Right beside me was another man who was also coming from Japan, like me. He had a small Japanese umbrella. On the top it was tied with something plastic that looked like a snake.
The customs man said, “This is something dangerous.”
The man said, “It is only an umbrella,” but the customs officer would not believe him. Then the customs man spoke to another officer, who was a little bit superior. He was an inspector.
The inspector said, “They are dangerous things.” He asked the man to follow him into a room off to the side. Meanwhile the accused man was shouting and insulting the inspector in Tamil. This happened in Delhi, which is Hindi-speaking.
It took them practically ten minutes to finish their examination of his umbrella. In the meantime, I was sitting in the lounge, waiting for the final boarding call.
When he came out, he said, “Look at these idiots!”
I said, “My flute became a gun and your umbrella became such a dangerous weapon.”
— 29 September 1984