14 Jan, 2013

when kohl-kajal becomes a weapon…

Sehba Sarwar
14 Jan, 2013

I’ve written many blog entries about airport security, but this afternoon at La Guardia Airport is surreal. The first time my red carryon goes through the security checkpoint, the guard calls for a fellow guard to open it out and examine my content.

A woman security guard, who happens to be Indian, goes through my bag and then runs the carryon through the radar again. The man at the screen flags the bag again and the woman restarts her search through my belongings. This happens three times. And each time, the guard flags my bag.

“Yes, we know you have to catch your flight but we can’t let you through until we find the item in the bag that causing a problem.” says the woman guard who scrutinizes my clothes, books and dirty socks.

In her third search, she opens out my makeup bag and fiddles between my lipsticks and lipliner. With two fingers, she draws out my four-inch Hashmi kohl container. “Is this kajal?” she asks.

Holding back my anger, I nod.

“You can go now.”