Epic Story of An Enthralling Official Trip!!!

What happens in when people of varied age groups and different parts of India with different tastes get together?

They either sit in smaller groups and enjoy among themselves or they become individuals…this is a common feature, but our office trip which had about 20 odd people proved all the said features to be ridden from the surface of earth.

You ask me how that can be; there will always be differences…blah…blah…blah. Read on…!

We started on early Friday morning…..and then picking up people on the way we hit the highway at about 8.10 am. We stopped for breakfast and refreshing ourselves, as some of us had started very early that morning and were still sleepy, due to our own comforts of life. So the refreshments had really rejuvenated the souls and there was fun thereafter.

We got into the bus and resumed our journey, after a sumptuous breakfast, filling the growling tummies, people were resting heavy on the chairs of the bus…so it was time to wake them up.

The music could not be switched on, so we resolved to people singing and dancing with loads of masti and fun. That broke the initial hiccups of ice-breaking and kind of everybody loosened up.

The reluctant people also gave up seeing others and broke into the mood. Thus, rolling in laughter and fun and pulling each others leg longer than usual, we reached the place and then it was only food on our minds till we saw the scenic river….!

I and my friend initially took a walk down the river and attempted to touch the waters but then beaten by the drizzle to the sudden rain we had to trace our feet back to the hut that we were supposed to share for the night.

The rain stopped and the whole lot of people wanted to take turns to the river, this time too we joined and could not wet our feet in the water.

We both took an oath saying, “We will break the Jinx…either together or separately, and we will see that the foot is dipped in the water.”

Thus, we got into playing various games such as, carom, shuttle, and cricket along with the different cameras clicking the beauties.

There were loads of men, who surrounded the ladies who were very less in comparison to the men folk, and they had to crave for attention amongst the few.

Some men did not bother to disturb the beauties…though each one of us was in different shape, size and color. So the variety was the essence of attention. 😉

I wished I wasn’t married coz I was the only lady who was married and that made me ‘a species in its own territory’. Well, all good things don’t come in good packages. So had to be fine with what was offered to me, but even though I did not want to be addressed as ‘AUNTY’, I kept my share of vengeance by calling that same person, ‘UNCLE…’! 🙂

That became the way of addressing for both of us for the one and half day we spent together. I was also thinking it was getting a little boring when there was no much attention, one as I was married and the other as it is there is no much chance of doing things that were being done….?!

I don’t understand the fact how is that married men still do feel it comfortable to pursue younger women, but the Good Looking and Smart Women, like me are avoided for a simple reason as such as marriage. Well, will address this later; let me get on with the writing of my experience.

Just then when I thought I was getting bored, people were already lying on bed, sleeping and catching a nap, some talking about their own experiences, explaining the beauty of the place, and all varied kind of talks, it became evening and the tea got served.

We had tea and settled down for rounds of talks, some went in to refresh, change in to more comfortable clothes, become prettier, and things like that went on and we gathered around for fun games.

The games were real fun and it actually made things even easier for us to mingle and break the little bit of inhibitions that we had.

Suddenly, I heard my name from all corners and I felt much needed, and then there was a round of singing songs, and I too rendered a romantic song, battered as much as I can.

I finished and I could really see a very few listened to me. I did not know that many had listened as I heard more claps join, but was wondering did they ever listen to me to just joined to clap.

The ignited camp fire was blistering away with its golden red and yellow streaks…with streams of hot air blowing our way; we were sitting closer to it. With its smoke hitting us we sat there to listen to the songs, that were sung, the talks and discussions, that went on.

Somebody out of the blue, said, ‘I can’t say this, coz, there are girls’. We all girls got curious and wanted to know what it was. We tried our best to pull it out from the horse’s mouth but could not due to over burdening of crowd. So, that still remains to be settled, we need to know what is that – that is about the Symbiosis Girls…! 😉

Now the setting sun and the onset of night brought the colored bottles out and it got drowned through the men’s throat and it added vigor to the silent night.

The real fun started after this…we girls had wanted to do a trek in the night as it was part of the package. But, as we heard it from the resort authorities, we needed to book the guided person before the evening sets in or as soon as we come in. We did neither of it and it was considered a risk to be doing on our own.

The authorities said, “If you guys are fine with the risk involved, you can go around with lamps, lanterns and torches…we will provide. You can take a walk along the river-side…”

The men are every ready with task that can question their ability and the fear factor…and when influenced by the inebriated spirits…you don’t have to ask.  🙂

What is more surprising is that the five ladies who were there were willing to give away everything on these people’s word…how is that?

When they clearly know that they can’t even take care of themselves in danger, how are they going to take care of so many delicate darlings at a single time…? Whatever, I was reluctant at first and then being skeptical, I joined the group, unless I am left out from all the fun and frolic…and did not want to be the one left all alone in the Hut of Ours, for the night and hear to all the taunts later when they come back.

Nevertheless, I decided to join them…! The fun part was yet to start…! It was about 11.30 pm when we finally came to go on our walk…with a lantern that good hardly lighten the way till few yards and a torch that can only light your feet and nothing else…! 😉

So, about 13 guys and six ladies, join for the Night Walk, though not in the same order, but I name them here, less they won’t know who they were…!! 😉

It was Vikram, Zabeer, Purna, Vishal, Indarjith, Dinesh, Vasu, Venkatesh, Prakash, Sumit, Visheesh, Ravi, Raghu and all the six beauties set on their walk…with the little light that could guide the way. We all gathered outside the barricade that brings us into the wild and leave behind the civilized parts of the world.

As it is the fear of standing unprotected with a whole of group of inebriated spirits beyond recognizing themselves…wasn’t enough Visheesh, the He-Man of the group says, proudly, “I saw a snake crawl by into the bushes there…where?” God, only knows everything in the front is only shadows of bushes.

We had to believe him…I hear a call out for my name and they say, we will follow, Kavitha for reasons known to him…I could not pin point who was it but, then going with the chorus, I led the whole bunch…!

I like an Aaj Tak correspondent, hoping that it might scare the people who want to walk…Start rolling the camera…Announce…Listen people, “Our Correspondent, Visheesh ji has spotted a snake crawl into the bushes on your right, during the broad day light, so there more chances of finding it in large numbers as it is night time, I request all of us to be in the group and walk along with the group so that we avoid crossing their paths or our paths..”

I don’t know who heard me or not…I was/will stick to the group and not be left alone…! 😉

I was wrong when I said, Ok, coz I thought they all are spirit-fully up for tasks would listen to me…No, I was proved wrong, each one had a direction and the rest did not mind where they were going…as it is the guys were not enough I had tough time maintaining the girls…they wanted to be let loose and roam as and how they want….!

I really want to know why they called out my name. Did they think I was the lazy dumb of the lot or they thought me to be sensible…?! Whatever?!

So, we started walking with one nerd far ahead of us…! Shouting my name, and asking me where the hills are? I said, we will walk towards the hills taking stand on another nerd, who said we go near the hills and walk back.

Now, this nerd was more smarter than the others…calling out loud slogans, “Darr Ke Aage Jeet Hai, come on Kavitha, let’s go…”

I was wondering what do I do now…? People had already vouched for him and his slogan acting on their manhood made them follow him…some sane person said, ‘No let’s go the reverse direction, then the hills in picture…’and what not.

There were a few people who wanted to sit still in the darkness and have a long drawn inhalation…I Wondering what to do with these people. Walking was at least a better idea in the wilderness, sitting no…!

Then they found a lamp post and sat around it with the lantern in between and started the non-inhalers lung to damage more…!!

People could not take the foolishness more…If the walk wasn’t enough people were asking for topics of discussions under the lantern light and wilderness as if it was a Great Day Light and discussions would make them wiser than they are…!!

I also gave a topic as if I did not want to be left out…!

Some people got bored or irritated with the inhalers walked off and started getting back…later it was reconciled as it always happens, the manager apologized on behalf of the inhalers and promised it won’t happen again and pulled us all together till 1.30 am in the morning and then split to sleep…!

Day one spent; equally good…we went to take the second day in full josh starting from 6.30 in the morning…!! I came to know that the hills that we wanted to walk to the previous night was just a Mound on Earth…and it was just a little ahead of where we sat down and dispersed…!

What a luck, we had…!

The day two was equally fun with real water this time at the river side at the Dubbare Elephant Camp and the frolic in the bus. The dark desire of dancing with the most beautiful girls in the bus, was kick started by Raghu, who was silent for most of the time.

I guess, he had a plan scheming in his mind for long and then finally, he set into action, like the Rajinikanth dialogue, – ‘Late Ah Vanthalum Latest Varuvom’ – meaning, “Even if it is the end of things, I can still do wonders…!”

He had the privilege of dancing with three beauties back-to-back…and leaving a smile on envy on other faces who could not do it…even after expressing the desire. Raghu had really schemed it well…he said, as innocently as he could, he was about to get off…and with the flow of a romantic song started dancing with the beauties and the beauties are to be appreciated as if they were waiting for the chance…got up from the seats and gave him a roll….! 🙂

Finally, it was Prakash who could not get his desire full filled….! Slowly the momentum set in and everybody had their share of dance, with the girl….!!  🙂

A very good trip ended with making a whole load of friends…and enemies as some could dance and some could not…some called the other brother and became a sister…!

The whole trip was exciting and as I could not ask for more, I was voted as the Runner-Up for the title of Ms.Project, which was least expected by me. I was happy to be beaten off only by a minimal margin of another three votes. Did not know, I could gather so many votes…I was surprised and still am.

As soon I got off…the pain and tiredness that was hid in the laughter came into existence and all I wanted to was to hit the hay as soon as I got back…!

Indian Gaurs at Valparai

During one of our early morning walks in a tea estate in Valparai, Tamil Nadu, we spotted a herd of Indian Gaurs, about 10-12 in number. They were feeding themselves in the middle of a tea estate. We went closer, under the guidance of estate caretaker.Here’re some closeup photos of the Indian Gaur clicked in Valparai tea estate.Below one gives closeup look of female Gaur…

Below photo is without zoom-you can spot about 5+ in the picture, there were 5+ more around

The mighty Indian Gaur (Male). This one appeared to be in command of the group. Weighing about 1500 kgs, most of it is muscle and not fat, attack by these can be deadly.

As we went closer, there was constant eye battle. While the gaurs evaluated if we’re a threat that needs offensive action or if we can be ignored, we evaluated how further we can go without agitating the animals. Eventually there was a trade off. Gaurs slowly started moving away from us and we started retreating. I was thinking they were planning an ambush taking advantage of tea estate, but that didn’t happen.

Because of tea estate, we couldn’t see their white coloured legs. Even without that, it was a good experience getting so close to the gaurs (aka Indian Bison)
– Originally published at Enidhi.net

Valparaiso De Chile

Was in Chile for a short duration recently. Valparaiso is a beautiful port city, about 90mins drive from Santiago, Chile’s capital city. Valparaiso has a unique landscape- it has got sea on one side, little bit of flat surface and then hills. Similar to our Vizag 🙂

Below are some views of the Valparaiso city, taken from elevated grounds…

In simple words, the visuals of the city are fairly similar to what you get to see in GTA vice city… 🙂

You Bihari! You £$%#@!

Circa:  2006 A.D. Route: Poona – Jamshedpur. Services: Azad Hind Express, Indian Railways. Scene:  A typical 3AC compartment – with a youngster trapped amidst – a family of five with three annoyingly hyper-active and argumentative kids on only four reserved berths; an old lady, from the southern extensions of this vast country, yapping her way to glory; and a middle aged couple munching on the popular snacks of the region and utilising the floor as the waste bin.

 

The wondrous services of Indian Railways had ensured that the passengers of that particular services – get to travel no faster than a bullock cart (comprehending to the ever increasing demand to “enjoy the scenic beauty of countryside India”), halting at every signal post constructed on that route (to facilitate the realisation that none of these posts stood without a reason) and derive the immense pleasure of a stuffy, non-functional AC coach (in order to motivate passengers to use regular sleeper class coaches and improve on fuel efficiency).

 

Old Lady, who was from some obviously indomitable state of Southern India, had some amazing ability to convert her thoughts into the words and to blurt them out without the application of any filters, and was flaunting, very precariously, her “prim and proper” self. First, it was the turn of the oh-so-innocent middle aged couple who had had Bhel-Puri, Kachhi-Dhabeli and others of the sort, while feeding the poor and hungry floor more than their own beloved stomachs, on the topic of hygiene and cleanliness, and garnering a total oblivion in return. The wife had managed a perplexed look on her face and was looking towards her husband for a respite and a riposte, but fortunately he was unperturbed.  Without the lack of vigour, she turned her energy towards the kids – the kind she claimed to have mastered in her school as she was an English Teacher. Lessons on the importance of discipline and obedience poured on the poor souls unblemished and vehemently. The compartment was turning into a ‘Moral Science’ classroom.

 

She was gloriously yapping to the innocent kids, “Everybody must do their own work”, when her lecture was interrupted. “Everybody must do his or her own work…Not ‘their own work’…a common Pronoun error” a voice broke. The poor, ignorant youngster had no idea then, what wrath he had unveiled on himself. The old lady’s jaw dropped. She could not believe her ears or eyes. How dare an indecorous and insolent young fellow who was still busy in his cell-phone, make such a preposterous remark at her?

 

Old Lady: (Turning towards the youngster in utter disbelief) Excuse me?

Youngster: (with his eyes still fixated on his phone) It is a very common grammatical error, where the pronoun is not in agreement with the number of nouns it is referring to.

Old Lady: (with “How dare you?” expression on her face) What?

Youngster: (now giving her a casual look) Yes! Everybody and own are the mismatch here – plural and singular. Hence, instead of their, it should be his or her. I hope I am making sense.

Old Lady: (trying to calm down now) Yes! Very Much! Thank you for the correction. (Forgets about the Moral Science lecture) So…Where did you do your schooling from?

Youngster: (again…Casually) DPS.

Old Lady: (with excitement) DPS, Bangalore?

Youngster: (with a perplexed look on his face) Do they have a DPS there? I am afraid; my knowledge is limited about the expanse of the fraternity. I am a DPS, Bokaro Steel City, alumni.

Old Lady: Oh! Alright…So your father works in Bokaro Steel Plant, but you are from Kerala?

Youngster: (with signs of disgust on his face) What made you arrive at this conclusion?

Old Lady: (with some sense of pride at her derivation) Well! For one, you have very good English, and second you look quite the Mallu.

Youngster: (Irritated) I apologise to be continuously disappointing you, but I am from Bihar, and Bhojpuri is my mother tongue.

Old Lady: (in disbelief again) But…But that cannot be.

Youngster: (somewhat mockingly) Again an improper sentence, or rather, an incomplete sentence. There has to be a verb or noun at the end of the sentence. For example “But that cannot be true or correct”. Now, may I have the pleasure of knowing why that cannot be true or correct?

Old Lady: (getting back to her “prim and proper” self) That is precisely the reason why it cannot be correct. You don’t sound like a Bihari.

Youngster: (with disgust) Excuse me! Then, according to you, how do Biharis sound like?

Old Lady: They do not have such good English and their pronunciations are even worse. How come you have such good English?

Youngster: (muttering mockingly) What can you say? My Mom and Dad conceived me on the banks of Thames and my Dad even went a step ahead to sprinkle those holy waters on her womb.

Old Lady: I am sorry!

Youngster: (smiling and now audibly) To break your preconceived notions, all the educated Biharis I have come across, do have a fabulous fluency in and knowledge of, English. Without being modest, I can confidently say I am not even a noteworthy example. In fact, I am astonished that you being an English Teacher are startled at my English.

Old Lady: (perturbed by the retorts) Son! I have been into teaching for the past 22 years. I have been in Jamshedpur for 6 years now, teaching at two of the best schools the city has, and I have never come across a Bihari student who could dare point out my grammatical errors. Let alone the grammar, the pronunciation is an even bigger issue. You must have had very good teachers at your school.

Youngster: (muttering again) Then what did you think? My Mom gave me the chutney of Wren and Martin’s English Grammar and Composition, instead of gripe water, to help me digest my food?

Old Lady: (perplexed look)

Youngster: Obviously my teachers had a good role to play in my education but that does not single me out. As far as pronunciation is concerned, according to me, Biharis have the best and the most correct. We speak the clearest and pronounce each word as it has been described in the oxford dictionary. Anyways! Since we are having this conversation, please oblige me with your description of a typical Bihari. I promise, I will take it very healthily and in the right spirit. Also, my answers might help you understand us better (and he smiles a wry smile).

 

 (The explanation will follow soon…)

Companionship…thy name is Love!

On my journey to Chennai this weekend, I came across a couple who sat next to me in the Aerospace bus to airport.

Unlike me, who was traveling to the final destination of the bus, they got down several stops before me. The striking thing that I found in this couple is the care and affection they had and showed for each other.

I don’t know whether they were husband and wife or just companions or whatever state of relationship they were in…the thing that mostly mattered were that they showed complete confidence in each other and trust that we could see through.

It so happened that I got intrigued and started watching them as their common conversational language was English. Though they did not either speak as perfect tech savvy types or try to ape the westerners with an accent. They spoke perfectly well that each of them could understand each other and respond.

It was by mistake they got into the bus I was in. They have been regular in their travels that they assumed this bus to be one of their regulars. They had offered a fare of Rs.40 to the bus conductor for their trip and found out that it actually cost them another 40 rupees, for their trip.

That is when they come to know it is not their regular bus and need to get down exactly one stop before their place and walk up to till there.

The conductor asks for a name for their place they want to get down, but they don’t seem to get the place correctly, they just remember the place they need to get down.

The guy is so much in his thoughts that he keeps repeating to her…not sure where this bus is going and where they need to get down.

The girl comforts him by saying, they can take an auto from the stop as it would cost them another 20 rupees only and she has done it several times. He just nods to her and tells her that it is actually far…and calms her before she gets worried.

They keep talking to each other and she points to their bus that they usually take, when it plies past them. At this he just nods and his forehead worry lines tells us that he is thinking at the stop they need to get down.

After much thinking, he tells her, I think we need to walk a long distance. At which she says, ok will walk by, what to do?

She now gets into thinking; I see her tapping her fingers on his lap and lost in thought. Then as if out of revere she says, yes, it will be far…I thought about another bus-stop when I said we will take a auto, no use we wont get auto’s there…we have to walk.

At this, the guy laughs and says, so at last now you have come to a conclusion… at this she says something further that is understood only by them.

I could see both smiling at each other. A passenger next to them opens a conversation with the guy and he almost repents to him taking the wrong bus. He tells him that they usually take another bus and when she stopped this bus, he did not check it. Now, wondering how she will be able to walk so far.

Just before their stop is come, the bus conductor asks them to get ready and he stands up taking the bag she has and moves forward. He cautions her about the step beneath her feet and asks her to be careful about the step.

He moves forward in the empty bus…keeping a watch over her and instructing her to catch hold of the rods that are provided for support in the bus. He twice lets out a cry to be careful and looks onto the road in front of him.

He finds that it is the same place where they have to get down, he strikes one of his beautiful smiles and looks at her with a relaxed and pride look. They both smile and nod their head in acknowledgment and the bus stops at their stop.

He gets down first not before asking her to be careful and then gives her a hand to hold on for support as she alights down the bus.

The bus slowly moves on and I find them walk hand-in-hand towards the long road that unfolds in front of them.

I wonder, for almost a century now, I believe that sweeter are the conversations you have in your own mother tongue and the sweetest journeys are when you share it with your loved one.

I was proved wrong…the conversation can be as exciting and beautiful as long as you are talking or sharing your feelings with someone you like and love. I could not strike a resemblance to any language as their mother tongue and they seem to be conversing the way they did sometimes, by laugh, by touch, by smiles, by looking at each other, and not the least by talking …

For an instant, I felt the warmth of love and affection and companionship in all one package! I was moved by the amount of worry that guy had for this woman…his worry lines almost spoke his heart and the amount of care he bestowed upon her…they way he led her and took her hand…helped her alight the bus.  She is being given a royal treatment. May they be blessed together!

PS: The couples were in their old age, the man must have been above 60 years of age and the women must have been the less or same age as him. They just made a wonderful couple.

(Read Again….)

Silhouette of a man and a woman

Hello Roger(s) !! back to the base …

Roger … the first name which comes to your mind is roger federer … !! and why not , he is an icon as well.. I always wanted to be like him.but I know I can’t be.but just 3 days back , one thing happened that made  me common to this master player , it was a situation to go back to their motherland !! yes you guessed it right … !! I will be returning to the mother land India soon .. !! I have  mixed feelings as of now  🙂 😕 , 😦  !!

Its Jan End and the australian open  is going on .. Just 3 days back Roger federer lost the match in the semi finals of Austrlalian open ..( who on earth would have thought of that !! ) tickets for  finals  were bought by the people who wanted to see roger federer match… alas they would have been disappointed now .. !! his reign ended and he is back to his home… And coming to 2nd roger  that is me .!!

3 days back … i.e. the same day when roger was palying his semis , I was told by my manager reg the relocation movement of mine Back to India the reason explained to me was simple 3 liners ”
– we have seen a high attrition in past , and are lack of knowledgable  resources @ offshore
– you need to build a team @ offshore now
-hence we are planning to Make resource movement of yours to india for few months , And you will be back may be in near future. !!!

I was Shocked , stumbled , stunned and also happily surprised . shocked and Stumbled not because i was going back .. but the committment given to me was for around another 6 – 8 months , so wrapping up 6 months in next 2 months is a bit tricky task,

Happiliy surprised as : had my manager NOt spoken to me for another couple of months , I would have asked for a leave some where in April ( now no more money expenditures for international tickets 😉 , its compan’s responsibiliy to send me back           😀 )

However controlling all my emotions , I discussed my future plans and managment plans for me .Nodded yes , As I too wanted a break for some personal reasons  + a lot of family responsibilites which require to be finished , and My parents need me @ that point of moment !! I nodded yes , manager said that he is very much impressed by my positive attitude and blah blah etc etc.. also I need to improvise few thigns before I come back etc etc… which left my right ear as good as they entered from my left ear   😛

SO the moral of the Story is that this ROGER Is returning to the base .. I repeat ROGER RETUN TO THE BASE , Alpha command over.. the movment may take couple of months to few more days..I am having a mixed feeling at this moment , AS I wanted to pursue some more objectives and this assigment at onsite was reeally helping me to grow and enhance,however this will now be at a halt , so I am a bit sad !  😦  .. I met so lvoely people here and few really good friends… I learnt the importance of time and work culture, how to utilize your 9 hours extremly efficiently !!

But at the same time , I am happy that i will meet my family after a long time , friends after a long time .. All my friends are getting married this feb ( atleast 5 of them ) and I will miss their wedding ceremony by a couple of months !! Also I wanted to meet all my blogger friends , but only few are left in hyd now .. any ways we can always have a re-union ( like me , hashir , savita & shafat  had in last feb ) …. also I will be able to finish some family matters this time , my parents also need my support !!

Have told my friends and they are already ready with their demands ( of coins , currency etc , funniest one are my  old hyd  roomies : they have demanded  1  i – phone each ( otherwise they won’t allow me to enter in their home 😉 , also they will give me an invalid address , so no chance to attack on them once i land back from air port )

Currently I am just enjoying the full melbourne tour !! to 100 % extent …

So sigining off at this moment .. but will write the latest update soon 🙂 😕 😦

thanks

Roger… err .. Sanky 😉

 

 

And you thought SHE had spared me? Part IV

“Oh! Yes! Mr Deepak Kumar! We have spoken to the Leicestershire Constabulary and they have agreed to issue a letter addressed to Consulate General of India stating the loss of your passport and a reference number. You can go get it from them and make you application with the fee”. Was I dreaming? Was it really happening? After 3 months? My momentary joy knew no bounds. Had it not been so many people around, I would definitely have jumped high in the air. I was so elated with the news that I almost forgot that She plays these tricks in between to laugh at my responses. I was literally running back to the train station to head to Leicester, when I realised, that bloody if this was all he wanted to say, he could have asked his manpower to key in this message too in the e-mail. I could have got the letter and made the application straight away without making this trip twice. This was the point I realised that She must be up to some nasty tricks, and I should calm down till I get the passport. So, I reach the Constabulary, tell them what I was told in the CGI Office and Voila! The constable types this letter immediately: 

 
 

The actual letter issued by Leicestershire Constabulary  (Few critical details blackened deliberately)

The actual letter issued by Leicestershire Constabulary (Few critical details blackened deliberately)

 

 

 

I simply could not believe it. After this agonising wait and trauma, I was going to have a new passport. It was certain. At least it seemed so. Next day, I was before time, for the first time at the CGI Office. One of the first few to enter the office. My application with all the documents except the letter which I was carrying was already with the Passport officer. I had also carried £ 84 in cash as the fee for issuing a new passport in UK, so that the process is not interrupted in between. The officer took the letter from me, attached it to my application, asked me to change the date of application and sign at the changes and then directed me to the counter where I needed to pay the fees and hand him the receipt. I paid and handed him the receipt. He asked me to come back after two weeks to collect my passport, as that is the time they generally take for student’s passport. I was so amazed and relieved that I cannot explain it in words. It all happened so smoothly that I could not believe it. The Lady Luck must have gone on a short excursion or must have been busy somewhere else. All this was totally unexpected in her perfect plan, I thought. But, I was soon to be proven wrong. I reached home in 3 hours and was unable to wipe that smile for all those 3 hours. I was exhilarated, but not for long.

 

Those two weeks seemed the longest wait amidst all the waiting I had done. All the planning was taking place. I would get the passport on 12th. Fill in the TOC (Transfer of Conditions) form of UK BA and post it by 13th. Should be able to get the passport back by the mid of August. Enough room for delays to accommodate, and still make it for my scheduled trip to India in the last week of September. All this was well worked out. Or so I thought. I had ignored Her in all this planning. Still, it was 12th of July. I was there again. First in the queue at 2:30 pm. Passports were supposed to be collected only in the second half of operations of the office. Excited, I reached the passport officers window. He went through his file and disappointedly looked at me and said, it is not ready yet as the passport printing machine is under repairs, come back next week. I was a little disheartened, but still hopeful that one more week…No problems…will wait! Another week passed and again on 19th I was standing in the front of the queue. I should have realised that day that standing in the front of the queue was not that auspicious for me, but did save a lot of time. This time, when I was on the window, the passport officer was alarmed himself. He said that it does not take this much of time; there surely is some problem with my application. He asked me to come back again the next day, he will make a check about where is it stuck in the process. The machine had started working fine and all the pending applications were cleared. So he needs to ensure as to where the problem is. I was ok with the response as he had promised some action. This time instead of going back to Leicester, I stayed over at Birmingham at a friend’s place.

 

Next day again I was in there and the officer also had the answer with him. “Patna Office, from where your passport was issued, has not sent back your PVR. We are waiting for that. In fact, after you went back yesterday I found that your application is awaiting PVR, so I sent another fax to them demanding the PVR. Let’s hope they send it soon. Until it arrives, nothing can be done!” WTF? I had shivers down the spine. Goosebumps all over my body. What do I do now? How does Patna office get involved here? My God! They do not utter a word from their mouth without being bribed, how will they send my PVR (Police Verification Report)? Even if they accidentally send it forward, there is nobody at my home to attend to the verification and bribe those Policemen who visit. This is a well known fact to all those who have applied for a passport, that your PVR is not sent across till you bribe at least Rs 500 to Policemen. Now what do I do? I will have to inform my family. They will panic for sure, but have no options available. Again, you can witness a brilliant plan at work. My Lady Luck had worked on each and every intricate detail. The intricacy of this plan was further realised when I requested the Passport officer at CGI, Birmingham to pass me the telephone number of Patna office. I wanted to take a chance of sorting things myself first. High Hopes! I know! But it was more of desperation.

 

Anyways, I made the call to the Patna office, an international call. Explained my situation to the first person who picked the call, he transferred my call to somebody else. Again I blurted out the same story, again a call forwarded. Third time lucky, I spoke to the right person. He asked me to hold on as he somehow remembered receiving such a fax from Birmingham. He drew out the fax or my application; I guess and said “हाँ भाईसाहेब! हमको ई बताइए …जब आपका पता झारखण्ड का है तो PVR पटना काहे आया है? इसको तो राँची जाना चाहिए ना? हम हियाँ से झारखण्ड में पुलिस भेरिफिकेसन कैसे भेजे? हैं? बताइए? आप fax राँची भिजवाइए ऊहे लोग कुछ करेगा …हम कुछ नहीं कर सकते| परनाम!” (Dude! Your passport has an address of Jharkhand state so the PVR request should go to Ranchi, instead of coming here to Patna, Bihar. We cannot direct Jharkhand Police to do verification for us and hence send your PVR request to Ranchi. We cannot help.) Shocked? At least I was. A fear unlike all the fears, except and of course what happened after the initial shocks, had gripped me. Everything started flashing in front of me. My passport was made in year 2001, and although the separation of Bihar and Jharkhand had occurred, Jharkhand was yet to open a passport office. Hence, my passport was made in Patna and hence this office has sent a request there. I immediately ran back to the officer. Waited for my turn and blurted out the problem. I asked him to send the request to Ranchi. He said, he cannot do that, as the Place of Issue on my old passport is Patna, and even if he does so, Ranchi office will come back saying that they did not issue it and hence they cannot carry out any requests for the passport.

Another deadlock? I was doomed! What should I do now? I will never get my passport. My Lady Luck has perfectly crafted this plan. There is no way out!

(A new drama unfolding…only one more part to go!)