Kolkata: Muscat-based marine engineer Amrit Sarkar who boarded Qatar Airways` flight No QR 294 will forever remember his flight from Doha to Kolkata all his life as you don`t always have the privilege of being co-passenger of world`s best footballer Lionel Messi.
However for Sarkar, it will be a regret all his life as he was late in taking his SLR camera out which could have given an opportunity to have a snap that will be forever etched in his memory.
The wildlife photographer and enthusiast, couldn`t click a photograph Messi was surrounded by hordes of airport officials before being taken out of the airport discreetly.
"Oh My God, was my first reaction when I saw Messi just hands away from me. I was just completing my check-out formalities when a noise diverted my attention to short fellow.”
"He was wearing a white T-shirt and a grey shorts with a pair of flip-flops. He was extremely casual. I could not believe my eyes when I saw the legend just near me. But by the time I could take out my SLR camera he had disappeared," Sarkar said, at the airport lobby, waiting for his in-laws.
He said he will always regret this moment in life.
"Never had I thought I would land up in the same flight as Messi. At the Doha aiport though we felt that there was something. The aiport officials started the security check pretty early.”
"We were made to board the flight about half-an hour in advance. Everybody felt that something was happening but we didn`t know what exactly it was. But we never imagined that it`s all for Messi. The flight left at the scheduled 7.40pm local time and it was on time," Sarkar said.
"He was in the business class on the same floor as it was a small flight. But we did not have any clue that Messi was sitting next to us. No wonder that so many people have gathered here even in this odd hour of 3.15 am."
"It`s a lost opportunity," but Sarkar said he would like to make it up for it by booking the tickets for the Argentina vs Venezuela match today.
When told that tickets are still available for the International friendly, Sarkar appeared excited.
"I did not know that the whole Argentina tea is here. It will be a lifetime opportunity for me. I will book the tickets once I reach my in-laws place," Sarkar signed off.