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Too young to dye, but not to get caught

If he had acted ‘80-years-young’, not 32-years-too-old, he may have made it.

ET Bureau|
Sep 13, 2019, 07.52 AM IST
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Age is not always merely a number and gender what someone ‘identifies’ with, at least in the unsparing eyes of law enforcement.
Age is not always merely a number and gender what someone ‘identifies’ with, at least in the unsparing eyes of law enforcement. Security officials have a regressive — if effective — tendency to look for stereotypical attributes of both in order to convince themselves of the identities of people and invariably end up catching someone out.

If a 42-year-old Brazilian drug don known for his diminutive size could not fool prison authorities in Rio de Janeiro last month while trying to sneak out disguised as his teenage daughter despite a silicon face mask, a long black wig and a padded T-shirt, clearly, fooling the police is not as easy as in the movies.

Unfortunately, that crucial news item must have been missed by the Gujarati electrician caught this week at the airport in New Delhi in a door-dye attempt to pass himself off as an octogenarian Sikh in order to get to the US.

While Jayant Patel’s turban and thick spectacles were on point, black roots in his white hair, eyebrows and beard, not to mention dark hair on his arms, obviously aroused suspicion. But what did him in, most probably, was his claim that he was too feeble to stand during security check. Had he confidently acted as a robust ‘80-years-young’ grandfather instead of a disguised 32-year-old — a Dharmendra instead of an Anupam Kher — he may well have gotten away with it.

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