Passport Application Verification Process


I’ve got dreams. Everybody has some dreams they want to fulfill. You know, like owning a restaurant or becoming a world famous dancer or becoming a pop star or eating a quiche the size of Texas. I too have a dream *cue Tangled OST, “I’ve Got a Dream”. My dream is to go to Canada for my post graduations. And hopefully, if things work out for me, I want to settle there.

So, I have taken the first step towards fulfilling my dream of going to Canada- applying for a passport. I applied for it a month ago actually. And a few days ago I went for the verification process in the passport office. Now the thing is, our passport office workers have interesting ways of doing what they have been assigned to do. Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to insult anybody here, all I am saying is that it is fascinating. The whole process is kinda fascinating. I will tell you why- here’s a counter to counter report of the conversation I had with them.

                                               My Passport Verification-a-logue

Counter A:

Official: Hello, sit down.

Me: Thank you.

O: Look straight into the camera please. Tuck your hair behind your ears, they need to be visible.

M: okay. *click*

*does some verification thingy on the computer.*

O: May I have your documents please? Thank you. So where will you be going with your passport?

M: Canada.

O: oh, why?

M: To study.

O: When will you go?

M: After my graduation.

O: where do you study now?

M: XYZ College, 2nd year.

O: What do you study?

M: Psychology.

O: why psychology? Why not any other subject?

M: Because I like psychology.

O: okay. When will your braces come off?

M: 6 months or so.

O: Great. Did anybody accompany you today?

M: well, my father came because even my brother is getting his verification done today and he is a minor.

O: I see. Okay you can go now. Look out for your name on the screen and go to the assigned counter.

Counter B:

Official #2: Document for address roof please.

M: Here, my voter id card.

O2: Hmm. You look better in this photograph than the current one here [passport documents, the one I got clicked in counter A]

M: *stare at her for a second* Thank you?

O2: So why did you cut your hair?

M: *stare at her incredulously for two seconds* Because I had dengue and I lost a lot of hair after that so I chopped it all off.

O2: I see. But don’t cut it again. Grow your hair this time. You look good in long hair.

M: okay? Thank you…

O2: you can go now. Wait for the next counter number.

 

So, I was waiting in the waiting room for my name to show up on the screen. I waited for 15 minutes and then the guy from counter A shows up and says-

O: not done yet?

M: *in my mind- you can see me sitting here, waiting. So what do you think?* Nope.

O: okay. *goes away. Only to come back 10 minutes later*

O: I see you’re still not done yet.

M: *in my mind- No shit, Sherlock.* Nope.

O: Go to the front desk, they will tell you where to go before your name shows up on the screen.

M: okay, thank you.

*Find out where to go, go to counter and wait for the guy before me to finish.*

Counter C

Official #3: So many mosquitoes here today. I totally killed 4 of them with my wallet. Someone has to tell the sweepers to clean this room properly today.

*continues to discuss mosquitoes with four other officials, who also cease their work to talk about mosquitoes for the next 15 minutes, I kid you not.*

O3: *to the guy before me, who also contributed to the mosquito talk* Okay, you can go now.

*proceeds to stare at me for a few seconds after I hand him my documents*

O3: Are you a Bengali?

M: *stare at him with open irritation: Yes.

O3: *smiles broadly* But you look like a Marwari!

M: *give an exhausted half smile*

O3: Okay, you can go then.

He did not even check a SINGLE document. Just flipped through the folder. I waited for FORTY minutes to answer if I am a Bengali or a Marwari.

And thus, 2 and a half excruciating hours later, all the documents were verified and I walked out like victorious warrior who just got his limbs amputated. Okay, I am grossly exaggerating, but whatever. I am just glad it is over.

Canada, HERE I COME! Right after I manage to graduate. 

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It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door.


I am in the train right now, have been in it for the past 25 hours, and I’m BORED. Travelling all the way from East India to South India has it’s up-side, sure, like the beautiful sights outside, ranging from sea to mountains and hills to cow infested fields. But the stinking bathroom, hours of doing nothingness and bad food more than balances out the goodies. Not to mention the company of my infuriating brother. His never exhausting energy channelized towards making up new startegies to irritate me is truly amazing. Not.
Why am I travelling? Because I have a college interview to give. Am I nervous? Yes. Very.

There’s nothing else to report. Unless you want to know about the other Bengali family in the train sharing our booth, who’ve been occasionally playing cards, loudly, if I may say so, and occasionally cracking lame jokes and laughing. Loudly. But they are decent. I mean, it could’ve been worse. Atleast they don’t smell like pee.

Snake Charmers, Motels and Other Ridiculous Stereotypes


Okay, so recently I was talking to this American friend of mine, and he was telling me about the ridiculous stereotypes about us Indians and our country that Americans have come up with. How the topic came up? He asked me if I have ever been on an elephant ride. Apparently all Indians are supposed to hav done that. Haha!
So anyway, I just thought that I should try to let the few unfortunate people who happen to stumble across my blog know, that the stereotypes are absolutely bogus and ridiculous and makes me wonder just which jobless creature had the time to come up with these so not true.

The List:

#1 All Indians ride elephants.
No. This is not true. I, for example, have never been on an elephant ride. Ever. It is not our preferred daily mode of transport. It is not a mode of transport at all. I mean, come on! Elephants? Seriously?? We travel in buses and taxis and trains and autos etc. Not elephants. Or camels for that matter.

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See? We travel in cars and taxis and buses, etc.

#2 There are snake charmers on every street.
Again, not true. There are no snake charmers in every street. Or any street. I have only ever seen one in a circus. So, sorry to break it to you, but nope. No weird men charming snakes on every street. Hawkers, however, you will find in abundance. And ice-cream sellers. And roadside junk food stalls which seduce your taste buds and then end up giving you gas.

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No snake charmers on these streets.

#3 Cows are EVERYWHERE.
Well, surprise! Not true! We do not have cows everywhere. Just in the villages and farms. Like the rest of the world. No surprise there. Just ’cause our economy is mostly agro-based, does not mean we have cattle running around on the streets. They’d get hit by vehicles. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
Also, not every Indian family owns a cow.

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Notice the lack of cows.

#4  Everyone wears turbans and dresses.
Nope. Only people belonging to a particular religion, Sikh, wear turbans. Not everyone. And as far as dresses are concerned, um, cicilized society and all. Its kinda mandatory for people to wear clothes. And the kind differs from culture to culture.

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We wear normal clothes. Not our cultural apparel. At least not daily.

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Just occasionaly.

#5 Every Indian owns a motel or a truck or a gas station.
My family owns none of them. Neither do my neighbours. Or anyone in the apartment building. Or neighbourhood, as far as I know.  Or any of my friend, for that matter.  So, it’s safe to say that this is untrur as well.

Anyway, that’s just five of them. There are more. Loads of them. I just can’t seem to recall them at the moment. I’ve been almost brain-dead ever since my exams got over. Oh, by the way, I’m FINALLY done with high school! And I’ll be 18 in a couple of months too!! Yay! Yes, I’m being a hyper teenaged girl now.
Ok, thanks, bye!