I just cleared security at the Kolkata (Calcutta) Airport. It was similar to the checking-in process that we go through in the States with the exception that women form one line and men another. You are frisked several times and bags checked more than once on your way to your departure gate. A simple namaste seems to do the trick when language poses a communication challenge. I find that namaste opens hearts and doors.
The departure gate was clearly marked, although written in a language foreign to me. Luckily the flight number was included in English. I settled into one of the reclining chairs that suggested extended waits were common but pushed that thought from my mind. Glancing around I could not help but notice how unhurried the travelers appeared. None were fidgeting, pacing, or arguing with the attendant at the counter. Equally interesting, none were reading or working on computers. Many were chatting away in a casual way on their cell phone, while others napped or watched TV.
Most of the travelers were male and a good majority of them were watching a cricket match on ESPN. As I absentmindedly watched this sports match, which appeared to be an interesting cross of stick ball, baseball and hockey, a message scrolled across the bottom of the screen. I had to wait for the message to repeat to read it fully since the first time it scrolled by I really was not paying attention. The message, or should I say warning, clearly stated, “If you are viewing this sports event it is pirated.”
I found myself looking around, thinking that any minute an armed security guard would approach the TV and switch it off…silly me. Other viewers showed no reaction to the posted violation even though the warning was now scrolling along the bottom, the top and the middle of the television monitor. I had to chuckle at the absurdity of it. Here we were in a major airport watching a pirated sports event in full view and knowledge of the authorities that run the airport. It made me laugh!