There is a reason I didn't want to take hummus and baked goods with me to Bangalore, and the main reason was security at the Bombay airport.

I pick up my backpack and reach for the bag of goodies, when the lady sitting there stops me. She asks me if this is mine, and I say yes. She signals to the fatso behind the screening machine. He doesn't even acknowledge me and tells her in Hindi to ask me to open the bag. I look down at the bag and see the bottom has fallen through. I tell the lady that she's welcome to look through the bag through both ends. She has no sense of humor. I take out the contents - hummus, banana bread, and two kinds of other breads for the hummus - and lay them out for all to see.

The woman draws a blank. Then she turns to fatso and says have a look. He raises his eyebrows at another standing cop and indicates to take over the situation. I bet this is a serious Code Orange. So this twit walks over and asks the woman what the problem is. She says the liquid content is the concern. I wonder what is liquid in the bag. She points disdainfully to the hummus. Fatso takes his gaze away from the scanner and says that has liquid in it. I say no it doesn't.

The other guy asks me what it is. I say hummus. I may as well have said LAKOUKARACHA five times in hurry. I say its a chutney. He turns to fatso and says its a chutney. What kind, I'm asked. I pause. I say its eaten with bread. He asks the ingredients. Now I draw a blank. Chick peas and yogurt and spices, I say.

Eat it, says fatso. Should I dip some bread in it too, I ask. He doesn't appreciate my humor. Sure, if you'd like to, he says. I dip the middle finger of my left hand into it and taste it. Pretty good, I tell fatso and his cronies.

Fatso starts mumbling something about people sticking unsafe objects in food and smuggling them on board. Save it, I tell him, and start stuffing the food back into the broken bag. Fatso is still mumbling as I cradle the damaged goods and set off to Cafe Coffee Day to see if they have a plastic bag.

Bah hummus!


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