The Crotchet’s Corner

My perspective about all things inconsequential

Like a breeze …

I have been flying into India’s international airports for almost a quarter of a century, and, for years, it used to be frustrating, after a long flight, to have to stand in the interminable queues at passport control.

One had to stand patiently as a sleepy official examined your passport from all angles and then laboriously typed in your details on an archaic computer, all the time searching for the appropriate key to press.

Times have changed, and the past few years have been a pleasure. Passport control in Mumbai airport, for instance, is a breeze, and whatever maybe the time of day or the number of wide-bodied aircraft that have deposited their passengers by the hundreds, the line moves swiftly, and one is through in a jiffy. The staff is courteous and has a smile on their faces, there isn’t too much conversation, and the wait at the counter is generally under a minute. This beats the time it takes in most of the major airports of the world.

Whatever else has, or has not, happened in India, this is one major plus, and one has to give full marks to the people who run this operation and have made it work.

Pity, though, that all this good work is ruined by a surly “havaldar” who sits on a stool just after you exit passport control, and who insists on leafing through every page of your passport searching for the entry stamp. Defies logic. After all, one wouldn’t have reached this point had the passport not been stamped, so what’s the purpose of having this additional check?

I have never figured that one out.



September 1, 2011 - Posted by | About this and that, Aviation, Human Behavior

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