Part 2, 20th December
I woke up revisiting the highly disturbing poster-losing incident that occurred the night before – in a span of five minutes, where exactly could the poster go! I recounted retracing my steps twice hoping that I would find it, but to no avail. It was just too irritating now. The last thing I remembered doing before falling asleep the night before was booking the one-day ticket online.
I jumped out of my bed at 8.30am and rushed out by 10.15, after a hurried breakfast of garlic-bread. I intended to be at the Bombay Exhibition Centre somewhere around 10.30am. The only difference between this experience and that of the day before was that I had no friends accompanying me this time (All my calls to my friends sadly remained unanswered). Although this seemed depressing at the moment, it actually wasn’t as bad as I thought.
We comic fanatics counted down as the clock struck 11. It was quite a queue. My excitement got kicked up a few notches at the thought of spending the entire day there. Organisers were just beginning to open their stalls to the public. The buzz was just building up. I stood in front of the cabin designed for Mark Gatiss. It was only then that I realized how badly Sherlocked I am. About half an hour later, I saw the people beginning to queue up. The actual depths of my dejection now dawned upon me, as I wasn’t in the list of the lucky-draw winners.
After getting a fresh Iron Man poster signed by Nick Spencer I swore that I wouldn’t lose it this time. On my way to the main stage area, where a few quizzes were being conducted, I passed by the Mark Gatiss cabin. I got a glimpse of him from behind the curtain, and for some reason my heart sank all the more. I paused with the hope that I would find someone with an extra ticket. Too bad I didn’t.
I spent a couple of hours in front of the stage, witnessing the launch of a couple of comics, a quiz conducted by ACK Media, and a talk with Nicolas Wild about his comic Kaboul Disco. I decided to try my luck with Mark’s autograph one last time. I fortunately managed to find a Good Samaritan with an extra ticket. It was now that I bumped into Harsh, my newfound friend, and a volunteer responsible for the International invitees. It was only after we started talking that I realised Harsh and I had a lot more common than we thought – our colleges are barely a couple hundred metres apart. In fact, we are in the same year, pursuing the same major!
I was dazed as I met Mr. Gatiss. His personality was almost the opposite of that of Mycroft Holmes, the role he essays in Sherlock. I couldn’t actually believe that I got to speak to him in person! I pinched myself just to be sure. “10 times is too less!” he joked when I told him the number of times I have seen each episode of Sherlock. He autographed the book I had gotten, dedicating it to my sister and me. “Merry Christmas,” he said warmly, as I walked out after a quick photo. I guess he did make it the merriest Christmas ever for me yet.
It was almost 3pm when proceeded to the stage. In about three-quarters of an hour, we would see him interacting with the audience live. I couldn’t be more excited. The crowd went completely insane each time his name was mentioned by the host. It went even crazier when he actually arrived on stage (I was surprised by the fact that he wore pink socks. “Its fuchsia” he remarked, correcting us!). The audience was huge. Cheers echoed each time he said something. At one point of time he just said, “These are just words coming out of my mouth!” After almost an hour of answering all sorts of crazy questions (including “Who-Locked” aka Sherlock combined with Doctor Who, and if Sherlock and John were a gay couple) he bade goodbye, leaving the crowd electrified.
As a result of incessant hour-long cheering, my throat got pretty hoarse. I decided to have a couple of doughnuts before I left. Although I was really happy about the experience, I had just one regret at the end of the day – not being able to dance to the beats at the JustDance3 stall. My legs were completely exhausted.
I recounted the terrific experience I had over the past two days – reconnecting with old friends, meeting new people, interacting with the coolest artists from around the world, finding the coolest stuff while shopping and finally, enjoying clicking photos and cheering the Cosplayers. As I walked to the exit, I couldn’t help but smile.
It is now that I am able to relate to the fact that everything that happens has its purpose. Had I not lost the Nick Spencer autographed poster the previous day, I would never have attended the second day of Comic Con and would have never gotten a chance to meet Mark Gatiss and get his autograph. As Steve Jobs said in his 2005 Stanford speech, “Connect the Dots…”