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Monday, September 3, 2007

The Legend of the PASS

One fine morning, it so occurred to the heavens that I be subjected to a wholesome, heavenly, and out-of-the-ordinary drill in my mundane and only-15 work hours a day-easy going life.

Now the situation had to be defined and the characters, curriculum and itenary had to be freezed – this is when they thought of making it unique –

“Lets subject her to something she would very willingly leap for”, muttered one of the fatso God of games.

My box-o-wishes was opened and scutinized one by one:

“I want to own a doll house with its own mava lamp and plants with real mud pots”

“I want to grow up to become like my darling sis “

“I want to win that essay competition”

“God give me 100 in math”

“I pray to be taller”

“I want to own a blog”

“I wish to quit”

“Thinner please”

“I want to go abroad”

!!!!!!!!!!

“Crazy woman, what we make of her pending applications?”

“Well, there is hope in the last one!”, exclaimed the God of fiction. So there sat the great gods of destiny and wrote the fiction of the “legendry drill”.

The Gods sent a messenger in the name of one PG, who by evil chance turned out to be my reporting engagement manager. Early morning 8am email reads “do you posses a passport?,,reply asap. Keep mum about this”

Adrenalin runs all over me and decathelons into my head and heart.

Fuck I don’t !!!

Did he secretly conspire with the gods to find out I was thinking about this last night?

9 am boss arrives and a scurried up to him. He looked at me with a look of a doctor about to announce pregnancy, “Sana, this is a golden opportunity for you”, he clasped his hands and looked straight into me. I tried hard to maintain balance and look composed – “despite layers over you, I have recommended your name for the upcoming US visit on our new accounts”

#

Didn’t know what to say.

Nodded.

Are you ready for this?

Nodded.

Know the processes?

Nodded.

Passport?

Nodded.

….in the negative ofcourse”

15 days and you are flying..do the arrangements”, walked off.

Now the complete reality of the situation having dawned on me, I realized what it means to live a dream.

Then began the eternal legend of the PASS – the process of earning a passport…

I had to spend a day with one of my expert uncles to help me fill up my form and then another day to arrange all the papers. In the process, we discovered that my name had been accidentally struck off the electoral rolls of my residential area, and hence there was no proof of my proof of address!! Hurdle 1.

Took a day and a couple of money filling gabs to get records right.

That’s three days gone.

On the next day I were to assemble at the passport office to submit my application. Someone suggested that I reach the passport office early in the morning to avoid any rush and the long queues.

All night I spent dreaming of a huge arch looming over a dimly lit sky as I walk through the fa├žade of what I pictured to be the PASSPORT OFFICE.

When I reached the office next morning, I was welcomed by a mob – that’s what I call it – over a hundred people – some in queues while some trying to break them.

I quietly positioned myself one mile from the target window, at what seemed like the tail of an infinite ribbon of humans. And smelly ones by Jove. It was past 4 by the time I was done with this ordeal.

After spending over eight hours, foodless, shelterless and amidst smelly shoulders and sweaty faces, I felt wretched.

I wanted to give up, but then I thought of the big ben – not that I didn’t know that it wasn’t in the US – just wanted to check if you noticed ;). Therefore having thought of the Big Ben alias my long cherished dream of the foreign trip brought me back into the world of materialism and want.

I waited patiently for the next few days for the police inquiry to my residence. It did not happen. I had to shake a branch or two only to find out that my application was not yet forwarded from the passport office. Money moves things faster.

The application arrived at the police station and my dad had to drive the designated officer to our house for the inquiry and serve him with crispy greens to get the approval pass smoothly.

By then I had already lost ten days. Five more to go.

My boss kept nagging me for the passport day and night. And by this time the casual inquiries transformed into subtle warnings. I could sense the we-might-have-to-send-someone-else tone in his voice.

I kept promising that it would arrive soon. It had to arrive within the next three days.

I waited, called the officials, visited the office, tried money , nothing happened.

The passport did not arrive – that’s what the God of Fiction decided – that it would not arrive.

PG gave up, looked at me with the look of the ditched lover and sent someone else.

I kept reading glossy paper mags on the hot spots to visit in the US.

The heavens rejoiced as I worked 15 hours a day and sulked o’er my luck. Different from my usual routine.

Some days later, my passport arrived – I turned the leaflets of the blue booklet and started at my corporate looking picture. Damn I deserved to be there.

Then I stared at my address and thought of the hurdle 1 ordeal.

Then I started at other insignificant details – my date of birth, father’s name, sex, ..
Wait.. I’m not a “male”!! They had marked my sex as male. Could they not see my corporate looking picture? Or could they not differentiate between male and female species.

It made me picture a huge ancient machine churning out passport books and mixing records and getting stuck at every power cut (we have hundreds of them in our city).

That is probably why it took so much time for the passport to arrive. To save me from the embarrassment of hitting America with a Male identitiy. J
That’s the irony and the humour..

The heavens laughed their butts off, and patted the God of Twists.

Even I did ;)


Epilogue

As I unfold the legend, I’m more and more convinced that the heavens played a big role in crafting and concluding this legend.

Even that I’m probably writing this because the heavens want to document it for their records, so they can nominate this for the Best Legend, in the next “7heaven awards”.

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