Was flying from Mumbai to Istanbul, a month ago, and as usual was checked and my baggage double checked at the airport, "I guess it's because of my beard!" I told the security officer as he nearly tried to pull my beard off to see if it was real!

"What we need to do," said another bearded friend of mine, "is start an association; Beard Growers Anonymous!"

"Full beard!" I shouted, "no Van Dyke, Abe Lincoln, goatee or five o clock shadow!"

"No side whiskers or designer stubble!" said my friend gleefully.

"How do we go about it?" I asked.

"First, we write to owners of airlines who have beards!"

"Like Richard Branson and Vijay Mallya?"

“Leave Mallya out!” my friend whispered, “but we’ll tell Branson that those with beards fly exclusive business class!"

"Why not the whole plane exclusively for us bearded fellows?" I asked excitedly.

"Then we won't be able to torment or harass clean shaven passengers," said my friend, "the whole idea is to let them see the shoddy treatment we get!"

"Okay,” I said, “We subject them to double security checks!"

"Ask them for reasons why they've not grown a beard!"

"Feel their silky- smooth cheeks and enquire politely whether they also shave their legs! Then request them to show those legs to us in a detention room to check whether they are female terrorists impersonating men!"

"Like what those security fellows do to us every time we fly,” I guffawed, “Ha, ha, ha! This is going to be fun!"

I must have dozed off after my bearded friend left me, and falling asleep dreamt I was on a plane filled with only bearded men.

"Why don't you grow a full beard like mine?" asked the man sitting next to me.

"Mine is quite full," I said.

"Yeah, but it doesn't touch your waist like mine," he said.

"I'm quite happy with mine," I said quietly.

"I'm not," he said.

"Then fly another airline," I said.

"This one’s exclusively for full bearded guys!" he shouted, "Fellow passengers there’s a half beard guy with us! I pass a resolution that only those with waist long beards be allowed to fly this airline!"

"Yeah!" shouted all the waist length bearded guys together and I was just going to be forcibly thrown out from the aircraft when I woke up.

"I talked to Virgin Airlines!" shouted my friend excitedly, "and they're interested! We're gonna have thousands growing beards just to fly with us!"

"No!" I whispered, remembering my dream vividly, "nothing’s going to change! What we need is to grow tolerance, open mindedness and understanding for each other; not just beards..!"

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