An interesting interview with Ambika, a self-confessed diehard fan of Salim-Sulaiman Merchant, and the Winner of Fly With VIP contest who flew with Salim Merchant.
1. When you heard about Fly With VIP’s contest about flying with Salim Merchant, what was your reaction at that time?
Firstly, I couldn’t believe that something like this would happen to me and I never considered myself lucky enough to meet my dream idol one day and travel with him. But, I was still hopeful when I decided to participate in the contest. I constantly prayed to God expecting HIM to create some magic in my life by making me the winner and making my dream come true of meeting Salim Merchant.
2. How did you get to know of our company and the contest to fly with Salim and Sulaiman?
I am an ardent fan of Salim and Sulaiman, and follow them on Twitter. One day, I noticed Salim retweeting about the ongoing Fly With VIP campaign, which made me curious to check their website. That’s how I came to know about the company – Fly With VIP.
3. How was your in-flight experience? You spent around 30 minutes, didn’t you?
It was an out of the world experience right from the beginning. Firstly, I met the in-flight manager who welcomed me and made sure I was comfortable, before ushering me inside the flight to finally meet Salim Merchant. It was such a big moment for me when I saw him that I had to ask the in-flight manager to pinch me and make me believe I was not in a dream.
4. Was this your dream flight?
Yes, I would definitely call it my dream flight. I feel as I have lived my life and don’t need anything more. I feel all my prayers have been answered and my wishes have come true. It was one such amazing experience, that words can’t define and was one of the best days of my life, that I will cherish all my life.
5. What was your family’s reaction when they got to know you were flying with Salim Merchant?
My family was very happy and equally excited that I got this opportunity, as my family members know that I have been a crazy fan of Salim Merchant for the past 7 years. They were delighted to know that I had won the contest and was finally going to meet Salim Merchant in real life. My family was very supportive. Even though the flight was from Mumbai to Ahmedabad and required me to travel all the way from Kanpur, my dad accompanied me for the trip.
6. Tell us about your experience with Salim Merchant. How did it feel to finally meet your Hero?
Salim Merchant is so humble; I just couldn’t believe a celebrity like him would be so down to earth. We sat together and he chatted with me throughout the flight journey. It all just felt like a dream. The way he spoke to me, and even remembered my name was such a phenomenal experience that I won’t forget my entire life.
7. So how do you feel being the friend of a celebrity…is it very special or routine-like?
It is indeed a very special feeling. I am still reeling under the aftereffects of the entire flight experience. I just keep recollecting those moments and crying happy tears. However, there are times when I wonder if all this really happened with me. I thank my stars that I have been so lucky and fortunate to have got an opportunity to meet Salim Merchant.
8. Did you only fly because it was Salim Merchant? Would you like to fly with other celebrity’s as well?
I didn’t know about Fly With VIP before. It was only through Salim Merchant’s Tweet, that I came to know about the contest and participated in it. Furthermore, I would love to fly with any other celebrity in the future if an opportunity presents itself and I win.
9. Do you have any suggestions or feedback for us?
You guys are great, just keep up the good work. You are angels who grant wishes and fulfill every individual’s dream and at the same time support a noble cause. Just keep doing it. Thank you so much…probably, I just can’t thank you enough.
10. Do you want to share any special or particular experience?
I would say the whole in-flight experience for me was special. Right from the beginning, when I was seated on my seat, Salim waved his hand from his seat which was a good 3 or 4 rows behind. I immediately felt my nervousness disappearing.
Later, when I was asked to sit beside him, it felt like a dream. But, when he shook hands with me, I was brought back into pleasant reality. He was very polite and genuine. We spoke on various topics and I asked him a lot of questions that he answered nicely and politely. We had a wonderful time chatting with each other. He is an extraordinary gentleman.
I am a big fan of Salim Merchant. Hence, since the time I came to know that I was going to meet him, I had thought of gifting my scrap book to him, which was full of Salim and Sulaiman’s pictures. When I actually gifted him the scrapbook, he loved it very much. He even took pictures of it on his phone. Not only did he patiently go through all the pictures, but he also appreciated them.
When the flight landed and everyone was preparing to leave, Salim gave me a big warm hug and promised to make arrangements for me to be present at his next concert. It was very heartwarming when he spoke about me in an interview which he gave at the airport after we landed. After this he turned to leave. However, when it was my turn to be interviewed, he made an about turn and came all the way back although he had reached the halfway mark towards the airport exit. He then waited and watched my entire interview and then after the interview was over he waved a final goodbye. The whole experience was just so awesome and so very special.
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