Travelog (Day 1) – Mumbai Airport

I am sitting at the Mumbai airport waiting for my flight to Delhi from where I head to Newark and finally end up in Los Angeles to attend SolidWorks World 2010. This is going to be a long trip for me – 21 days in all. I hate traveling alone. Its boring. Perhaps blogging will help me kill some time.

The security at Indian airports is quite high, even after all these years. Here is a picture of a poor sniffer dog waiting on his master who is busy taking a leak. The poor guy looks like he has already had a hard day.

Click image for larger view

As I was passing through the layers of security I was reminded of a conversation I recently had with my wife as we were watching the evening news. The news anchor was reporting on a recent foiled terror plot. The conversation went something like this:

Wife: When will this end?
Me: It won’t.
Wife: What do you mean it won’t. All this has to end some day.
Me: No. This is permanent because there is no chance for both sides to negotiate their way out of this. Moreover, there are enough of people on both sides to let this go on for years. A decade has passed and nothing has really changed, right?
Wife: But that’s crazy.
Me: Yes, I know. That’s the way it is and we have to learn to live with it. This is the new world that our kids will grow up in.
Wife: (Silence)
Me: It’s like this. When computer viruses first came out, people got all paranoid about them. Same with spam. But now we have anti-virus software and spam filters and life carries on. No matter what we do, viruses and spam are not going to disappear. We just need to make better anti-virus software and improve our spam filters. Its really that simple.

I know I sound like a pessimist. But this is how I see it. Our kids are going to grow up in a world quite different from that which we grew up in. And there is very little that we can do about it.

Come to think of it, actually there is something that we can do about it – cooperate. Personally, I don’t appreciate people who complain at lengthy security procedures and bitch about racial profiling. Due to my age, gender and color of my skin, let alone the part of the world that I come from, it is not uncommon for me to be subjected to closer scrutiny. Whenever that happens, I make it a point to thank the person with a smile after it is over. I believe that is the least that I can do. These people have a tough job. As a programmer if I do not do my job properly my software crashes. If they do not do their job properly there is a different kind of a crash – a far worse one. So I don’t see the point in making their job more difficult than what it already is.

I wish things were different. But they aren’t.