Day 0, Costa Del SolJet lag meant I woke up 4am CET and had nothing to do aside reflect on day zero of my footballing pilgrimage.
Brussels blasts offcourse ensured extended and additional security checks – belts out, shoes out, fancy necklaces out, keys inside handbags also out – at Istanbul & Singapore gates. Things, both security gates don’t seldom ask out. But thanks to willingness to kill, to spread fear and assert Islam-ism (or protect – depending on which side of argument you are) each time each traveller has to go through this extra hassle now, Worldwide.
We were the only non Westerners flying from Istanbul to Spain. So naturally around baggage claim area, an airport security personnel walked up, possibly attracted also to my flashy shirt, and asked for my passport. Then saw my family (kids laughing, fooling aloud and running upto me) and asked for all passports. He took us aside and then asked his hot superior boss ‘Indien Passport?’.
I was getting ready for basic Rs1000-Rs5000 level KBC (Indian quiz show) question answer session. The chick though didn’t bother looking at the passports and instantly replied ‘Indien no problem country’. Within seconds our passports were back with us, luggage collected and we on our way to look for our name placard for taxi booked and ride into the 21 degree spring chill.
But my mind got stuck. Indien no problem. Thank you my motherland, despite 1.3bn people, despite multiple languages, faiths, communities settling n residing with joy, despite own set of internal issues, still Indien no problem. Despite often (and select) bad news filtering out to western media (like ‘Delhi rape capital’, ‘Beef eater killed’, ‘Honour killing rampant’, ‘another tourist raped’), Indien still no problem.
India, Indian governments and Indian fellow citizens must have done something extraordinarily good to disassociate themselves and be ‘no problem’, over the years. Where terrorism is associated with muslims, India holds second largest muslim population of the world (after Indonesia). Yet Indians are considered ‘no problem’.
My heart went out to what if I wasn’t an ‘Indien’? What detailed interview would me and my family would have to go through – after 20 hours long flying? What if instead of me it was my friend Asif or Naeem’s family from Pakistan? Or was single traveller Junaid from Bangladesh? Or my Indian friends with Muslim style beard cuts – Jinah or Nadeem’s family? Would their kids then have to go through extended basic questioning after 20hr long flight?
Whatever it is, I don’t like it, and wish people would raise voice, spit and venom against terrorism, terrorists and the root elements which help form this industry. If a well earning software engineer can get easily brainwashed to start killing people in masses, then the catalyst which makes the brainwash work, must be eradicated.
I don’t want to finish this blog on a sad note, being first day of my Football pilgrimage vacation. So let me finish on a delicious note instead – for dinner we had awesome Keema Pulav. One of the main reasons for booking this QVI resort by the Mediterranean sea was presence of this awesome tiny but well decorated Indian restaurant where meal barely costs 5 eur per person!!!!
Thanks for reading this blog. Hope you enjoyed. Do read Part 2 on 8 amazing Gibraltar experiences.