Arise Sunil Tuli, man of steel

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You shoot me down, but I won’t fall
I am titanium
You shoot me down, but I won’t fall
I am titanium – David Guetta, Titanium

None of the 400-plus delegates watching The APAC Dialogue webinar last week co-hosted by the Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association (APTRA) and The Moodie Davitt Report would have known it from his assured presence, but APTRA President Sunil Tuli was appearing under considerable duress.

Sunil (bottom right) didn’t let a small thing like an ankle fractured in two places stop him hosting this week’s webinar

Ten days earlier, Sunil, who is also Group Managing Director of King Power Group (HK), had fractured his ankle in two places while descending from a steep hike in the hills above Hong Kong. Faced with the need for an operation, Sunil opted to fly back home to Singapore where he was successfully operated on yesterday at Raffles Hospital.

Airline fracture: A bootiful shot of Sunil returning home on Singapore Airlines

One fracture can be bad enough, two are notoriously tricky and as a result Sunil has had to have a titanium plate (apparently preferable to a titanium cup or saucer) inserted in his left ankle. Sunil is already a steely character but the addition of titanium will mean he is a man truly in his element.

Some of the titanium plates Sunil’s surgeons had to choose from. Source: Google

In writing this Blog, I decided I should research exactly what a titanium plate is. Google – which Sunil often likens himself to in terms of knowledge – brought up 65,700,000 results in 0.61 seconds and a rather disturbing series of images (above).

Which one of these plates had the Singapore medics opted for, I wondered? If it’s the one on the left (Nordisk Titanium, described as ‘smooth and versatile’, and therefore one that Sunil would consider a perfect fit), he’s going to need a bigger shoe, to misquote Chief Brody from Jaws. Here’s the description:  “The titanium plate is a versatile classic; a lightweight, durable piece of tableware in a timeless design. It is designed in dark grey titanium and has a diameter of 19 cm with a 3cm rim making it work equally well as a plate or a bowl.”

Tableware? Surely he should have opted for footwear? What will that choice mean when Sunil goes through one of those really difficult American airport security checks? That really will be a test of his metal.

Machine beeps.

“Are you carrying anything metal Sir?”

“I have a titanium plate.”

“You should have packed that in your checked luggage. Place the plate in the tray please Sir.”

“But it’s in my ankle.”

“Then place your ankle in the tray please Sir. We’ll put it back through the machine and have it right back to you.”

“Put my ankle in the tray? What about the rest of me?”

“No, Sir, you’re all clear otherwise. Just your ankle please. Remove it now and place it in the tray.”

No sign of a cup, saucer or bowl: Eventually the surgeon chose an alternative plate to the Nordisk Titanium

Fortunately, such a scene is unlikely to happen, at least according to one of those 65.7 million Google results, which tells me that Titanium is non-ferrous (and therefore banned on the London Eye) so has an extremely low magnetic field. So low, in fact, that it is widely considered a non-magnetic metal. And therefore, while Sunil’s own extreme magnetism might set off the airport metal detector, the titanium plate will not. It will also remain firmly in place, held there via screws. And even if Sunil has a screw loose, as it were, that’s no problem. The doctor will simply titan it. You read it here first.

Grapes are recommended for hospital patients so Harry Kartasis of Global Drinks and I ensured plenty were on offer, albeit in liquid format, before Sunil returned home to Singapore from Hong Kong

All very assuring, as is the news that Sunil is recuperating fast and already delivering a series of very bad jokes about his experience on social media.

Like titanium, the APTRA President is known for being durable and robust, so he’s sure to be up and about in no time and putting his best foot forward. In fact, both of them (though hopefully not at the same time). So arise, Sunil Tuli, man of steel. We’re all glad to know you’re on the road to recovery and back home with your loved ones.