Now why can’t we get over the entire SRK being detained in the US saga? I’m not too happy with Indians or Asians being profiled at US airports either, but it’s a well known fact now that such checks are a regular occurrence. Except for the fact that some people are treating this case as one in which sacrilege has been committed (This being India some fans might actually think so). The most ridiculous line I’ve heard so far is “Who hasn’t heard of Shahrukh Khan?”
Picture this. Out of the many flights that land at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi international airport, lands one from the US of A. Not that there’s a problem with that, but out of that very flight comes out a haggled man named Alfredo James Pacino.
Of course Mr. Pacino is in India for official business.
Everything’s fine until he’s pulled up by the Indian customs officials. Something’s not right. Alfredo James Pacino? What kind of name is that? It sounds Italian. He even looks Italian. No way near American. So Mr Pacino is quietly escorted to the holding area for questioning.
Customs officer 1: Why you come to India?
Al Pacino: Uhhh…I’m an actuh y’know…uhhh…quite a stah.
Actor? Really? This short old guy? Who’s he kidding? And even if he is, he ain’t no Amitabh Bachchan. Obviously there are protocols and they can’t let no short old Italian guy passing off as an American get away with this. They have a hunch something is wrong. Wait!!!! Let’s check his luggage.
But misfortune struck Mr. Pacino the moment he landed in New Delhi and it refuses to leave. His baggage can’t be located. So he has to face another volley of questions and instructions:
Been to India before?
Do you have any Indian contact?
Don’t you use your phone mister!
You’re an actor? We’ve never heard of you!
Why are you trying to pass off as an American?
Now Mr. Pacino is obviously losing his cool. He’s been here for quite a while and these funny Indian customs officials are holding him for no good reason. He’s got his papers in place and they won’t even let him make a phone call! They don’t even know he was in The Godfather!!!! After about a good hour and a half when the airport officials finally verify his credentials and the American embassy has vouched for him, they let him out.
The news of this unnecessary detention reaches the American shores in no time. People are outraged. Some find it funny! Didn’t recognize Al Pacino????? How funny is that? It’s just harassment. No! It’s reverse racism! An American congressman calls for the same treatment towards Indians (chuckle, chuckle!) While Jessica Alba tweets, “Oh my god! Like who hasn’t heard of Al Pacino guys. This is ridiculous.”
And how did we Indians react? Obviously, the majority of the Indian population hasn’t heard much about Al Pacino. The fact that he is a highly rated, accomplished Oscar winning actor gives no kick to the custom official who was perhaps born somewhere in Rajendar Nagar, grew up admiring Rajesh Khanna and takes his work very seriously! If Al Pacino wants to come to India then he has to go over the same treatment given to every other unrecognizable Joe at the airport. Mr Pacino gets no sympathy for his sad story here.
When normal Indian folks like taxi drivers, government officials, school kids, grandma n pa, office executives and housewives hear the news of a firangi star being detained, they question, “arrey kaun aal pachinu???”
So relax, come back to reality, and simply accept the fact that the American majority has never heard of Shahrukh Khan. And him being detained for questioning is no big deal.
I’m in the dark here!