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New York based CNN correspondent, Julia Whitehead, who was supposed to interview Pakistani cricketing legend turned politician, Imran Khan, ended up interviewing Bollywood actor Imran Khan instead under a case of mistaken identity. Julia had been recently assigned to the South Asian bureau and is working on an upcoming article on politicians from the sub-continent. Unfortunately, her knowledge of Bollywood, Cricket and South Asia in general is very sketchy, which led to her interviewing the wrong Khan. An Indian colleague had casually mentioned that Imran Khan was in New York shooting for a movie and the unsuspecting Julia promptly scheduled an interview with him before he left. Bollywood Actor, Imran Khan, in turn gladly agreed to the interview hoping it would fetch him some publicity and enhance his image with Indians living in America.
Here are excerpts from the faux interview that CNN kindly shared with The UnReal Times:
Julia: Thank you Mr. Khan for agreeing to the interview. Must say, you look quite young for your age. What is the secret of your youthful looks?
Imran (slightly taken aback): er… thanks. I work hard to pass off as a 22 year old although I am 28. Good sleeping habits, exercise and healthy diet do the trick for me.
Julia (giggling): Mr. Khan, your sense of humour is delectable… For a fast bowler, you have quite a small build and frame. How did you manage to be successful in your sporting career despite being so puny?
Imran (blushing): You yanks have a very weird sense of humour. Er… my cute looks and puny frame help bowl maidens over, you see. Hopefully, I will continue to maintain a good strike rate going forward also.
Julia (now laughing hysterically): I was told that Cricket is a sophisticated sport that we Americans will never be able to understand. I can see why now. On a serious note, how easy was it to make the transition to full time political activism?
Imran (raises his eye brows quizzically): er… I am not really a full time activist. I sometimes take a stand on issues of dubious public interest such as filing a PIL against increasing the legal age for drinking mainly to garner some publicity and increase my star value.
Julia: Wow, you advocate that drinking should be legalized? Mr. Khan, you realize that your life can be in danger for taking such a bold and extreme stand…
Imran: Hmm… now you are scaring me. Why would anyone want to kill me for taking such a stand? This is India for heaven’s sake, not Pakistan.
Julia (confused): er…but aren’t you a Pakistani?
Imran: Hell no!!
Julia: Huh? Wait a minute, aren’t you the famous cricketing legend Imran Khan who won the World Cup for Pakistan in 1992?
(Imran, whose ears slowly begin to turn scarlet, just stares at her)
Julia (still confused): Well then, who are you?
(Imran opens his mouth in indignation, but no words come out. He abruptly stands up and walks away leaving a confused Julia behind)
The following day, Imran Khan swore not to grant interviews to ignorant American journalists ever again. Julia on the other hand, has requested that she be shifted elsewhere from the South Asian bureau citing utter lack of familiarity with the region.