Finally, a good 'M' in the east
- Mid-air, the pilot suspected that the Falcon had developed a snag and diverted the private plane to Calcutta.
- The passenger found a seat on a SpiceJet flight at the last moment and took off again for his original destination.
- Plans were made to send a private plane from Jamshedpur for the return trip. Then cropped up a problem: the non-scheduled plane would have to fly over Bangladesh airspace and obtaining permission from Dhaka at the eleventh hour was difficult.
- So, the passenger returned to Calcutta by another SpiceJet flight and flew Air India to Mumbai.
July 9: When Ratan Tata thinks the "M" is good, he will leave no plane un-flown to keep his word.
The "M" in question is not any of the usual suspects associated with the 13th alphabet but Manik Sarkar, the chief minister of Tripura.
Tata was heading to Agartala to announce a strategic partnership between Tata Trusts and the Tripura government for taking up socio-economic development projects using the natural resources of the state.
Ratan Tata chairs Tata Trusts, the umbrella that groups multiple philanthropic bodies that bear the Tata name.
In spite of the Singur experience - which forced Tata to say in 2008 "I hope there is a bad M and a good M" when he shifted the Nano factory to Modi's Gujarat because of Mamata's agitation in Bengal -Tata Trusts has been running the Tata Medical Center in Rajarhat.
The Tripura government and Tata Trusts signed an MoU for undertaking programmes in education, skill development, nutrition and health, dairy development, animal husbandry, fisheries, farming and development of rural, tribal and hilly areas.
The MoU was signed in the presence of chief minister Sarkar and Tata.
Tata had words of high praise for Sarkar, reminiscent of his respect for another Marxist leader of another state, another time: Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.
"In the few hours of my visit, I have to say with sincerity that I have been greatly impressed by what one can do in Tripura.... I feel that Tripura is a great state with an immense potential," Tata said in a speech that will ring a bell in Bengal where the current finance minister had diagnosed him with " motibhrom (loss of mind)".
"It's a pleasure to be here and have the chance to experience the adrenaline of feeling - that maybe you can make a difference. So thank you again for your graciousness and hospitality, it's my first exposure to Tripura that you have given me and one that I will never forget," Tata added.
Oh, yes, Calcutta got to host and nurse the Falcon till late tonight as it waited on the tarmac for repairs.