It is three days to go for the big day - India vs Australia in Rajkot, the diary’s first international assignment.
Virat Kohli is rested for the first two ODIs of the series against the Kangaroos. As is the captain, Rohit Sharma. Both are to join the team in Rajkot from Mumbai.
Coincidentally, the diary’s early morning journey from Chennai, one day before the match, has a layover at the same city.
“Kohli and Rohit could be on the same flight to Rajkot with the diary,” it speculates gleefully.
After all, roughly 30 hours is a long enough time to assimilate to the team for professional athletes. They do not take long to get going.
The thought is good enough to keep the diary occupied. However, this enthusiasm is not reciprocated by others around the diary. They chuckle hearing it.
D Day minus 1
It is a day before the big day. The diary’s first of the two flights is done, and it waits for the second to take off.
That train of thought, which seemed so interesting once, does not occupy the diary any longer. It is more worried about reaching the press conference on time. There’s a preview to write too.
Right on cue, a gentleman makes his way through the plane. He’s sporting a white t-shirt and a khaki coloured cap, turned downwards, covers his face.
Surrounded by two bodyguards and a platoon of his personal entourage, the man briskly walks in, bends down, and takes his place on the window seat. No fuss, no commotion.
Two people sit on the row behind him, two in front and one on the aisle seat to his right. The bodyguards linger around to double check for any trouble.
The people seated around him too scan over their shoulders every minute or two.
The cap is a deliberate attempt to hide his face but the tattoos on his forearms give Kohli away.
Passengers feign lavatory trips to get a glimpse. The ruse barely works. All are promptly requested to keep walking. Not one is able to get a long enough look at their beloved star. The diary’s attempt at a polite enquiry to one person from the entourage is shunned away too.
Carefully coccooned in his seat, Kohli plugs on his earphones and goes into his zone. Who knows what he is thinking?
The earplugs come off just once during the flight. It is to request a glass of water from the snacks cart.
Kohli’s bag is removed from the overhead cabin well before landing. They have a premonition of the storm that awaits them on touch down.
Kohli is the first to deboard. He’s at the gate even before the staircase is placed for deboarding.
Passengers flock into the bus carrying him, and Kohli obliges for a few selfies too. That’s the last glimpse the diary catches.
By now, the diary has alerted around 15 of its contacts. The ones who laughed the idea off were the first to be informed. There was abundant glee as it sent the texts.
It was only one of Rohit and Kohli who shared the flight, but the diary still gets a chance to boast, “Hey, I told you so!”
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