The Passport Story
"C’mon, we have to be in time or it’s a day wasted," said my hubby on the 17th of April as we got ready to go to the passport office. I had got interviews for both of us after applying online (something new)and we were in a dither remembering the first visit to the passport office some 10 years ago. The crowd,the heat and the tension was still fresh in our minds. This time we just had to renew the passport as pages had exhausted, so we were hoping it would be smooth sailing, as all we needed to carry was the old passport and address proof which could be the pan card or voters ID.
We reached the Prestige Libra building in Lal Bagh road well in advance. My husband’s interview was at 9.30 and mine at 9.45. Our hearts sank at the queue outside the office. The doors hadn’t opened yet. It was exactly 9’o’ clock. We looked at each other and stoically smiled. Ok India, you have taught us to be patient. We can and will survive. The queue became longer and the sun shone mercilessly on our heads.
At 9.15 the darwans opened the doors and the 9.30 wallahs were let in. The 9.45 wallahs that’s me included were asked to wait. I sadly bid goodbye to hubby dear!
I was let in by a smiling darwan at 9.50. The first counter was to collect the Token. There were a number of counters for this. Very quickly my papers were checked and I was in. My numbr was N 59. I was to go to A counter. Inside was a lounge and a coffee shop. A grinning hubby was sipping coffee and he said, “I am done”. I blinked at him.
“So soon?” I asked. He looked like the cat who had got the cream. I saw that there were a lot of people to help and guide those who didn’t know what to do or read the board. From counter B it was C and before I could say OMG it was over !!My old passport was cancelled and a new one would be on its way in three weeks!! We just had to take the acknowledgement and give feedback. We happily clicked Excellent for everything from service to efficiency to ambience. And so it was. By 10.30 we were out of the Prestige Libra with large smiles on our faces. The ones waiting wondered why we were grinning so!
Mera Bharat Mahaan!!!! Two weeks later the brand new passport arrived.
The hue and cry about passport difficulties that is all over the papers these days seems absolutely far fetched .