“Can I check your passport?”

“Can I check your passport?”

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It was a last stark reminder of the fact that in India wherever a Kashmiri is he is a ‘suspicious’ person. It shows that we will be discriminated and targeted till the day the Indians (troops) are on our soil or we are on theirs. You know at every step in Kashmir we are beleaguered, how we are stopped on any pretext. They have fun and we suffer, suffer the fact of being in the shackles of tyranny and slavery.

I remember the day when I had to board a flight to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on April 25, 2011. I arrived at the Terminal 3 of the International Airport, Delhi. After bidding farewell to my father, I went inside (the first time I went inside the newly built Terminal 3). I was amazed and awestruck at the massive structure but also pitiful at the country which spends billions on airports though its 40 per cent people sleep with empty stomachs.

I headed to the Air Asia Counter. My documents were checked (amongst them lives the snake which I detest like nothing it’s called the Indian Passport). My documents were verified and approved. I was collecting my boarding pass, when an Immigration Officer came.

“Where are you going?” said the shadowy officer.

I looked towards him and saw a man in his forties, with inflamed eyes and the stink of a drunkard.

I replied, “I am going to Malaysia.”

“Hmmm, Can I check your passport?”

“Sure”, with a grin.

I remembered how his other counterparts in my homeland check my details and ID every time they wish to or want to show that “Kashmir is the Integral Part of India!”  It was a normal thing to check the passport.

“Why are you going to Malaysia?” he said in a cold tone.

“I am going there for a visit.” (I sounded like the ancient rhetoric that has been played for ages.)

“Do you have relatives there?”

“Yes, I do. (your highness)

“Hmmm, you need to have 600 USD, you have them?”

“I said why? I have my return ticket with me?”

“Okay, where are you from?”

“I am from Kashmir.”

“Hmmm, you need to have 600 USD to travel.” While all the others passengers were let off and a little crowd watched our conversation.

“But I have the return ticket, I don’t need the 600 USD?”

“You must have it”

While he was advocating me about what was wrong, I kept mum. While as the rest of the people were embarked without being bugged, ah! I am a Kashmiri, have to keep bearing it till day we are not free. Even my friend got into the flight without any annoyances, we had same specifics.

“Okay fine, please be quiet, I will change the currency, fine???”

“Do you have the money?”

“Will try and arrange it”.

I looked down on his identity card. He shouted at me, “You want to complain to the authorities, go ahead”.

“I didn’t. I was just looking down,” I replied.

As the tears were coming in my eyes, among the people that I never liked and I never knew. I pushed my hand inside the pocket. As Allah protects me always, I found sufficient money but not 600 USD. Only five minutes for the counter to close.

“I got it,” shocked and dismayed the officer had no option but (to free me) to leave me.

With Mirza Waheed’s The Collaborator in my hand, I walked to the waiting hall. Scores of Indians eyeballing the boy and the mountains on the cover; yes I am a Kashmiri and am very proud of it.

“Air Asia Flight to Kuala Lumpur now boarding,” announced the airline. The same man passes by and tells me, “It’s a part of my job”.

Fuck you!

I walked the aisle, boarded the plane and left the memories of a nightmare. Next to me sat a warm old Australian lady.

“Where are you from?”

“I am from Kashmir.”

As the plane shot in the sky, I told myself, “One day I will return” and I remembered Aga Shahid Ali.

“We shall meet again, in Srinagar,
by the gate of the Villa of Peace,
our hands blossoming into fists
till the soldiers return the keys
and disappear”

Thumbnail: Pulsemedia


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  • kanta

    just like your “the snake that i detest like anything, the Indian passport” i have this to share with you ” the snake that I detest like anything is the IslamicTaliban, so anti woman…”does this help us here. what you are writing about the Indian customs official happens to millions others of other nationalities and creedds too. you are just depicting your anti-Indian state anger. i am also a kashmiri and visited Kashmir in the difficult times too and i was never harrassed anywhere. though i do not disrespect your personal experience, i just want to make you realise that this sort of one-sided view of the reality will only complicate matters more and more.?

  • Salil Khare

    The author is pretty obsessed with anti India feelings, and that is why he finds the same reciprocation, wherever he goes…what else does he expect, if he says ”the snake called Indian passport” and “people i never like”….filthy crap…

    As Allah says – whatever is inside, is outside …the same is true for you too…


    I don’t think that you should have worried too much when immigration officer ask you to show the USD 600 , you could have just pay him few hundred rupees and he would have forget all his duties , next time you fly don’t worry because you don’t need to be worried in a corrupt country like India.

    • Manish Joshi

      How stupid of you to comment like this. Mr. Muhammad Faysal was asked questions which everybody should be asked while going outside. This is enforced by all the countries to ensure that countries send people only after these verifications to a foreign land. No country wants illegal immigrants and refugees. However, because of overwhelming crowd this investigation could not be done on everyone. Thus, obviously ones who look suspicious are questioned. I could imagine your face burning red with hatred towards Bharat and so, you looked suspicious.
      BTW, do you know how much Bharat spends for you useless anit-national Kashmiris?