Friday, October 16, 2009

Life at Passport office

Only after my Visa application got rejected , i realised that my passport is getting expired very shortly. My boss bombarded with questions and i flee to Passport process immediately. On the very next day morning 9 itself i reached at RPO, Bangalore, near Koramangala. I could see a long queue already , people came there with prior appointments, wanted passports through tatkal, or normal process, or mere corrections, etc . I was quick enough to be part of a queue to take the token for meeting the official. Though not aware of most of the procesess inside, i was also part of the discussions happened there. Many unknown geeks started talking and giggling each other as if they were chuddy-less dosth !!!!, me too provided my own consultation to those who needed :-)

Suddenly one guy, (a middle aged) was very aggressive and shouting against govt of India and its ridiculous processess. You know whats the reason ? He is an X-NRI, returned recently, survived his wife and a Son. Poor man went to an internet Caffe , and they rejected him to browse, since he does not have any local ID !! He did not have any ID than his passport which the booth owner rejected, and he did not know how to create a local ID. So me and my neighbour gave a good lecture to create a local ID and Bank account, with procedure :-)

By that time, we went near to token counter, and the guy helped to gave me a token, numbered as 95 !. Imagine 94 people came earlier than me in the morning itself. Number of people for Tatkal app were more than the Normal applicants.

By 11.30, my turn came, by the time I have seen many shoutings, explanations, pleading etc infrnt of the counter. Have seen I man was arguing for re-issuing his passport though his expiry date is 2015 !!!! and He did it !!(Dont know the reason but!!!)

Another couple, wanted their name in their passport (each other ) but they are not legally married.They have been in the counter for last three days continously still persuading the officer to accept their request. Dont know their fate as well !!

Finally my turn came !! I was half mad and tired by the time... my counter part officer was full mad already !!!

She started inspecting my papers, asked original , in seconds, .. i was so tensed, suddenly she declared with a half smile that my papers are clear, so let me fetch your details from Trivandrum office where my previous passport held.

I was asked to wait and it took another 20 minutes for her to call me again,and I saw a clear status passport file frm TVm attached in my sheet. Suddenly on my shock she asked my PP form (Police verification form), I feel like spinning my head and completely lost. It is not the form that was my problem, but the police verification..... if i undergo a verification process, i may not be able to travel in the next week and the entire process may get delayed further.

With a very weak voice, i pleaded her mercy and told her it may not require !!! (What a stupid idiot i am, trying to teach the POPE - Holy Qurban ....!!!) She shouted at me mercilessly, "bring the form, then talk Geek " !!

It was 12.40 by that time, i rushed my bag and took that form (Thank God, i had those forms), filled, and collected a covering schedule from the sippayi and rushed back to the counter. Then she said, i have to attach the address proof copy again.

I ran again to Xerox shop, and got the copies and rushed back to the counter once again, the time was 12.55. With a good smile in her beautiful cheek, the lady wrote in my application that , to meet the Asst, Passport Officer in the first floor.(Then I realised, the very purpose of Tatkal itself should be justified infront of that authority !!!) I ran to APO office in First floor, and immediately understood that the APO is a Lady , that too malayali !!!!

With all innocent and tiring face (was actually tired due to all these sufferings !!),I gave my app to her. on a first look itself, madam wrote that ,it would be delivered with in 3 w.days and please pay Rs2500 to the counter. I was very very happy, still to confirm doubly ,I asked shamelessly , "Madam is there any police verification ? " The answer was firm and Quick "No"

I could not control my happiness ,and no time I thanked her and reached the counter. After an hour or so, my turn came and I paid Rs2500.I assured I should get the new passport on 21st Oct by post. Mercilessly he cancelled my passport with big Chappa. I was feeling bad... an identity which was part of my personal and professional life.... is ended on that day infront of my eyes.
I paid homage with all respect and saluted in my mind. An identity which helped me to see 3 countries.. A document which proudly presented to officials, documents and different uses.

All are over. now need to wait another baby passport with a new number, new photograph with my wife's name included !!!

Let me wait for the new born on 21st October 2009 !!!!!

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