Mumbai, Sep 27 (IANS) Former Bollywood superstar Hema Malini decided to take an overnight train from Pandharpur in Maharashtra to Mumbai, sending photographers here into a tizzy.
Asked about it, Hema chuckled: 'My God, news travels faster than our trains. I should've guessed. Some photographers saw me on the train this morning (Friday). Yes, I did travel by train from Pandharpur. I was accompanied by my cousin Prabha. I had gone there for a function, also visited some temples. The journey back required me to fly from Pandharpur to Pune then to Mumbai. Or we could've come back by car.'
Hema preferred the direct night train. 'The flight and the car options were too tedious and time-consuming. I had loads of appointments in Mumbai on Friday morning and I couldn't afford the delay. So I told the organisers to put me and my sister on the train from Pandharpur.'
The journey would've been fun were it not for prying eyes. 'The last time I travelled in a train was in March when I went from Delhi to Gwalior on Jyoti Scindia's invitation. I really enjoyed that. The train journey from Pandharpur was all right to begin with. My cousin and I were given an air-conditioned coupe. But the problem was the other passengers. I was comfortable travelling by the middle class transportation. It's the other people who seemed uncomfortable.'
To top her woes the organisers of the function in Pandharpur forgot to hand over her tickets to Hema before she boarded the train. 'When my cousin and I reached Mumbai we realised we didn't have our tickets with us. We got to know this only when the ticket collector came to our coupe. But that was all right. He immediately contacted Pandharpur, got our ticket numbers, etc. This is where the advantage of who I am came into play,' she ends with a chuckle.