So when the news started doing the rounds that Saif Ali Khan was involved in a spat with officials at the Lucknow Airport, not many eyebrows were raised. But probing the matter, MiD DAY unearthed a different tale altogether.
When we first tried to contact Saif to get his version of the story, he seemed angry at the report, and later called us back to narrate the entire incident, telling us, “I was at the airport to fly from Lucknow to Delhi on a Jet Airways flight. The officials of the airline guided me to a lounge and I sat there reading my book. As soon as I sat down, two security officials asked me to move out, saying the lounge was only for the ministers. So I went and sat in the normal area and was chatting with my spot boy Abdul. That is when the airport manager came and apologised on behalf of security and asked me to move back to the VIP lounge.
I was okay with being in the normal waiting area so I said no. Later he asked me to join him in his cabin for a cup of tea. I was very much okay with sitting in the normal area and we ended up chatting about living in Lucknow, life, movies; in fact he even came to drop me till my flight and I flew off to Delhi. After having dinner with my mother, I began getting calls about me throwing my weight around at the airport and now reports are out for everyone to see.”
He added, “Normally I would have ignored such a thing, but this time I chose not to ignore it and I have already asked that a case be prepared against such misreporting and against the people who have done it. I know normally nothing happens when you take the media to court, but I don’t want to leave it this time. It is damaging.” About his stay in Lucknow, he said, “I’m shooting a very good film in Lucknow and I will not let such an incident spoil my entire experience of shooting and staying in the city.”
On reading the reports about Saif’s alleged misbehaviour, airport manager Viveck Anand sent a message to him, confirming: “You didn’t misbehave with anyone at the airport. Look forward to seeing you soon.”