Monday, 20 February 2012

 

Neverheardofya


A few months ago, I was on my way back to New York from an awards show in Toronto.

If you’ve travelled between these two cities, you know that you have to clear US immigration and customs at Toronto airport, itself, before you hand over your luggage and board your flight.

My manager was travelling with me and we had thought nothing of loading all our suitcases onto one trolley before joining the immigration and customs line at Pearson Airport.

I went through immigration first and, as I waited in the customs area, I saw an officer striding up to me.

She was a tiny, middle-aged lady with thick, coke-bottle glasses. Her hair was greased into a tight braid and her uniform, that already appeared to be a couple of sizes too large for her, was secured with such a huge, heavy belt that it made her look a bit like a child in a costume. What she lacked in height and heft, she clearly made up for in attitude and it was apparent she took her job very seriously.

As she approached, chin raised and chest puffed out, I noticed that she was also Indian, so I smiled and nodded, acknowledging our shared heritage, as one does when one encounters fellow countrymen on foreign shores.

But she was all business and was having none of it. Looking scrappy and annoyed, she motioned to me to move on through with a brusque wave of her hand.

“I’m just waiting for my luggage,” I explained, pointing to my manager who was in the process of his immigration formalities.

“Why’s he got ya luggage?” she bellowed.

I was slightly taken aback to hear a voice that big come out of a lady that little. Although she was of Indian descent, it was evident from her Caribbean accent that she was from The Islands.

“We’re travelling together. He’s my manager,” I elaborated.

“Ya manager?”

“Yes”

She took a moment to consider this.

“Ya a’ Bollywood star or sometin’?”

“Well, I’m an actor.”

“An actor?” she scoffed, “Really?”

She looked me up and down, disdainfully. “What’s ya name?”

“Rahul Khanna.”

“Rahul Khanna?”

“Yes ma…”

Before I could get out the ‘am of ma’am, she delivered her verdict:

“Neverheardofya.”

All one word. No pauses.

I wasn’t sure how to respond to this, so I just smiled and shrugged.

“So ya don’t carry ya own luggage? You make ya poor manager do it?”

“No ma’am. It’s not like that. We’re travelling together so we just put all our cases onto one cart.”

“Ya a Bollywood actor and ya can’t get two carts? They a’ only two dollars.”

“It’s a tough economy,” I joked.

She didn’t so much as crack a smile.

At this point, a junior officer, also Indian, who had been watching from the sidelines, came up and whispered something into her ear. Her face suddenly lit up.

“Is ya father Rajesh Khanna?”

“Er… no, ma’am.“

“No?” She shot her colleague a lethal glare.

“No ma’am. My father is Vinod Khanna,” I clarified.

“Vinod Khanna?”

“Yes. Vinod Khanna.”

She rolled her eyes.

“Neverheardofhim.”

At this point, I was fighting a losing battle against uncontrollable guffaws. Thankfully, my manager arrived just in time and we went through the customs procedures and on to the luggage-drop area. But, up until we had nearly reached our boarding gate, I could still hear her pontificating to her colleague in her booming voice.

“Hmmph! Bollywood actor… Neverheardofhim! Makes his manager wheel around his luggage… Neverheardofhim!”

60 comments:

  1. Awww i think she was jus messing around with you :) relax and take s chill pill :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. This reminds me of this incident when we arrived in Detroit when a colleague and I shared one trolley as we had less luggage and the lady at the customs thought we were married. After that always took an individual trolley. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. dontwannahearofher. :D

    ReplyDelete
  4. It is very funny and laughable story, I enjoyed this so much. ya ya ya :D

    ReplyDelete
  5. Very funny blog!! but Rahul, you do need to start acting in mainstream bollywood movies more.

    Even if some roles do seem out of your comfort zone!! I'm still disappointed with the fact that you are not in Housefull 2. Your presence itself would have been a Usp for the movie. take care

    ReplyDelete
  6. God Forgive her as she doesnt knw wat she hs missed out on all her life by NOT Knowing WHO Mr. Vinod Khanna is !! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. So funny LooooooooooooL

    ReplyDelete
  8. Well not everyone watches movies so I think it's fair.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow!you write so well and have a grt sense of humour about things around you...kudos to you! lovely blog..u shd be a writer :)....in anycase I feel you are very talented & the world has yet to give u your due :)...all the very best & god bless u!

    ReplyDelete
  10. :) Its ok Rahul , the best thing was you remained calm like a gentleman & did not try to give justification or proofs or pick a verbal dispute ,I like that :)

    Cheers,
    Jassi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SRK could've done that. #SELF-CAMPAIGN !!

      Delete
  11. You should asked her to google you. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. some spunk to put this down , kudos :)
    loved it totally.
    keep writing,cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL Your article brought smile, enjoyed it reading on a Manic Monday.
      Keep writing...

      Delete
  13. LOL Rahul ... it's all good. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh my god... wat awkwardness.. neverheardofbeingsfromplanetmars ...

    ReplyDelete
  15. Really funny !! Next time must carry a snippets of your movies on your Iphone !! :-))))

    ReplyDelete
  16. Apart from the funny side to this story, i wonder what you might be feeling in the very depths of your being ... hard it must have been i am sure.. !! but yeah, the officer's ignorance or lack of awareness made her miss sonmething really incredible !! :) :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. well, the sad part is - most fellow indians, act so shallow and stupid at airports, and more so with Indians, as if their local masters will fire them for being civilized with Indians - you find this in singapore, west, etc.

    good luck Mr Khanna!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I think its possible she knew who you were, but was just joking around LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Why don't you move all your previous blog posts here. There are more facets to a personality than just humour...

    ReplyDelete
  20. I think u r a fantastic writer. I just fail to understand thet how r single till date...........

    ReplyDelete
  21. U r amazing Rahul ..... U r writing is superb with each and every sentence u wrote while reading i felt may be i m standing near u on that airport and that lady officer is in front of me...So much of visualization there ...Keep On writing

    ReplyDelete
  22. I like good actors. I can see myself making an effort to be nice to them. I don't like "movie stars", I can't imagine going out of the way even to be nasty to them!

    Likewise, surely this woman didn't deserve a 579-words brilliantly & thoughtfully written piece? Makes me wonder if it pays to be mean!

    ReplyDelete
  23. That was very amusing. Well I must say, her loss!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Simultaneously hilarious & sad!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Simultaneously hilarious & sad!

    ReplyDelete
  26. hahahah.....hilarious...dont take offense..we know you.... :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hope U enjoyed this.. While it was happening..

    Most situations are only enjoyable in reflections..
    But your writing suggests u saw the humor even as it happened.. Even though the lady really doesn't realize what she really missed out on.. :)

    Also of course, Compliments on your writing.. reflective of the quality of your conversations somehow..

    ReplyDelete
  28. That country is full of ignorant people.
    The narration is good. You should publish a book of short stories, if you haven't so yet. Another ignorant!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Lovely story.

    Good to see our "Bollywood" star (Rahul) being so humble.

    ReplyDelete
  30. This is a funny story and so well-written! You really should be writing books (Maybe you are ...).

    ps Did this happen in Toronto? Is this character a fellow Torontonian? That would be very cool. Usually we are so prim!

    ReplyDelete
  31. That was indeed a funny story! :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. Again, I'll pay to read a book by Rahul Khanna, the writer.
    JL

    ReplyDelete
  33. This made my day!

    -H

    ReplyDelete
  34. :) nice, you kept your calm and did not make it an ego issue like rest of bollywood morons who have millions times bigger ego than their puney size :)
    I enjoy all your movies.

    ReplyDelete
  35. LOL...this was hillarious!! Love your writing style...you should write more often...it put a huge smile on my face :)

    ReplyDelete
  36. I always find it crazy commenting on something ages after it's posted and trying to seem completely un-stalkerish.... but this is actually a hilarious story you are really funny! As disappointed as I am in the Toronto airport security, I assure you that "Torontonians" definitely have "heardofya", lol
    "a bollywood star and you can't get two carts?" Can't say she wasn't made for the job!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Ah! the boy has a sense of humour.....thank god for that!!!

    Well, you can't blame the woman, if you insist on giving us blue moon appearances like Haley's comet.

    And she did not know Vinod Khanna...........my aunt wants her name and address please....she is at the door with the ammunition. Blasphemy was what I heard her say last!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Humm , good!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Good Lord, that was unbelievably funny! neverheardofya!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I would say, it was an experience of a different kind. A story of misunderstandings and skepticism laced with ignorance. I liked the "No Ma'am" parts the most..LOL

    ReplyDelete
  41. I have read this post of yours so many times, and every time I read it, it puts a huge smile on my face....it's just hilarious!! Thank you for sharing this incident with us!! Always your fan :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. Absolutely hilarious this is.....m sure u chuckle once more whenever u remember the incident :)

    ReplyDelete
  43. Lol can actually imagine your reaction mr khanna..

    ReplyDelete
  44. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  45. A double whammy for U Rahul Khanna .... !! Such a facepalm moment !!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Ha ha ha!! You are too humble as an actor to write it!! Superb piece of writing by the way.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Oh my, such an entertaining and humourous story. Simply fab. Lol. Superb writing. I just read it over and over and over again. I cannot stop reading it. It makes me so happy. It is soooo cute. Is there something wrong with me. My mummy says I must see a psychiatrist, as I am going overboard with all this praise when I read something on the internet from a handsome man. I just go on and on with the complimentary comments that are totally irrational and disproportionate to the quality of the content that I am commenting on. That is not to say that you are not a brilliant blogger and one of the most urbane and articulate actors in the history of the world, but there should be some limit to the praise that I heap on guys that I think are gorgeous. I would love to meet up with you for dinner and wine. I would love to listen to more interesting and hilarious musings on your everyday life as you travel around the world and encounter such diverse characters as this indo-caribbean customs lady or the women who go to the restrooms together to avoid getting raped. What is wrong with me. There I go, way over the line again. By the way, I am a guy. Although I find you to be an extremely handsome hunk of a man, I am a happily married heterosexual male. I need to get an appointment with my psychiatrist tomorrow. This is getting ridiculous.

    ReplyDelete
  48. new visitor: hahaha!! you should give writing a book a thought.. Never mind that 'youhaven'theardofme' :P but you must!!!

    ReplyDelete
  49. She does have a point though why make the manager carry your luggage :)

    ReplyDelete