Being a guy who got engaged recently to get married later this year, I needed to start planning in order to achieve my ultimate goal in life: Give my money to some travel agent so that he can put me on some foreign city travel bus to pass some time for a few days after my wedding. The event, also known as honeymoon to the rest of the world, is called firangi Suhaag Raat in East Delhi. Anyway, to achieve my aforementioned goal, I had to get my passport made. In case you’re wondering why I still don’t have a passport even though I’m turning 28 this year, let me clarify that I’m a middle class guy and hence a firangi Suhaag Raat is probably the only reason I’ll ever use my passport for. Mere maathe pe ‘Wanderlust’ likha hai kya?
I have watched a lot of Office Office till 14 years of age(or till I discovered FTV, I don’t remember which came first) so I was expecting a lot of wooden tables with officials either on a lunch/tea-samosa break or asking me to make my application ‘a little heavier’. I was surprised to see that they have renamed the passport office as ‘Passport Seva Kendra’, to allay any fears that SAB TV addicts like me could have, and the entire procedure has been outsourced to TATA company, hence employees wouldn’t have samosa during tea breaks. Doughnuts, may be?
The privatised office meant not having to fill out a written application form in bold letters and then using fluid whitener to edit it over and over again because I behave like an idiot when it comes to such things. Now it’s mostly an online procedure, and though it may just be a rumour, but I’ve heard that Mrs. Sushma Swaraj personally tweets ‘Sab thik ho jaega’ to you in case you’re dumb enough to make a mistake at any step. So, with new-found confidence and complete trust in our foreign minister’s internet pack, I headed out to PSK centre at ITO, New Delhi.
The scenes at passport office suggests that almost the entire capital is trying to flee from India. People from all parts of New Delhi, all religions, all genders and all excuses of having lost their passport could be seen at the passport office to try and get their hands on something other than Aadhar Card as a proof of their existence and nationality. Since I was required to show our Aadhar Card to get a fresh passport made, I won’t be forced to link the two before a deadline in near future. I forgot to take my educational certificate in original, and hence had to make two visits, although I could’ve settled for a passport under ‘illiterate’ category, but I don’t want to put a thumb impression on documents when I’m on a foreign tour. It doesn’t seem classy at all.
It was a fairly quick process, and they clicked my photo too, which completed the trilogy of ‘really embarrassing photos’ after the grand success of Driving License and Aadhar Card. All that is left now is Police verification, and as soon as they tell the passport department that “katayi phattu hai ye banda, kuchh galat kar hi nahi sakta”, I’ll have my passport delivered to me by post, which I will carefully keep in the leather cover, wrap it in a plastic cover and hide it in the secret safe pocket of my Rupa vest. Then I can finally plan my upcoming tour.
What? Ooty trip doesn’t require a passport?
Kya faltu chakkar lagwa diya yaar!!