Paulo Coelho, the sports star; Pele, the cameraman
I wished to meet two wizards while setting out to Brazil. The first one was Pele, who amazed the world with his football skills and the next was Paulo Coelho who created a mystic world with his pen.
I'll discuss meeting with Pele later. First let me describe my ‘startling’ search for Coelho.
I haven’t yet recovered from the shock I sustained during the search for Coelho. The enquiry about Coelho started with the English-speaking volunteers in media centre.
“Is there any source from where I can get the phone number or e-mail id of Coelho,” I asked a volunteer.
The response from the man in his early 20s was a shocker: “Which sport does this Coelho play?”
“Coelho is a well-known novelist, not a sports personnel,” I tried to explain. He gave me the same expression.
I repeated the question with the girls accompanied him. I mentioned Alchemist. Sorry! we don’t know.
They advised me to check with anyone at the public relations desk.
I approached a young man at the desk with the request. He asked me to write the name in a piece of paper. I did a google search on my mobile, showed him the name and photo.
Soon came the next question? Which country does he belong to?
His question made the British journalist accompanied me burst into laughter.
I told him about Coelho’s Alchemist that has been translated to more than 80 languages among his other works.
The youth was not all surprised by my words. He asked my number and wrote it down.
“We will find this Coelho within two days. Then we’ll call ask him to give you a call,” he said.
Anyway, it was a relief for me! However, I am now keeping my phone with me every time. Coelho may call me anytime, won’t he?
Now, we can come back to Pele.
I hoped that the legendary footballer would pay a visit to the Olympic venue and I could see him. If possible, I wished to touch him for once.
But after reaching Rio I came to know that Pele was picked for lighting the cauldron, but he withdrew citing health issues.
After the opening gala, I reached my apartment very late. It was booked by making an advance payment.
But another person was accommodated in the second room of the same building. When I took up the matter with the woman at the reception, she said:” Bear with us sir. We are in trouble now. There is shortage of rooms for all those who made advance bookings. Also, there isn’t any provision for providing refund. Hence, we have to accommodate two persons in an apartment meant for a single person.”
The day I landed in Rio, I had realised that raising arguments during such occasions is a waste of time.
I was fortunate to find at least a place to sleep. The situation is even worse for many who booked more expensive rooms in hotels.
Now, the only option left with me was to adjust with my new roommate _ a cameraman attached to a Sweden-based news channel. I asked his name. Being an introvert, he was not interested in it. He looked at me tilting his head and replied:
Thus, this issue has also been resolved and my yet another wish is accomplished. For the second time, I'm relieved.