Skip to main content

Mad Rush

After shopping malls, the most crowded place in Delhi is, I think, the passport office. The queues here run parallel to the roads and back and beyond. You wonder, if the entire population is leaving the country like the migratory birds of Siberia. After having failed to lure anyone to stand in the queue on my behalf, I finally made it to passport office, two days in a row, and submitted my documents. Hopefully I should get a new passport by this weekend. This is something I had postponed for August, ideally, but the drive to go to the PP office was coerced by a couple of missed foreign 'junkets'. Missed Germany and missed Singapore twice, because my damn passport expires in October and to travel abroad, the PP should have a validity of at least six months. Tsk, tsk! Don't understand this, in the way I don't understand a lot of other things in life.

If one is applying for a re-issue of one's passport, and mind you, this is different from getting a fresh passport, here are a few tips. The new rules, thankfully, have not been made by morons and so do not require tons of paperwork. All you need is the main form, two annexures – f and i , and four photos. No attested certys, no other paper. I am talking about Tatkal. But in case you have changed your address in the past two years, then you need TWO things, though the website mentions only one, [which is why I had to waste two days.] You need an employer letter stating your address, a ration card or and any telephone/bank statements that has the current address. Also, of course, if you have changed your name or gotten married in the meantime, then of course you need the papers supporting that. Don't go by what the touts or people tell you on hearsay. I almost got fooled. Though armed with all the info, I did the moronic thing of listening to an idiot who held out a piece of paper and said it was a must {found out later it was for lost pps) and almost broke my queue, till good sense prevailed and I thought I would tackle the left overs at the counter.

So at the counter, a grumpy clerk will check all your papers and put his stamp of approval. If he is not satisfied, he will ask you for more proof of authenticity! Then you join another queue where the papers are counter verified, and then the final queue to pay the fees. I asked the cashier when I would get my new passport and he replied, "Seven days." Ensued a small argument:
"Your website says three days for re-issue and seven days for fresh passport."
"Saheb se baat karlo [speak to an officer]."
"Then, why should I pay the huge sum of fees [Rs 2,500]?"

Finally, he muttered something, scratched a new date and keyed it in his computer. Everyone wants to take everyone for a ride in this country, even for something which is rightfully yours. With my acknowledgement slip in hand, I walked out of the passport office in exactly four hours. The only good thing, I finished Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Of Love and Other Demons while at the queue.


Popular posts from this blog

A Mad Man Or A Boor

What does one do when one encounters a mad dog? Or what does one do when one encounters a man with pre-fixed notions about everything in life, most specifically of women who live alone and give him some importance? The two are equivalent to me and basic intelligence says avoid the paths they tread like plague. But I chose to tackle them head on. I almost got rabbies.

The mad man said [sic] "You sound like a very desperate person. A single and frustrated woman who is looking for anyone to leave a comment on your blog so much so that you wouldn't even spare a spammer." Spammer being, the first comment on the previous post is apparently a spam, an advert for T-shirts. Bummer! I thought it was a handsome Spaniard or Latino, so I had replied "Hi Rodrigo", hoping to take the conversation forward offline. Anyway! All this the mad man found out. I didnt. Sure, I dig comments because I love the spontaneity and intelligence of my friends. And I didn't invite the mad m…

Glam Gurumaa

Have you ever met a so called godwoman or godman in person? Well I did and I have to talk about this one. On Tuesday night, I got a call asking if I would like to come and meet Anandmurti Gurumaa. My knowledge about ‘spiritual people’ as they would like to call themselves is zero because I have never taken interest in their ilk and India being full of conmen in the garb of spiritualists you tend to look at them with suspicion. I had a friend who stayed for weeks at a house cramped with people in a shady lane in Delhi and they were all fighting and scrambling for the baba’s attention. The baba would perform pujas during the evenings, make them drink and wash with ashes and they would pour heaps of money buying the essentials. The people went to him for all reasons – to sort marital discords, business failures, illnesses, and even vengeance on enemies! It was frightful. I had gone to meet the friend but after a few hours scooted away more scared I would pick a bug from the unhygienic su…

Them Versus Us

Taking off from the Shilpa 'Shitty' issue (I love the surname and that comes from my ever so humorous and intellectual friend Latha or Lotty with love and Angel No. 1 to some :)), here are some reflections on being a north easterner in the capital of the world's largest democracy. Also, Lotty, on a serious note, says I should have a NE angle to what I write. She has a point. I have enough material there, enough to give vent to.

I begin with 'oye Chinky'. When I came to Delhi in the mid 1990s to do a professional course, I wasn't sure what the word meant. Maybe I was too busy paying heed to my new found independence and the certain sense of security -- the fact that I could go to the market even at 10 pm without the peering eyes of the army or the CRPF personnel patrolling the streets and stiffling our existence. It wasn't until my course was over and I got myself a break as a sub editor with the country's premier news agency, that I had my first hand exp…