30th October 2008 — a dream of 10 years finally came true. (No, I haven’t got my permanent residency yet…still waiting on that dream/goal) It’s a day I will never forget.
Yes, I finally met Gilly after all these years of waiting.
I went for his book signing at Dymocks at Penrith. It was scheduled for 6 p.m. so I left straight after work (3:15) to reach Penrith, which took me about 2 hours. Anyhoo, I got there and the line was quite long. And it was only 5:30. While standing in the line, I got some weird looks by the security guards at Westfield —I think that’s because I was the only Indian in the line. Everyone else was Anglo. Given all the recent ‘Sachin fiasco’, I guess they may have just been wondering whether I was there to throw something at Gilly. As if!!!
Gilly arrived at around 6:30 due to traffic (that’s what you get for having it out at Penrith, I guess) and he passed by me to get in to the store. He smiled at me and said “Hi” in reply to my nervous one. That in itself, made my day. I would have been ok if he didn’t get to us people far back in the line just because he spoke a word to me and was an arm’s length away.
Finally, about an hour later, I was there — getting my copy of ‘True Colours’ signed by my idol. And standing next to him posing for a picture (thanks to the lady I met while standing in the line for taking the pic…don’t know what I would have done otherwise). And then, having him look at me and say something (I think he said “Hi, how you going…and nice to meet you”). I was in such a daze that all I could say was “It’s really nice to meet you”.
I guess I am just glad I didn’t say or do anything stupid. Like give him a hug. Or squeal with excitement. Or tell him how I have followed his career since the start to the very end. Or how my room used to be filled with his posters. Or how I have collected heaps of his pictures. Or how much of an inspiration he has been to me. Or how much he influenced my ability to go for my dreams, no matter what other people may say or think.
Gilly, I am just glad you are what you are. You are the person as on telly. Just as an example of his niceness, he signed t-shirts and bats for kids that were present (in spite of Dymocks informing us that he would only sign copies of the books).
Gilly, you are genuine. I could tell from the smile you gave me (and probably everyone else). Anyone else in your position would not bother to actually pose for the picture but would keep signing to finish off the ‘chore’.
If anything, I have more respect for him. I admire him even more than I did. I am even more inspired by him.
Thank you, Gilly, for all you have done.
And for finally making my dream come true. You are exactly what I hoped you would be, and more.
It was worth the wait.
Until next time,