A case of mistaken identity

RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE

Last summer, we decided to get respite of the scalding heat by vacationing in a cooler place. Perchance, whenever we choose to go on a trip, we are often in odd numbers and I end up on a separate seat.

As I was destined to occupy the odd seat, I held a book in my hand and looked around. To my surprise, I noticed that many of my fellow travellers were carrying iPods and had earphones plugged to their ears. Most of them were even wearing goggles.

As everyone settled at their respective seats, I thought I would relish the joy of solo journey with no one sitting next to me.

As soon as I started reading the book, I was lulled to a balmy sleep. But a mild movement in the side seat moved me out of my nap. Somebody had settled quietly by my side. “Hi, I am Teena. I hope you don’t mind me sitting next you,” my co-passenger said gently.

“It is my pleasure,” I responded.

Surprisingly, the flight’s senior air hostess turned out to be my classmate. When she saw me she came up to me and mischievously said, “Have a nice journey, sir.” In the same breath she informed my seat-mate that I was a famous personality. 

My seat-mate then scanned me and said, “I have seen you somewhere”. I told her that I was a small-time writer. She exclaimed with utmost surprise, “Oh! I recognise you. You are an author of international acclaim. I have read your columns in various newspapers and have also read your books. I am blessed to sit beside you.”

Before I could correct her that it was a just case of mistaken identity, she continued incessantly, “I have seen you on various TV channels.” I was beginning to feel embarrassed.

“But I don’t remember your full name. As far as I can remember you are Bhagat,” she said. I jocularly replied, “Yes, I am a Bhagat of God.”

I knew it was a case of mistaken identity. “But with whom?” I started guessing who could it be.

The plane was going to land and she took out a novel. “Mr Bhagat, look this is your novel, Half Girl Friend — an emotional novel.” It then dawned upon me that she confused me with Chetan Bhagat. The plane had landed in the meantime. I walked out hurriedly to disappear in the crowd.

Anyway, thank you, Chetan Bhagat!

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