Tuesday, February 9, 2010


It was walking time again, and here is an observation from today.

A Muslim man (beard/ clothes/ topi) on a bike got stopped by the late-night-police from a group of a few young guys, while the rest were let off. Even he is let off after a few minutes of questioning. I stood along a wall and saw it all and found it curious. Was the young man stopped because he so obviously looked like a Muslim? Is that such a bad thing to do (considering that my assumption is true), or are we too paranoid at times, or its a necessary precaution.

I was singled out always and repeatedly, sometimes even twice or thrice on the same street, when I was in Srinagar and the villages around it a few years back. It was purely due to my appearance - bushy beard and very long hair. Uncle told me that I look more like a Mujaheddin than a regular Kashmiri would ever look. I could never get used to all the frisking and sudden checks, though it also told me that the armed forces were ruthlessly efficient and all this was something like a necessary discomfort. I always escaped any ill-treatment (except once or twice) because of papers proved that I was a Hindu. Army men generally warmed up to me after this revelation and wanted to know the story of my long hair.

Its just something I remembered from the past and connected two highly unrelated stories. Appearances could be so deceptive sometimes.


  1. i remember Naserudin Shah sayin this in 'A Wednesday', " naam kyun chaahiye? Log to naam me bhi majahab dhoondate hai!"

    So if they find something 'interersting' in appearance, its not so surprising! What is surprising is, how civilians like you and me interprete and perceive the 'routine procedures and instructions' followed by the people with authority! This is something that changes the way comunities look at each other, and it's not so good!

    And I must mention it's not that bad also. You remember the smalltime vendor in 'rocketsingh, salesman of the year' telling Ranbir, "thik hai le jaao, waise bhi maine kisi sardar ko chori karte hue nahi dekha hai!"


  2. time has come..we move on...treat each religion with respect...stop killing the innocent...educate children...and have a strong zero-tolerance attitude toward the extremist behavior. its not just about fighting for our identity and religion but fighting against the newly born religion named "terrorism". Namya

  3. @ Bhavin: Completely agree with you!

    @namya: its a very valid thought, i wish more people could believe in it.


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