Tag Archives: celebrity

In Transit

In Transit
by Ben Huberman
Train stations, airport terminals, subway stops: soulless spaces full of distracted, stressed zombies, or magical sets for fleeting, interlocking human stories?

My husband R, and I were going back home, after seeing my son after a gap of five long years. We stayed with him for a month (in Cary, North Carolina). Our daughter had bought a home in Baltimore, so our flight back home was from Washington Airport. We faced a whole day wait at New York.

My sister, and her husband F wanted us to go with them to Long Island, but we declined. They spent the day with us at the airport. We had lunch, and tea together. They left at five. We had another three hours wait before we finally boarded the plane to Dubai.

There was a long stop over at Dubai. The flight was running late. From three hours it stretched to ten. The airport was congested. We couldn’t find any place to sit even. It was horrible. After this experience I avoid the flights through Dubai.

Finally the miserable wait was over, and we made it to the departure lounge. We were able to get seats. A few steps away from us sat an elegant lady dressed in white. Her face looked very familiar. I couldn’t recall her name. Suddenly I realized who she was. She was Kokab Khwaja, a famous TV personality.

I had followed her recipes in an Urdu magazine. My first baking attempt was making chocolate pin wheel biscuits from a recipe of hers. Later on I watched her on TV teaching Ikebana, the Japanese way of flower arrangement.

Meanwhile R had noticed an acquaintance of his. I gathered my courage (before it deserted me), and went to introduce myself to Kokab. It turned out her husband, and his family were childhood friends of R.

Her reserved manner visibly melted, as she told me, she had wondered who I was, when she had seen me sitting. She gave me her telephone number inviting us to her home.

For me it was totally unreal, meeting a favorite celebrity, I never thought to meet face to face.

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Meeting President Obama

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I was all nerves with excitement. It was beyond my wildest dreams. I was going to meet President Obama for the first time. Who could have thought that a mere unknown like me would be meeting the President face to face?

How did I get to this stage? A good question!

First of all, “Who in the dickens am I?”, you are going to ask. Why am I getting this opportunity?
Am I a newscaster? No.
Am I a celebrity? No.
Am I Julia Roberts? He He, No. My fave actress by the way.
Am I some visiting dignitary? No.
Head of State? Prime Minister? Some foreign princess?
The answer to all these questions is still no. So who am I? Oh, I am a house wife. I hope you are not disappointed with this answer. You are disappointed, I can tell. If you didn’t expect this answer, it’s not my fault for who I am.

Let’s come back to my original story. I am all agog at the opportunity to meet Obama. What a coup! I jump up and down for the sheer excitement of it all.

So back again to the story. I had to decide what to wear for the occasion. I went through my wardrobe for the umpteenth time rejecting everything in sight. Oh, why wasn’t I back in my own country so I could have a new dress stitched for this special occasion in my life? How could I have known I would be having this opportunity? People, when they hear it, will be filled with envy and green with jealousy.

I am getting jittery, feeling afraid that somehow I will fail myself in the eyes of people who will be watching me. I might tangle with something and fall flat on my face, or I will be stuttering with nerves. Or I will be so moved with emotions, that tears will start flowing down my face. Anything can happen, I shudder to think about it. I am trying to calm myself taking deep breaths.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama. Finally, there he is. He is gracious and smiling. Not at all snobbish, my first thought. He is trying to put me at ease, looking friendly and approachable. I am full of nerves at this moment. Returning his smile my face breaks into an ear splitting grin. I am afraid my jaw will break into two halves. Oh my God!

Can you hear the drum beating?
The round of applause as I reach the President’s side.

There, my picture has been taken with the President. I step aside so others can have their picture taken. Done, I can leave now.

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