Seen at Srinagar airport, on my way back from covering this story:
Large groups of tourists, possibly religious tourists, working themselves up into an aggressive mood.
They were waiting for a Spice Jet flight. Since it had been raining, many of the flights were delayed, including mine.
These tourists decided that they would not wait any longer and starting queueing up (though theirs wasn't a queue, you understand; it was three or four thick and a random zigzag long) at the departure gate. The harried airline officials tried to reason with them, but to no avail.
Across the glass doors, your could see a Spice Jet plane arrive. This group decided that they were going to board the plane, and were unwilling to accept the fact that this was not 'their' flight and that people cannot just up and board any plane, not unless a departure announcement has been made.
This restive little group had been shouting 'Har Har Mahadev' for a while now. The Kashmiri policemen had not said one word, so far; had been unfailingly polite, smiling while explaining that they would have to wait until the airline officials gave them the signal to board.
Some of the men began to press against and bang on the glass doors of the departure gate. Some began to hunt down airline staff and in aggressive overtones, demanded to be put on a flight - now! The staff quickly escaped to the other side of the glass doors and made themselves as inconspicuous as possible.
More shouting of 'Har Har Mahadev'.
An old, old woman, with thick glasses and a rather marvellous, old black burqa with satin trimming, pulled at my hand and asked me to sit beside her.
"Don't stand there. It's not safe."
And then she told me all about how she had a wedding in the family and how her daughter was dangerously sick, and how she was waiting to go to Delhi. And looking at the voluble bunch of tourists, she said:
"Junglees!... Are they not?"
I said, "Er... hmm.... er, I should go and find out about my flight."
I saw her catch at the passing hand of another young woman, bidding her take the empty seat. The wedding, the sick daughter, the flight that had to be boarded.
And then, another woman.
And over strange shoulders, the resounding cries of 'har har mahadev' and harassed police officers, trying to be polite while pushing back something not unlike a mob.