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Where is your heart, Kunal?

“I was appalled when I learnt that 2 million children die every year in India before they are five – that is 1 child every 15 seconds. While I am thinking about which next restaurant to go to or which clothes to buy, there are so many millions who are crying for help. I don’t have any technical knowhow but I know I want to make a difference. I am not here with my head, I am here with my heart willing to do my bit,” said Kunal at the Delhi launch. Audience cheered on and EVERY ONE moved to the wall to sign up their support for the campaign in the end.

While Kunal may have his heart in the right place, he had many hearts skip beats from the moment he landed in Delhi.

The morning of October 8th was an utter frenzy. The campaign team including our lovely interns were to leave early for the venue which was the lawn of India Habitat Centre to oversee that event guys were doing their job well and followed our brief to the T.

“Make sure the layout is not over the top. We want a classy and elegant set up,” was the brief to the event company when we first met.

While I was supposed to be leaving with the team, but we had a popular radio channel RadioMirchi interested in interviewing our celeb heartthrob. So now I had to go pick Kunal from the airport and take him to the studio. (I am sure many of you may know Kunal set India and Bangladesh fighting over him!)

There was a whole joke in the office about me just a text away from Kunal. Fun stuff! But when you are dealing with celebs for work you have to ignore your heart, never mind a good looker like Kunal! I have learnt this in my little stint at celeb management for another charity even earlier. Treat them as equal, give them the deserving respect and keep it business.

So I reached the airport in time to pick our star power for the evening. I was pacing with impatience.

My phone wouldn’t stop ringing – event guys, team members, venue coordination etc etc.

An hour and a half after the scheduled time the man arrives. I requested him to come to the radio station straight. He complied.

“I am sorry, you had to wait for so long but my flight was delayed,” he said with a winsome smile.

While we stood there talking, there were hushed whispers from many quarters – some came up to him for autograph, some came and literally forced their mobile camera phones in my hands to get their pictures.

Phew!!! How do celebrities manage this constant glare? I wondered aloud. “It’s just a job for us too, Pragya,” he answered.

The staff at Radio station were all set with a welcome bouquet, girls all huddled at the reception, office boys just hanging about to catch a celeb from the close quarters. Cameras went click! click! click! endlessly.

Time to go on air. Kunal knew his lines well – about Save the Children – ending with ‘log on to www.every-one.in to support the campaign.’

Well done Kunal!!!

As we go down, there is another rioting bunch ready with pens and papers for his autograph. He complied with smile.

My phone started ringing again as we sat in the car. Some crisis. It stopped. Rang again. And that continued.

While I was dealing with issues, He was wheezing…with cold and fatigue.

Leaving him at the hotel with the car, I rushed in a taxi to the venue to sort out stuff.

Wow! I was impressed with the set up. It just looked fantastic, just the way I thought it should be.

I spotted Raghu in the exhibition area and rushed to greet him and thank him profusely for the lovely pictures – the highlight of the evening along with the actor.

Awesome start to the campaign. EVERY ONE’s heart is in the right place. The effort behind the launch paid off. It’s just the beginning. We will keep at it till we ensure that every child has a future to look forward to. We make a resolve.

(When I am very happy, my eyes well up) Thanks team.

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