Thursday, November 02, 2006

India after 8 years! - Part I

August 16th
Immigration Counter @ Delhi Airport
Where is your old passport? The immigration lady asked me right after my landing at the IGI Airport in Delhi. I was surprised by the rudeness and also by that question. After all I have a valid Indian passport which proves I am an Indian citizen and that should be enough for her to verify my identity. Sadly, without even arguing I produced my old passport. There she fired another ridiculous question. “Where is your US visa” For heaven’s sake, I am coming FROM the US, not GOING to US. Instead of telling her that “MORON, my US Visa is on my NEW passport”, I asked, “what difference it makes and why do you want to see that?” … she replied …. “Aisse heeee” .. That meant “no reason” … … .. ..

August 16th
British Airways counter (Lost & Found)
A charming girl was helping me out about my luggage which got stranded at Heathrow airport for some security reasons. This guy “A Sikh man” who was a British citizen (who probably got the asylum in the name of SIKH militancy when Sikhs butchered Hindus in Punjab) interrupted the girl and started inquiring about his luggage. When being told that yes this is the right counter and he will have to wait until she is done with this other passenger (me). His response was, I am in hurry and I have people waiting outside. MIND YOU mister, I have people waiting outside as well …… That was exactly what the girl told him.
I was surprised and I appreciated her response. That was enough for me at that moment to forget about my bad experience at the immigration counter.

Sept. 3rd
Airport Lounge Part I
I have about 30 minutes till boarding starts. I am thirsty and am looking around for some vending machine for water. There I found a vendor selling water and soda. The man was reading an evening newspaper and seemed to be very much into it that he had no idea about what’s going on outside his newspaper world or someone is trying to get his attention for last 25 seconds. After a reasonable wait, “Hey mister, can I have a bottle of water” that was all I said. He got up, gave me a bottle and I gave him 20 Rupees. He placed a 5 Rupees coin on the counter for me and went back to reading the newspaper. Mister, this sign says it is 12 Rupees, I said. He looked at me over his newspaper, and said “Do you have change?” I said No, I do not. His expressionless face stared at me and uttered “ME NEITHER” and he pulled his newspaper back up in front of his face, and there he was back to his reading.

Sept. 3rd
Airport Lounge Part II
After going through, thorough and multiple security checkups I was finally in the boarding lounge. When BA staff started boarding us, they found out that my shoulder bag is not tagged, so they sent me back to the security check. While I was there, the security personnel looked at me and rudely asked “WHY DIDN’T you get it checked?” I did, I said. Either you people didn’t put the tag on or it fell. He told me to get back in the line which had at least 100 people. I was amused by the absurd rudeness. I refused to go back in the line and I bluntly told him that it must be some idiot like him who didn’t do his job properly. Anyhow, after hissing and puffing and showing me his red drunk eyes he finally checked the bag, put a tag on and with a THUD, dropped the bag in front of me and left without saying a word. I was astonished with the ill treatment at every step I was getting on MY airport in MY own country.
Ironically, if it was in the US, I would have blamed it on the staff for being selective and racist and Gods know what and who else … ……….
This is my India!

No comments: