IT’S a suspicious world we live in now. If we dress different, we people are wary, so much so that a political leader remarked, “I know who’s behind our political turmoil because I can recognize them from their clothes!” So different clothes invites suspicion and as I’ve found out beards also!
I remember this incident a few decades ago in JFK airport, New York when I was detained in a room all because I had a beard, it was only after creating a ruckus and telling the concerned authorities I would write about this senseless suspicion that they apologized and let me out.
“What we need to do,” said a bearded friend of mine, “is to start an association; Beard Growers Anonymous!”
“Full beard!” I shouted, “no Van Dyke, Abe Lincoln, goatee or five o clock shadow!” “No side whiskers or designer stubble!” said my friend gleefully. “How do we go about it?” I asked. “First, we write to owners of airlines who have beards.”
“Like Richard Branson and Mallya?”
“Just Branson, not Mallya!” whispered my friend, “We’ll tell him that those with beards should fly exclusive business class!” “Why not the whole plane exclusively for us bearded fellows?” I asked excitedly.
“Great idea,” said my friend, “and also insist that at airports we are allowed to man security posts!” “So, we subject Mr Cleanshaven to double security checks!”
“Check their baggage a dozen times before the flight!” “See that the airport seat next to him is empty, even while he is subjected to suspicious glances by everybody!” “Ha, ha, ha!
This is going to be fun!” I chuckled.
I must have dozed off after this conversation and dreamt I was actually on a plane filled with bearded men.
“Why don’t you grow a full beard like mine?” mumbled the man sitting next to me through his very bushy appendage. “Mine is quite full,” I said proudly.
“Yeah, but it doesn’t touch your waist like mine does,” he said scornfully. “I’m quite happy with mine,” I said quietly. “I’m not,” he said bluntly looking at my beard. “Then fly another airline,” I said.
“This one’s exclusively for full bearded men!” he shouted, “Friends, this fellow has a beard only up to his collar!” “Throw him out!” shouted all the waist long beards, and I was just being forcibly thrown out of the aircraft when I woke up.
“I talked to some airline owners!” shouted my friend excitedly as he came back, “and they’re interested in our bearded only flights proposal!” “No!” I whispered, “Nothing’s gonna change! What we need is to grow tolerance, open mindedness and understanding for those different from us; not form a nation of same minded people..!”