Wednesday, May 05, 2010

US Visa: an agony of wait

Two and half a minute of work but Two and half hour of a wait. However, this is one place where no one can dare to ask Why and When. Everyone is treated in fair manner , he be a mechanic on a ship or smart clad rich business person. Everyone sits in row of plastic molded chairs with eyes glued to the red LED digital number that displays one’s token number along with the window number. The place is fortified edifice called United States Consulate and the mission of every visitor is to secure US visa stamp.

I am not bemused why our number came last after almost everyone in 9am batch had left. After all my surname Pappu belong to the notorious names that have chronicled in the list of Indian police, customs, court and politics of mayhem. Pappu Yadav, Pappu Kalani and some more. A background check is necessary when this Indian name appears on any application. There could be another reason as well. Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Iran all are bête noire of US Govt and my passports have visa stamps strewn all over. Add to that few from Saudi, Lebanon and I must be a perfect fit in their template of profiling.

There is nothing much one can do in this long agony of wait. No mobile, No laptop, No magazines or newspapers. But the entertaining part is to be a privy to the conversation between a visa seeker and a giver. There is a notice board that displays banned list of organizations by the US Govt and visa denial for those associated with these organizations. I wonder which fool would mention his association with such organization in his visa application. Not all of them are from Pakistan, Iraq and Palestine but two from Japan, One each from Israel, Columbia and Kurdistan as well.

Last week, when we had been to Gleneagle Hospital for health check up , parking was hard to come by at early morning. Now I know the reason, this hospital is opposite side of US embassy and doesn't have any parking space at all.

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