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Thursday, February 8, 2007

Powder failure

Airport officials mistake Yana Gupta's protein powders as drugs

Model Yana Gupta invariably faces a unique problem while travelling by air. Recently she faced it again when she was stopped by officials at the Dhaka Zia International airport, Bangladesh. In a country which swears by its samosas and vada pavs Yana Gupta is a health freak who swears by soya protein mix instead. Besides that, the actress is also an acupuncture expert who carries her acupuncture needles with her when she travels. The result is predictable - she has often been questioned for possession of suspicious objects while travelling.Says Yana, "I'm very health conscious and carry small dabbas of stuff like my soya protein and calcium powder which I mix. They look kind of weird and I'm always questioned for it. I also have small acupuncture needles which I bought from China, which look like tiny sharp objects in the X-ray machine.""It's quite funny actually," says Yana. "Every time I pack my bag I pray that I won't be stopped. But very often I'm stopped. At the Dhaka Zia International airport, Bangladesh, last week, they opened my dabbas and asked me what they contained. They thought it was drugs. But I asked the man to taste it and only then did he believe me and let me go. The same thing also happened to me in Dubai, where I was lucky to be let off easily as the rules pertaining to drugs are very strict there."As for the needles, Yana says they need a lot more convincing than the protein powders. In fact, she even had to do acupuncture on an airport official once to prove herself. "I was coming back from Kolkata, when a security man stopped me. I told him I was a doctor who uses them to treat patients. He scoffed at me saying they didn't look like medicines. So I just stuck a needle into him and showed him. Thankfully I got back my needles as they are specially bought from China!" says Yana.Yana firmly believes in virtue of acupuncture. "Acupuncture helps in the flow of energy channels called meridians in our body. I do it all the time and I never fall sick any more. I do it after a work out or when I'm feeling tired. I do it for friends too, who suffer from backaches or asthma. And yes, I do it during flights, when I feel airsick," says Yana.

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