Ever since i have started traveling, there has always been this unique underlying theme to all my trips - Security checks. Irrespective of what country i am in, i have been questioned more than the average traveler (The comparison is with fellow travelers from the Indian subcontinent - The comparison with whites does not make sense at all !!)
All this while I have been trying to figure out the reasons for this.. I knew that my color was certainly a contributing factor. So was my passport. But then, there were many travelers with the same color (both of skin as well as of the passport !) and yet, I have been sidelined more often.. Maybe, it is just an issue of perception. But, whatever the reason may be, I am now very comfortable with any of the security checks across the globe..
I am used to the immigration/security related questions whenever i enter a country. I understand the reason for it and always co-operate with the authorities.
But, what pushed me to write this piece is that I am now being stopped at local train stations too !!!
This made me think... Then i realized that each time i enter a country with this famous beard of mine, the probability of questioning increases many-fold.. I looked back at the cases when i have been questioned more than usual and i realized that there is a strong co-relation between between the length of the beard and the length of questioning at security checkpoints. I have had smooth entries with a clean shave...
I know there are pre-conceived notions about bearded men. And, that seems to be the very reason why all this is happening to me.
Now, that leads us to an important question. Are we living with a fake sense of security?
I would leave it here for you to think !!