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
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?
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?
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.
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.*
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.