The popularity of a deceased celebrity from any walk of life can be judged by the turn-out at his final farewell. And going by the turn-out at former Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh’s cremation in his home-town in Latur it can safely be concluded that the man’s popularity knew no bounds.
So huge was the turn-out for Vilasrao’s final send-off in Latur that producer Sajid Nadiadwala, a close friend of Vilasrao Deshmukh’s son Riteish, who was to fly from Mumbai early on Wednesday morning to Latur by a chartered flight had to abort the idea.
Says a friend of Sajid, “He was supposed to attend Salman‘s private screening of Ek Tha Tiger on Tuesday night. But Sajid cancelled that engagement, and for the first time didn’t turn up for a family screening of a Salman release, because he wanted to rush early morning on Wednesday to Latur to be by Riteish’s side . However once Sajid reached the Mumbai airport his aircraft was refused permission to take off, as there was not an empty spot anywhere in Latur for his aircraft to land. Sajid’s chartered plane hovered in the air and had to return without landing.”
When contacted Sajid Nadiadwala was in a state of disbelief. “There was no place in Latur for any vehicle let alone an aircraft. The closest we could land was Nanded city. I had no choice but to return.”