World of India!: Travellerr : Strange things have happened to me at Airports- Mumbai e

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Travellerr : Strange things have happened to me at Airports- Mumbai

Continuing my series (read earlier article in the series here) on strange occurrences that have happened to me at various airports, here's another gem, when I was at the Mumbai domestic airport to catch a flight to Chennai. For a change this was a personal trip and hence unlike on my business trips, when I am usually dressed in formal clothes, I was dressed in casual clothes - jeans, t-shirt, sneakers..you get the idea. To top it all I was carrying a black sling bag which was rather huge. I was a bit tense that day, as I was carrying home made chili masala to Chennai from home. Indian airport security is known to not allowing chili powder in the handbaggage due to security considerations and I hated the thought that it might be confiscated. But I had already checked in my sling bag as hand baggage and thought that I will take my chances with the security.

Suddenly, I heard people whispering in the waiting area and turned around to see what the matter was. Surprise, Surprise- the entire Indian national cricket team was around me ! Ganguly, Dravid, Kumble...you name them and they were there. Some children and a few other people went to seek autographs, but people largely let the team be by themselves, which was surprising, although gratifying, at the same time. Ganguly (who was captain those days) headed straight for the T.V and started watching the replay of the earlier match's action (West Indies was touring India that time) intently. If you ask me, he was just showing off people around that he studies cricket even in his travel time, but that’s my opinion. I was quite struck by the fact that all the team members were very patient with the people seeking autographs, who were smiling at them goofishly, and signing autographs, without showing any trace of irritation.

Shortly, even the West Indies team landed in the same area. Both teams were flying off to the next matches venue.

As I headed for the security check, to my surprise, the entire Indian cricket team also joined the same queue. As my turn came to hand over my black sling bag in the scanning machine, I glanced at the security personnel, who to my utter surprise, gave me a warm 100 watt smile. I was taken aback. I knew this was not because of my charms but I smiled back nevertheless. He actually helped me put the bag on the rack of the machine and then- stretched his hand for a hand shake! Having seen him and other security personnel shaking the Indian payers hands, I realized that the security personnel had mistaken me to be a part of the contingent, due to my outfit and most important, my black sling bag, which was exactly the same as the Indian players.

Suffice to say, that aside from the machine scan, I was allowed to sail through security. At the body check point, I was not even frisked properly and another couple of handshakes later, I walked out of the security area beaming ! I felt like royalty!

My dear chili powder was saved- thanks to India's national cricket team!

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