When I was in college, it was a dream of mine to travel to Goa with my friends. I studied in Pune, and in a big country like India, Goa wasn’t too far from where I was staying.
My desire to go there intensified after I saw an intriguing documentary called Last Hippie Standing. It was about life in Goa during the late 60s to early 2000s, when Goa became a hub for hippies from different parts of the world.
During my last semester in college, travelling to Goa finally became a reality!
One of my friends is the son of a renowned director in the Malayalam film industry. His father was in Goa to shoot a movie, so my friend said let’s all head to Goa the next day.
So off we went. We took an overnight bus and reached Goa in the morning, and headed to the location where the shoot was taking place.
When we reached, we saw Mammootty sitting on the set with my friend’s father, who motioned the four of us (my friends and I) to come to him.
In case you are unfamiliar with Mammootty, he is one of the biggest superstars in the Malayalam film industry and among the most respected actors in India. He has acted in a staggering 400+ films in his career spanning more than five decades.
Mammootty made some small talk with us, asked some questions, and all of us told him a bit about ourselves. He seemed to be in a good mood and keenly listened to whatever we were saying.
Interestingly, he said my face looked familiar, as if he had seen me before. We lived in the same locality in Kerala, so it wouldn’t have been impossible he had somehow seen me before, but I doubted the chance of that because it was the first time I was seeing him up-close.
My friends and I didn’t want to bother him too much so we didn’t ask him for any pictures, which is something I have no regrets about.
But looking back now, I do regret not making use of the opportunity to pick his brain and ask him some questions.
After all, it’s not every day you get the opportunity to interact and ask questions to one of the finest artists in the country.
I am not usually one to be star-struck, and meeting Mammootty was no exception. But with that being said, I was very self-conscious, and didn’t want to look stupid or make a fool of myself, so I didn’t talk much or ask him any questions.
I feel that many of us tend to put well-known personalities and high achievers on a pedestal and sometimes don’t even see them as normal humans.
Like how I was that day, we become very self-conscious around them and in doing so, lose out on the opportunity to gain much from such encounters.
The next time you have the chance to interact with a high-achiever, be bold enough to ask them questions or make conversation. You may gain some eye-opening insights from even the briefest of interactions with them.
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