This Article is From Aug 26, 2014

On Board A Chaotic Plane to Goa with Tehelka's Tarun Tejpal

Tarun Tejpal, the founder of news magazine Tehelka, was accompanied by his wife and daughters, brother Minty and a lawyer as he boarded the flight to Goa from the Delhi airport on Friday afternoon.

This was Mr Tejpal's first public appearance since he was accused of raping a young colleague at an annual event in Goa earlier this month.

Through the two-and-a-half-hour journey, cameras rolled several times, especially when Mr Tejpal got up to go to the washroom. Some passengers even tried talking to him - we were unable to overhear what they said - and the senior journalist appeared courteous in his response.

Seated between his daughter and his lawyer, Mr Tejpal was mostly calm and unperturbed by all the attention and spent most of his time reading. At one point, he shifted to the window seat for better light to read a book.

On the family's request, we switched our cameras off. But at one point, there was a minor skirmish to get a statement from the Tehelka founder, with 20 people standing right where he was sitting.

An exasperated cabin crew as well as Mr Tejpal's family got angry with the scramble and asked us to stop.

His brother, Minty, in fact, even scolded a cameraperson for shooting inside the plane. Later, Mr Tejpal's lawyer stood in the aisle, keeping a hawk's eye on the ever-so-eager journalists and their cameras.

But once we landed in Goa, we rolled again while the passengers de-boarded the plane.

The journalists were made to de-board separately and packed off into a bus while Mr Tejpal and company were still inside the aircraft. So were some Goa cops.

While I left, I could not see which exit they took at the airport. However, I took comfort in the fact that I would be seeing the man again pretty soon.