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.