Passport Kavita

Based on true story of mine at Thane’s New Passport Office

Sire my Passport can I remake
Tell me procedure what it takes
And all the documents needed too
so name them all and not some few

First is Identity card the site replied
Second is the date proof on this planet when you arrived
And third will tell us how much you are educated
A certificate of graduation or a paper that you matriculated

The reason I have to remake my passport Sire,
It’s sometime since the old expired
I would like to confess that previous had errors
Didn’t fix them for I feared your office with awe and terror
One fine day I read that these are modern times
Now your office worked with perfect rhythm and rhyme
Though it bothered how to convince you that I’m a female
And my passport for 10 years told me a male
I have looked hard at my image which seemed enough feminine
your clerk ignored that picture with sweetest smile of mine
Of course to assure you I didn’t cross seas with mustache on my face
And my passport lied frozen in the cupboards base

I summed up all this to tell you true
but you surprised me with wanting only one letter & words few
Just when I thought the fable of was indeed correct
impressed and all I saw you with new found respect

It turned out to be only a mirage
Story of professionalism was a Masquerade, deception, a faking camouflage
Informed one officer not so gently
A trip one more at this place I realized slowly
For changed address the unique card wasn’t unique
Add a ration card/ bank statement or your case is meek
When I questioned it wasn’t written on your website
I would have carried it for sure and would hold it tight
The officer thought my reasoning was in contempt
I decided to pursue make one more attempt
Asked with request if I may continue
My passport spells me wrong make it I please where there is U
Wrote on my leaving certificate the spelling was incorrect
Just like you erred with my gender, do realise, nobody is perfect

What was I thinking
Was I dreaming
The officer in front was sarcastically beaming
It ain’t that simple because we have rules
Don’t take us granted we aren’t that cool
Bring next time with you an Annexure E
Will hold thy application even though you have paid your fee
With empty hands and a heavy heart
A lengthy back journey here I start

When I go for annexure E the lawyer tells
It is to declare a changed name mostly for women after ringing wedding bells
Or you promise on oath your new name is true
The old was rubbish so I threw
I hesitate signing on a document lie
All I want to correct is an U with an I
I sit to write a long mail
Attention passport officer male or female
The dilemma of affidavit I share my confusion
and also why didn’t your website tell about the card of ration

Answers someone with an assurance new
Unique card is enough and don’t bother about annexure E or Q
Just write a truthfully signed letter
It will serve your purpose better
Now I’m sure my work will be done
I take a local train and to the big office I run
For this time you don’t need an appointment
It won’t be similar, I get a feeling but faint

And many like me who failed at the first shot are in the queue
Waiting for things to happen without any clue
I notice a board in the big sitting hall
A quote of Mahatma embedded on the wall
Does the mainframe display importance or does it highlight an irony
I ponder on the words that are legacy of my country

Customer Quote

There I see him sitting again
The one who turned my last trip in vain
But he is surely better than his neighbor
Who yelled at an applicant for falling short of one paper
And Gandhi’s word of not treating customer as interruption
Is a quote on that wall which cannot save you from humiliation

I approach the officer on his desk I lay
A print of replied email and rest my say
But simplicity is the thing he resists
A supplement to the unique card he insists
So because I have knowingly suspected this would happen
To save my day I produce the bank statement & keep the dialogues open
He remembers me among the types he detests
Questioning government rules, the ones who protest
Aah! There I spot the spelling unlike your passport, he blurts
And therefore this paper is not valid the officer reverts

My bank statement is correct and passport incorrect
All other papers I can prove except that on the leaving certificate
Check my graduation degree I cry in exasperation
And undersigned letter I point in desperation
I ask his name he refuses to tell me
Mind your work he says, that is what you should see
Work is not what is happening on my second trip
I tell my application is not moving on your whim

I would have liked to share more word- exchange details
In short it is a lost battle and a sad tale
I was told to bring a sign on my file
From the head office that was distantly away some miles
Like a diner in the restaurant who has to cook his meal
to kya hua ofcourse he has to pay his bill
Sounds weird?
The winds of change are very much feared
That is how are punished protesting voices
And are silenced questioning eyes

I’m yet to pay a third visit
Will the day count or again be lost in the transit
Oh, one additional boon I can include
My corrected leaving certificate, now can the drama conclude?
Leaving certificates are forever the college admin warned me at first
But agreed to dig in and explore so as to clear the dust
Wallah! a human error was in minutes rectified
Holy Mother Mary! My name was sanctified

I ‘m willing to give it a one more try
But what to do that your leaving certificate is fake the officer may cry
All I wanted to correct was an ‘U’ with an ‘I’…………
Sire, my passport I had wanted to remake
You did not tell me but I learned too much it takes

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4 thoughts on “Passport Kavita

  1. U or I, what a tale of travail
    Only frustrations prevail
    God only help who wishes to travel
    Rule books not provide for help

    Mridula, this has been your most wonderful creation. Satire, agony, frustration and fury rolled into one, it touches a chord. Maybe you present this to Mumbai Mirror. Or contact one of their reporters and narrate your tale.

  2. तुम्हारी विचलित करने वाली कथा
    इस समस्त देश की भी है व्यथा

    कहानी के पात्र तुम चाहे कितने भी बदलो
    कितने भी द्रवति मन से उन सब से मिनत करलो

    ये सब, बाकि सब पर हमेशा ही रहेंगे भारी
    क्योंकि सदियों से कुटती तो ही सिर्फ जनता बेचारी

    गूड से सोचो तो दोष सिर्फ इनका ही नहीं है
    जनता का दिमाग भी तो सदियों से पिन्का नहीं है

    अगरचे हम आवाज़ उठाते , मना करने का दम रख पाते
    तो क्या मजाल होती, की हमारी ही नौकरी करने वाले
    हम ही को आँख दिखा पाते .

    नमन है तुम को की तुम प्रयत्न तो करती हो
    इस घनघोर अँधेरे में मशाल जलाने की कोशिश तो करती हो

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