Love in the Time of Terrorism

This newest terror alert and the ensuing security lockdown has come at the most inopportune of times for me. Tomorrow morning at 8a.m. I have to catch a flight to Charlotte, North Carolina to attend my friend Seema’s wedding. First, let’s take a quick look at what I cannot bring with me:

Advice if you’re flying:

1. Liquids are banned from carry-on luggage and cannot be taken through security checkpoints. That includes drinks, toothpaste, perfume, shampoo, hair gel, suntan lotion and similar items. Drinks purchased in the airport cannot be carried onto flights.

2. Baby formula and medications will be allow but must be presented for inspection at security checkpoints.

3. All shoes must be removed and placed on an X-ray belt for screening.

4. Passengers are also asked to arrive at least two hours early to allow for additional screening.

5. Passengers traveling to the United Kingdom should contact their airline for information about any extra security measures or precautions that might be required. Laptop computers, mobile phones and iPods were among items banned on British flights. [Link]

I’m a 30-year-old single male. There are fewer opportunities for me to meet eligible women (according to my parents). A desi friend’s wedding is supposed to be a money venue. But just look at my predicament. I cannot shampoo my hair (hotel shampoo doesn’t count) or apply even a modest amount of styling gel to my hair in order to achieve that proper look between sophistication and slackerdom. Even worse, without my contact lens solution I will have to keep my contacts in my eyes the entire weekend, which will in turn cause me to spastically blink (to prevent the increasing dryness) every time I go to talk to a girl. Even if I make it this far, who will want to talk to a guy that hasn’t been able to brush his teeth because his toothpaste has been confiscated? I didn’t even mention the lack of shaving cream (stubble makes me look like a terrorist) or the lack of aftershave lotion that will make my face itch and burn all night even if I use the hotel provided shaving cream and blade. Also, wearing a suit makes me sweat, a fact that will be obvious since I won’t have any cologne to mask the scent.

What is Chertoff so afraid of?

If someone wanted to obtain a solid high explosive in a liquid form, it would not be difficult for a trained chemical technologist.

But if someone was using a backyard laboratory it is more likely they would go for the two component approach.

Not a lot of experience is needed, the principles are quite simple but it would be a hazardous process of trial and error.

I would not want to be messing about these things. It has been known for schoolboys to go home and attempt this and blow their house up. [Link]


p>Using some items that I just removed from my bag I thought I would demonstrate for our readers how such a device could be constructed:

Something like this will now be impossible.


p>As if all of the above wasn’t bad enough, a large portion of Seema’s family is coming from London. This probably includes some eligible cousins with British accents. Flights from London face even more severe restrictions and it is entirely possible that some of them won’t make it to the wedding. They’ve also been barred from bringing mobile phones with them which gives them the perfect excuse to not take my number for further correspondence.


p>Now I know what some of you overly precocious readers are going to say. Sajit has already said it. “But Abhi, you can just check in your baggage and its all good. You can take all of these items with you.” No! I cannot just check-in my baggage and then wait for it on both ends like a common plebian. Frequent travelers go to obscene lengths to not have to wait at baggage claim. It is an art form and serves as one of the best measures of a man in today’s society to see how little he can travel with and how fast he can be ready to go. I will not give in to terrorism or the terrorists who want to change our way of life. I will not wait at baggage claim. I will not let them win. I know the statistics are on my side.


p>Mr. Michael Chertoff, I just wanted you to know that raising the terror alert to “Severe,” has just put a “Severe” limit on the possibility that I will ever be able to find love in this time of terrorism.

91 thoughts on “Love in the Time of Terrorism

  1. Why not Muslim/Islamic only airplanes ?

    Because you and Preston are saying exactly opposite things. Or, rather, you use identical words but have opposite meanings.

    Bengali disgrace, that was hilarious.

  2. Brit accents are annoying after a while especially when desis overdo it. ‘innit?

    The usage of the word “innit” is principally found in the cockney accent, so here’s hoping the eligible brit cousins aren’t from the londonstani areas ;)

  3. The usage of the word “innit” is principally found in the cockney accent

    or in the dialect of American Desis copping ishtyle of Goodness Gracious Me’s bhangramuffins. Innit.

  4. Dude, just find a drugstore on your way to the wedding. Who needs luggage when they have plastic? :-)

    Vinod is right, the two hours early thing is the real obstacle. Ganesh can’t make us punctual.

    I would say this is an opportunity for just-add-water versions of common toilettries, but I have a feeling little jars of mysterous powders wouldn’t go over very well either.

  5. Also, wearing a suit makes me sweat, a fact that will be obvious since I wonÂ’t have any cologne to mask the scent.

    Sorry man, but if you’re relying on cologne to cover up BO, you’ve already lost that battle. Anti-Perspirant/Deoderant combo sticks are what you need. Cologne shouldn’t mask anything. Instead, it should make air that smells like nothing (aka the absence of any smell), smell like something good. I think too many FOBs just don’t grasp this concept……

  6. phew… thank Ganapatibappa they foiled that one.

    ‘The recent arrests that our fellow citizens are now learning about are a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom, to hurt our nation’ – George W. Bush at a press conference in Wisconsin today

    My prediction: once the scourge of Islamofascism is vanquished – just like we beat the scourge of the Evil Empire – the next big threat is going to be scourge of Hindocommunomaoism.

    Meanwhile, we should all be warned – don’t drop the soap, or the shampoo, or the hair gel, or the contact solution.

  7. I sent in a proposal to the TSA a while back that they should make everybody travel nekkid with no carry on luggage. No need for security checks and we can avoid the bozos with humongous roller bags. Seems like they used part of my proposal, do you think they will send me a check for my idea?

  8. don’t mean to clown the potential of death and destruction, just that i remain skeptical of the overall ethos of the world we live in.

  9. JoT: portolets?
    Summer camp!

    I have been seriously thinking about FedExing my lotions and potions ahead of time. Take that, checked luggage!

  10. I just spent an hour ridding my kitchen of a thick layer of dust which had enveloped it while I was traveling the past couple weeks just so I could make myself a cup of chai. And then I read this post and nearly spewed my chai all over my keyboard. Hilarious!

    I haven’t read through all of the comments so I don’t know if someone’s said this already, but Abhi, I have a solution for you:

    If going by plane, always carry Parachute.

  11. For those who read the Barmaid’s most recent post on L&H, a little sweat on a man aint a bad thing :)

    Keep fighting the good fight, AmericanCrew smugglers! Yours is the land of Freedom, and you should be able to take your Rexona and Braun OralB wherever you go…

  12. Abhi – Very funny ! I Like it and understand your predicament. Fortunately, as I live in London I will be able to make a wedding next week to try and find love in the time of terrorism ;-)

  13. The usage of the word “innit” is principally found in the cockney accent, so here’s hoping the eligible brit cousins aren’t from the londonstani areas ;)

    From my college days I remember desis from the Midlands area of Britain using the word “innit” too, so it may not be confined to Londoners. Or maybe the Midlanders became innitified as a result of their time as students in London.

    “Safe” was also a word that was commontly used, meaning “cool” or “okay”. Apparently it still is.

    For example: “Yeah man, safe an’ dat, innit”.

    And so on and so forth.


    DD, and there were the slutty girls in “Bend It Like Beckham”…

    What the hell are you implying about our DD, eh ?! ;)

    Sorry ladies, I’m just trying to stir up trouble and initiate a catfight on SM. We need more of those here. Miaow.


    A few bucks is worth finding ‘love’, and I’m not talking about hookers.

    Of course not.

    You’re obviously talking about lapdancers.

  14. From a safety standpoint, we should just ban airplanes

    Preston, that’s a quaint but outmoded suggestion — clearly you’re too soft in the war on terrah. We should be banning travel altogether. All those people moving around? They sure make life complicated. Better to make people stay put, where they can be closely watched.

  15. it’s the “indian” (Southall, parts of Birmingham, Leicester, Ilford, Harrow etc) areas in England where the “innit and izzit girls” come from… Normally, they are girls who went to not so good uni’s and did nothing to broaden their horizons (i.e. socialise or show an interest in people outside the innit and izzat vocabulary constraint groups. However, there are exceptions, those from the ghetto that did go to good uni’s and did speak to non izzat and innit types, and did go onto get good jobs in the city do speak well (yes I am talking about myself :P ……

  16. Living in South Florida, cruise ships are a normal part of our “landscape.” They seem even more terrorist prone than airplanes. A giant hotel-like structure housing 4,000 people out on the high seas – a sitting duck. I was about to buy a cruise but now I’m too scared to do it.

  17. Good bit of satire. Ah i suppose the authorities would say mr, you’d better buy the stuff at the other end.

    still – that wouldn’t help air-borne romances- but hey i guess the Authorities would find that highly inappropriate to think about that ‘at a time when our National Security is threatened’

    chortle chortle

  18. they are girls who went to not so good uni’s and did nothing to broaden their horizons

    I guess i hooked up with the ignoramuses while i was there in ’01. Also, what bothered me was that they turned every statement into a question by puttin “yea?” at the end, for example: “let’s go get some food, yea?” (just like our gujus here in US put “no?” at the end of every sentence).

    “Safe” was also a word that was commontly used, meaning “cool” or “okay”. Apparently it still is.

    that one had me in splits. they also used safe as thanks. Another one was cheers mate.

  19. Unfortunately “Safe” is another word that belongs to the innit and izzit crew…. But hey, you can’t argue with “Cheers Mate” !

    Cheers mate,


  20. still – that wouldn’t help air-borne romances- but hey i guess the Authorities would find that highly inappropriate to think about that ‘at a time when our National Security is threatened’

    No fluids are allowed on the plane, bodily or otherwise. You might be mixing up something dangerous.

  21. Thanks a lot, Abhi. Just when I was wrestling with worry over raising two brown boys in an age of terror, you’ve given me yet another scary futuristic scenario: our twins at age 30, unmarried, frazzled, and smelly, prowling after girls at a family wedding. (P.S. Wouldn’t it be great if you found THE ONE at the wedding after all? If that’s not fodder for a desi guy lit novel, I don’t know what is.)

  22. Ugh…Spent 16 hours at JFK yesterday en route to Canada. Getting through security took about 3hrs. Pure, unadulterated chaos in the American Airlines terminal in the morning. I heard it was better later on in the day, but by then I was busy getting bumped off more planes. Oh well…time to relax. I’m in the promised land.

  23. Bobby Friction told ethnotechno that innits came from Southall in the ’80s. (read here and just do a search on “innit” to see where the conversation starts) It only made sense to me in the last year as I started hanging out with more Indians-from-India, who constantly come up with sentences like “We’re going to a meeting today, isn’t it?” Our Hindi teacher translates “hai na” like that as well, so I assumed that’s where it originated.

  24. seems to me that Innit is the equivalent of the American “right?” and the Hindi “hena?” -You know, the 19-ish girls walking through Tarzhay, loudly recounting some heinous crime against them and their fashion sense into their cellphone, and affirming opinions with the phrase, “I know, right!”

    “Innit” would work just as well, and frankly it sounds cooler, innit?

    Filmiholic- I wasn’t in Bend it Like Beckham ;)

  25. But don’t white people in the UK say ‘innit’ too?

    Apparently its found its way into british street slang over the years too

  26. Aw shucks, I’m honored, guys. Pooja sent me the link to your kindnesses. I tune into Sepia all the time — love it, especially the humor posts. Can’t wait till Abhi tells us what happened today. DesiDancer, I went to your site and am DEFINITELY buying my Boulder-based sister a pack of your dance lessons for her January birthday. I’ll be in touch!

  27. “Safe” is another word that belongs to the innit and izzit crew….

    Let’s not forget “Sorted”.

    “Safe-wise”, it was often also used in reference to a person, eg. “Yeah man, that Sunny, he’s safe, innit ? He’s chunga, man.”

    Okay, maybe that last bit was by me.

    Berrrrrrry long time ago, in a pind far far away…..


  28. I’m reading Londonstani an gettin a fair share a all dis stuf innit. Also, fit is used to describe a member a the opposite sex lookin good.

    I feel like if I say it out loud, people will laugh and point fingers at me on the train (or tube, depending on where you at).

  29. They say one manÂ’s wedding is another manÂ’s engagement. Did you meet any dateable kudiÂ’s?

    Talk about a wedding from hell – I was recently at a wedding and was set up on a date with this gal the day before the big day through family. The date bombed and whatÂ’s worse was that I couldnÂ’t check out any of the other gals at the wedding since everybody who mattered at the wedding knew we had been outÂ…

  30. And guess what Asaram Bapu think of himslef as god so this crook phones up his gundas to gather his brainwashed innocent followers to attack on the employees of jet Airways at the delhi airport. That mess lasted for hours , as asaram bapu had instructed his followers to blody hell disrupt this airline becuase they did his security check at freaking another airport. and o block delhi airport will become international news so the crook mastermided the plan remotely and had sent his followers to disrupt the airport. check out the full news at …

    asaram bapu created mess at airport Becuase Asaram bapu will influnece or threaten to rmeove the content as he does to all te media here is the content from the above link is ::::::

    Followers of Asaram Bapu shout slogans at private airline New Delhi: A few followers of spiritual guru Asaram Bapu today shouted slogans against a private airliner for frisking their religious guide before allowing him to board Delhi-bound aircraft at Ahmedabad.

    Followers of the spiritual leader were incensed to know that Bapu was frisked twice at the Ahmedabad airport before being allowed to embark on the Delhi-bound Jet Airways flight, airport sources said here.

    The ‘Arrivals’ lounge of the domestic airport here witnessed some noisy scenes with followers of the Guru shouting slogans against the airliner at around noon, they said.

    It is understood that Jet Airways officials apologised to the spiritual leader, following which the protestors withdrew their demonstration.

  31. IÂ’m a 30-year-old single male. There are fewer opportunities for me to meet eligible women (according to my parents). A desi friendÂ’s wedding is supposed to be a money venue

    hmm, maybe you’ll luck out in the end and have a truly bollywood-kismet moment a la ‘bride and prejudice’:

  32. You think weddings are bad – I had 6 people enquiring why I wasn’t married andmy phone number got dished out to two guys… All at a 1st Birthday Party amidst musical chairs!

  33. Hi Lal Bansal,

    I am ashamed to see a hindu doing this. you call yourself hindu and write against Hindu Saints and Gurus. You should know not everything available on internet is right and you should have the understanding of what is right and what is wrong. Even our gods Shri Ram and Shri Krishna went to their respective Gurudev to get gyan and you are calling names to the Hindu Gurus.

    There was an article in The Hindustan Times on Shri Krishna on the day of janamashtami and the writer wrote every crap she could write for Shri Krishna and said that he is not god. Do you believe what she wrote??

    And let me tell you about the some of the facts about the security checking on the JET airways. The airways personnel did the normal Security Checking and if was trying to do another round of rigorous testing and trying to insult Sri Asaramji Bapu. If that would have happened with a POPE of USA or a Maulvi of JAMA masjid then you would have seen the results. There would have been disasterous situation across the world and the airline would have made their shutters down. Satanic Versus, a novel written by Salman Rushdie. The novel caused much controversy upon publication in 1988, as many Muslims considered that it contained blasphemous references. India was the first country to ban the book. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, who was also a ShiÂ’a Muslim scholar then issued a fatwa which called for the death of Rushdie and claimed that it was the duty of every Muslim to obey. ( And in India, we hindus, inspite of acting against the airline, we are trying to malign our Saints and Gurus. Have you ever seen any hindu pandit/guru/shankaracharya calling off the killing of a person. Shame on you guys, i feel really sorry to know that u are hindus. If you are insulting a Hindu God/Saint and nothing like a fatwaa or something is being called off against you, then its their patience and kind heart. At least a Muslim is doing better than u hindus on his/her religious front.

    Now if you have enough understanding go ahead and delete your comments and stop all such mischievous activities in ur future. World is not limited to whatever fits in ur mind.