Published On : Tue, Mar 28th, 2017

When the humble sandal speaks – it brings mighty crashing to earth!

New Delhi: When Air India flight A 852 took off from Pune to Delhi that day no one knew the drama that awaited when the plane landed in Delhi.

A Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad was travelling on the flight. The flight landed around 10 am but the MP refused to de-board.

Because he claimed, he had bought an Executive class ticket and was made to travel in Economy since that was the only class this airline had.


The M.P’s contention is that if Executive/ First class has been stopped almost an year ago, why was he issued the expensive ticket?

Valid point, but does it still justify his subsequent actions?

When airline security staff was called to persuade him to get down, he got angry and started beating them with slippers,” said an airport source.

“Yes, confirmed Gaikwad, I beat him with my sandal, not once or twice but 25 times!!!”

So proud was Gaikwad of his actions that he must have boasted about it, more than 25 times(!!) to various news channels.

Not his fault really for thinking he had done something praiseworthy. Taking law into their hands has been refined to a virtue by these Sainiks, digging up cricket pitches, vandalizing theaters, threatening opponents – it all comes with the turf for them it seems.

Wasn’t it just last year that this same gentleman had forced a Muslim caterer to eat chapati during Ramzan probably because he didn’t like the ‘taste’ or the ‘colour’ or the ‘freshness’ or whatever!!! He just didn’t find it palatable, period.

“Should he eat anything at all just because he is an M.P.??” No Sir! A humble politician he may be, but even he has his rights…

He said the same thing this time around.

“Yes, I beat him with a sandal 25 times. Should I tolerate abuses from the media, from the company (Air India) just because I am an MP?,”

But this time sandal jara bhari pada mahodayji ko…instead of congratulating him, his neta called him and obviously read him the riot act, Airlines got together and banned him from their planes, and he cut a very sorry picture indeed boxed into his train compartment, hunched into a corner as ‘the arrogant media’ thrust mikes into his face for more “sound bytes”. Sad to say, he was not even in AC First, but second A/C!!
Asman se gire aur khajur ( 2nd class) me atke?

Air India has already announced plans to bar him for life, let us see what action other airlines will take? Will they confiscate his footwear before they let him board?!!
But it is indeed the day of the ‘sandal’

Another high flying ‘star’ was brought down to earth when he also apparently ‘misused’ his footwear for purpose other than it is made for.

Again, co incidentally it was Air India where the famous ( now ‘infamous’?) Kapil Sharma and his group were traveling from Melbourne to again- Delhi, on Friday.

Kapil is supposed to have consumed an entire bottle of Glenfiddich whisky, and was visibly drunk. When food was being served by the cabin crew, his team started to eat. This angered Kapil, who was still finishing his drink.

“Jab maine khaana shuru nahi kiya toh tum logo ne kaise le liya khaana?” he shouted, well within the ear shot of co-passengers. An eye-witness reveals that Kapil’s co-stars looked so startled that they started returning their half-finished food trays to the crew. At this point, Sunil Grover tried to calm Kapil down, who then started yelling at him. “Kapil got up, took off his shoe, and hit Sunil,” reported the witness to HT.

Another version says he was poking fun at co-star Chandan Prabhakar and it got ugly. In an attempt to resolve the issue, Sunil intervened, which clearly didn’t suit Kapil, who then, assaulted him.
Now the assault debate has come down to the question – Which footwear was really used for the assault. ‘Shoe’ or ‘Airline slipper’??

Whichever it was, it has played its role of ‘crashing’ Kapil down. He has been hurt where it matters the most – his show has been affected after all his 3 ‘co stars’ refused to turn up for shooting on returning to India.

It is said Kapil Sharma tried to give a twist to the sordid tale – before it could come out – by suddenly announcing wedding plans with one of his girl friends’ Ginny.

Then when the ‘shoe story’ still managed to come out and upturn his ‘love story’ he tried making amends – on facebook and also twitter.

Sunil Grover also responded on twitter – but addressed his fans very lovingly, thanking them for standing by him. A clear sign that he is not planning to return (again) to Kapil Sharma show but is planning to branch out on his own. The blow with the shoe/ slipper seems to have woken him up to his individual potential!

For Kapil, the ‘slipper’ has ensured that his ‘bhav’ with Sony TV has slipped – irrevocably. They may not even renew his show!

All said and done – it is the day of the humble footwear, no doubt about it. Not since the Fairy Tale of Cindrella and the Prince Charming, when a glass shoe re united the two, has it played such pivotal roles in two prominent individuals’ lives.

Never again take, or wear a shoe lightly!!

Remember, it has the potential to more than pinch.

—Sunita Mudaliar (Associate Editor)