.
I was coordinating with the 50 volunteers from our office who were supporting on the event day. Assigning tasks, managing the crowd, helping kids getting ready for the event, etc were all happening simultaneously.
It was the day before the big event, all of us from the core event management team gathered for one final check on the arrangements. About 15 of us were discussing the details and ensuring we had everything in order and control. While we knew all the details, the chief guest information was still a suspense. I asked Srilakshmi ma’am about the same to which she winked at me and said it’s a surprise. Most of the events would involve some local politicians so I didn’t pay too much attention. My focus was to get my volunteers group organized and ensure we do great as a team. We wrapped up late in the evening, all tired and excited as well for tomorrow.
The D-Day arrived. Srilakshmi ma’am called me in the morning informing that I have to help her near the stage facilitating the chief guests. My original task was to be in the green room with kids ensuring they are on time for their show. I was a little hesitant to be near the stage and when I sounded the same, she insisted and said I would thank her later for this task.
It was a Sunday afternoon and the venue was bustling with crowd. The hall was overflowing with the parents, friends and families of the kids. I met with Srilakshmi ma’am and then did my rounds to ensure all the volunteers had everything in control. The program was supposed to begin at 2 PM. We were all set and I prayed for the success of the event with my team.
The stage was set, we had the NGO board members seated. Five minutes to start and I started panicking as the chief guest was still not in. I asked ma’am about the same and she told me he has arrived already and will come to the stage the moment we begin. So I was relieved of the tension. As the clock struck 2 PM, the event began with a welcome song by the kids and Srilakshmi ma’am welcomed the honorable guests thanking for their time and support towards the organization. I was standing near the stage with the flower bouquets to greet the chief guests of the event. She began introducing and that moment when she uttered his name, my jaws dropped, I was dumbstruck while the auditorium filled with claps, screams, whistles and name chanting. It was all familiar, someone really tall walked past me to the stage.
It was like a dream, I saw him walking majestically, waving hands to the audience, smiling as ever and looking like a demi god. I forgot where I was or what was happening. Someone behind me pushed me to go on to the stage to hand over the bouquet to him. I had a look on my face that was beyond any explanation. He winked and smiled at me, shook my hand and my whole body was trembling and hand shaking. He held my hand couple more seconds than normal and gave me a look assuring me that I would be fine. He came close to my face, as if hugging and whispered in my right ear, “You are doing fine, darling”. He must have thought I was nervous for the program. If only he knew what was going on in my mind. I walked back to the crease as if I just came out of a dream with a goofy smile, and face as red as smeared with blood. It seemed like a magical fairy tale.
He was clad in a white shirt and brow
n pants, and black shoes. His simple dressing, unkempt hair, and usual watch on the left hand wrist, everything was how I had imagined him. It was the same casual look that I had devoured so many times. In his speech he opened with his usual greet – “Hi Darlings”. He appreciated the NGO for the work they are doing for the special children and wished them the best. I was just staring at him all the while like a teenager. The program began and one by one the group of kids performed on the stage. He was seated in the front row with his warming smile watching them perform, and cheering them. For a star who is so busy and famous normally who wouldn’t spend that much of time in such functions, but he was different.
As the program was coming to end, Ma’am asked me to check if he wanted to leave early to avoid all the fan mob later, I went by to his seat. When I asked him if he would like to leave early from the back door, he said he was enjoying the show and wanted to be there for the kids. I just fell in love with him all over again for the millionth time. I smiled, thanked him for his time and came back to see the event proceedings. He seemed to have observed me and my looks going back to him while I was managing the kids. Whenever he caught my eyes, he would smile and I would shudder out of excitement, and shy.
After an hour and half, the event got over and Srilakshmi ma’am held my hand and dragged me to him when he was leaving. She spoke to him while I stood behind and like I was in my own trance seeing him so close to me, I didn’t pay much attention to what they were talking. I wanted to fill my eyes, heart and soul with him and trying to capture everything in my memory.
After they finished speaking, ma’am turned to me and said please go with him till his car and send him off. I was in the air amidst the clouds floating, knowing I get to say good bye to him. I wanted to use that few minutes of walk from the auditorium to the car to tell how I love him, adore him and how big a fan I was, narrate my efforts of meeting him and what not. It was like a war of words in my mind and I could hear my heart beats racing, thoughts jumping and naughty mind ahead of me. He smiled and asked me if we can leave, I simply smiled and followed him to the car.Started thinking how to initiate the talk.
Darn it! I never thought it was this difficult for someone who speaks non stop. I had become dumb struck, in awe of him and lips all dry. I had to act fast, else he will leave soon…”What do I do?”
“Think fast”….my heart was yelling at my mind.
………To be continued….