Skip to main content

Need Open Borders


My sister Rita is a funny woman. She asks me on the phone, “Don’t Australian visas have anti-theft thingies?” That was, after an email my younger sister received that said 'please come with authority letter to collect passports'. I replied, “Don’t be so optimistic, these foreign missions are all filled with psychos and can stop giving you a visa for any small error.” She says, “Oh well I am not a criminal or a cheat!” The problem is logic does not work with embassies. 

My friend Cheri has been waiting for a year now to get her minor daughter to Australia and this, after having filled every required forms backed by supporting documents. The embassy says the case is with the visa officer and it is in a yes or no stage! When I got my long term visa for Australia, they wanted a salary statement of the husband. He explained that there is no statement and whatever comes is an online statement. As expected the embassy in Delhi did not accept the online statement and kept the application on hold for want of better salary statement. Finally the dickheads accepted a letter saying the man is employed in the firm. I mean what is the proof of authenticity of the document?

A friend who was travelling to America even had to fill up the question: Are you a terrorist? He had every mind to write oh yes and no! Why is the process of gaining access to a different country such a pain at times!  It is now 7 am India time and I cannot wait for the clock to strike 12 pm when I will hear the news of my sister’s passport status. For a first time traveller, getting a western country’s visa is like passing through major exams, it seems. The clock is ticking and my nervousness is rising. I want the news right now.

Comments

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 ma

O-B-A-M-A

Two million people at the National Mall in Washington alone. The world watched too as Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. So did I. I rudely cut roomie's soap operas and switched to CNN to witness history being created. Some day I may live to tell the tale of how Barack, the much touted Afro-American President of the United States, stumbled with his swearing-in oath. I was a bit disappointed as I watched the man who had run the most successful of election campaigns, the man who Americans were pinning their hopes on, take his oath. Clearly, he was under too much of a pressure to be the best. So before Chief Justice John Roberts could complete the first sentence, there was Obama abruptly breaking out into his first names... " I Barack Hussein Obama.." and then waited for the judge to complete the sentence.. The next line was even taxing. He stopped short after two words... " That I will excute ..." and then Justice Roberts cont

Good Girls Don't Drink?

I have been disturbed by the news coming out of my region – the northeast of India - where a teenage girl coming out of a bar at 9:30 pm was molested and beaten by a group of 20 men. The news has even found its way down under for the shocking nature of it. Tabloids and even TV have carried the news. I have always prided myself in belonging to a region that is known for its high tolerance and where women are generally safe and independent. But I have always felt a bit squidgy about Guwahati unlike the rest of the seven sisters. The place is so like the rest of India in many ways, dirty and claustrophobic. That explains why bars are looked upon as sleazy places and women going there beaten up as with the recent case. Just 150 km away is Shillong, the place where I grew up. Night clubs thrive there and till date there has been no case of attacks against women. Reading the news, I am appalled by some of the reactions. “But the girl was drinking,” or “only prostitutes visit that