Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Wrong and The Right Airport (SLAM New Jersey, Post II)

The wrong airport: Yes with no car, no friends in the city who drives a car I went to, Newark International Airport, the wrong airport, in New Jersey, changing 5 trains which took over 3 hours. One of my darling friend joined me after the change of third train. Once we reached the airport, I got message from my darling friend that HE and the other celebrities most likely got into a private jet, and perhaps will not land in Newark, because no chartered plane lands there. Of course we could not be sure, but then one of the other celebrities and later HE HIMSELF, posted a picture on Twitter, posing in front of the private jet. So it was confirmed that they were taking a private jet. Now, which airport they'd land? We wouldn't know, but Newark most certainly not.

My darling friend, found an airport, Teterboro Airport, the right one, which is only for chartered planes and also very close to the venue. Now, this made sense to all of us, they were leaving Houston pretty late, so landing at an airport closer to the venue would perhaps be the most obvious move.
"Keep Calm and Watch Shah Rukh!"

But with no car and being pretty far from the right airport, my only option was to take a taxi there. I thought to wait and see if anyone from the team lands in Newark airport (the night before my darling friend and I tracked down all the incoming flights in Newark from Hoston) in the next flight that was scheduled to land not too long later. I assumed if any team members indeed come through Newark, I could try asking to confirm before actually going to Teterboro, because once there, I wouldn't be able to get back to Newark. Then the darling friend gave me some more info, I now had all the information I needed on the flight HE took, and yes now we were sure HE was landing in Teterboro. But before we left, some fans (2 of them, from Canada) came to wait next to us in Newark, and we knew they were fans, because well look at his sweatshirt (on the right): 

I shared the information with them, and yes I had to do some persuasion so they'd believe HE was indeed landing on the airport I was intending to go.

Now, I was the one with all the information, and they were the ones with the car, we made a good team. We headed toward the other airport, the right airport.

Headed to get a glimpse of the beloved... And perhaps that most desired "hug" I always wanted... And hand over to HIM the lovely messages and wishes from around the globe...

The right airportTeterboro airport was far, and took us 35 minutes to get there. It's not just like any other airport, it's strictly for chartered planes, with no sign of an entrance, no information desk, no terminals. The airport is in the middle of no where, looked and gave the vibe of a military camp. We were not sure if we'd be allowed inside. We went to a security in front of the first thing that looked like a gate. I had all the information on the plane (apparently the tail number is what they care for, which I, thanks to my darling friend(s), had). Now because I could provide a tail number (I mean how many passersby will have the tail number of a private jet scheduled for the airport), the security after some inquires let us in through the gate (yes it was a gate) saying we were at the right zone of the airport, i.e. the gate where the plane is supposed to arrive!

We were indeed at the right place!

We went in, fancy HIM fancy the airport HE arrives at. But just to be sure we went to the information desk inside to ask the lady if the plane was landing at that gate. The tail number I provided was not listed on her list of arrivals, so apparently they let us in because they thought we were taking the private plane with that tail number. We asked if the plane was arriving at any of the other zones, but they had no access to the arrival/departure list of the other areas. I was asked the name of the zone (e.g. we were at Signature) where the plane would arrive, but that I had no idea about.

The heart sank... Perhaps we were at the wrong place again...  Unsure if we will get to be at the right place at all...

But these ladies at the desk were so nice, they divided the zones among themselves, and each of them called a different zone to check if anyone had information on the arrival of the plane. The first one they reached said no, the second one said no, the third one said yes! Said YES! I was literally about to tear up. I will just take this moment to mention how amazingly nice some people can be, the two of them were clearly caught up with so much work but they took the time to help us out. And one of the ladies, perhaps saw it in my face, the excitement, the happiness or the teary eyes... She looked at me and wished me "good luck". We were also given direction to the right area, which was about two miles away.

Now imagine if we went there by a cab, we'd have been stranded there. Not one public vehicle was seen in that area, if I had to call a cab, it'd probably have been to take us back, not to go to another zone. Also going to that place in a cab would have been strange and very inappropriate. 

We then headed off to the other zone... The right airport... The right zone...

Again the security at the door needed to inquire us, he thought we were there to pick up the party of the arriving plane. We, were there, to pick HIM (and the team) up?! We told the security we were not there for pick up, but couldn't explain properly why we were there. He called inside, and for once we thought we would be sent back from the door. So close to destiny yet so far. But when he hung up, he said we could go in and if anyone inquires about our business there, we could say for pick up! Pick HIM up! :) I have so many people to thank, and this gentleman is one of them.

As we went inside, I went to the information desk again to double check, and the lady said yes the plane was coming there. The plane in which HE is, that'd be landing in less than an hour was going to land at the zone where I was...

We were overjoyed. The gate that was less than 15 feet away from me, in a matter of time HE'd walk in from there... It all seemed too good to be true...

The first time we went inside, we noticed one South Asian guy sitting (waiting?) inside. The shock on his face when he saw us was apparent, but he didn't say anything. We were skeptical whether we wanted to talk to him or not, but in the end we did. I asked if he was there for the same flight as us, he said "yes", and it was not a nice yes. It was a very insecure, very uncomfortable yes. Instantly he asked us why we were there. We were not trying to pretend, so we said we were fans, and he replied "Okay, we might have to ask you to step outside once the security comes in", he got up and left, and not nicely.

The four of us went quiet, all the excitement started to fade away. Was it all really too good to be true? We thought it was okay if we are asked to step out, we could stand by the door outside, that shouldn't be a problem.

We waited. More of the organizers started to come in. The first guy must have mentioned us, because the way they all looked at us was not very pleasant. It was apparent on their face that they were wondering, what were we doing there? How did we get the right information? How can we be at the right place at the right time? After all we are just "fans", how can we be so right? And clearly they were not happy about it. It was so obvious more than anything else what really annoyed them was the fact that we had all the right information, and to just see us sitting there with them. After all we are just "fans", they are the organizers, the authorities. What gives us the right to sit in the same place as them, waiting for the plane with HIM (and team) to arrive.

The private security they hired came in, walked straight towards us, told us to step outside. We did as told. As I mentioned we wouldn't even mind waiting outside the door, we stepped out. The security came by, and told us to cross the road to other side and stand by the road divider.

The chances of getting the hug seemed very slim now, but atleast I could get a glimpse of the happiness... The happiness so close to me... And perhaps HE would even look at me and wave... And that would mean the world... That would mean everything...

There was a security standing next to us, who started talking to us. He thought it was amazing seeing people's love for HIM, and asked us to tell some more. We did. And because he was talking with us so much, one of the other securities was sent to call him back. Remember the insecurities I mentioned? We were not trying to befriend the security, we are fans, and we want the world to know about HIM. And ofcourse he couldn't have done anything, which the organizers wouldn't approve.

We stood there, waiting. Everytime some organizers arrived, we got that not so pleasant, not so welcoming look. Some of them wouldn't take their eyes off us, they could not just bear our presence there. Each of the organizers suited up like they were going for Academy Awards, and they were threatened by the four of us, one of whom wore a Kolkata Knight Riders jersey, and another a sweatshirt that says "Keep Calm and Watch Shah Rukh". There was about twenty of them and more of them coming in, and just the four of us.

After twenty more minutes, one of the private securities walked over to us and said we'd have to leave the airport premises. He further threatened us saying, they could do it nicely or get the port authority involved. Of course we were not there to create trouble, nor were we there for them to create trouble. The securities were merely doing what they were ordered by the organizers. It just amazes me how threatened the organizers felt of the four people standing outside. It was not a group of forty or hundred people, just us four.

It indeed was all too good to be true... We went to our car and drove outside...

Still had the gift and card (from everyone) on my hand, just incase...
We parked opposite the airport, which technically was not airport premises anymore. Crossed the road by foot, to ask that nice gentlemanly security guard if we could stand on the side he was at. He said we shouldn't, and added that there were orders from inside not to let us go in.

So we crossed back. We stood there on the other side of the road hoping we would wave at them when the cars pass by. I was hoping I'd atleast see HIM lowering down HIS window and wave, like HE usually does. That's me waiting outside the airport, and updating my darling friend(s)

I don't know which feeling was more extreme at that point, the sadness that I was so close to him but was pushed so far, the disappointment that I might not be able to deliver my gift or the love from across the globe in the card I was holding, or sorrow of the realization that now not just the hug but I might as well not be able to have a glimpse of HIM. To one extant it seemed surreal that after coming so close to the happiness, in one instance everything went wrong.

The plane delayed landing by an hour, while we waited outside the airport. It was a long wait, with no hope of things going right anymore. Once the plane landed, the cars started coming out. I thought to scream HIS name if I see HIM. In the first car, I saw Ravi (HIS security) in the front seat, so I screamed HIS name. The glasses behind were tainted, so I couldn't tell if HE was on the back or not. More cars passed by fast, now being me, my eyes and heart only looked for HIM, so I did not pay much attention on others. However, one particular person caught my attention who screamed and waved at us, finally some niceness. Boman Irani, won my heart, I (we) were desperately seeking for some niceness at that point, my heartfelt thanks to him for giving us that.

The cars left us behind in a matter of few seconds. Our next plan was to follow their cars. So we quickly got into ours, and headed off...

Didn't get the hug, couldn't give the gift or card, didn't even get a glimpse... now we were literally running after the happiness...

Till the next post...

PS. I'd say this was HIS "Main naa tera" moment no. 1... HE was trying too hard to get...


Darling friend(s):

*The one I have known the longest, and the one that is the craziest and loveliest: Rumana
*The one that was crazy enough to come with me to the airport, and supported me every second. And yes the only one I could've asked to accompany me: Anisha
*The one that barely knows me, yet helped and supported like we have known each other forever. Yes I now call her my friend: Luna
*The one that reminded me to breathe, and supported me throughout: Maliha

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