Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Life's like that, i say

Today I went to the passport office again, to FINALLY submit all the documents and get one of the most coveted documents in the world. After being denied the chance to even apply for it on different grounds, I had almost given up hope. US is the last country I wanted to visit, and I can assure you that I'm the one who is least kicked about flying to yankee land at the company's expense. But then again, protocol, a pesky insistent manager, an even more insistent mom, travel plans to France later this year, etc made me keep at it.

It was quite a sight to see people beg, kneel, cringe and cry in front of the officers, security guards, numerous agents, fellow applicants and whoever else was there. The mothers are ready to lick every toe and grease every palm to get their children what seems to be the most coveted document in the world. There were people everywhere, sitting on benches and broken benches, on the ground, under trees, in the shade of parked vehicles; all eagerly clutching on and squinting at the papers, muttering under their breaths, counting and recounting the shabby bunch of notes inside the envelope - as if that random person on the other side of the counter would decide their future. He would decide if their dreams would come true, if their children would find well paying jobs, if they would build their own house. This was indeed their passport to a better and promising life. If passports are so hard to get, I wonder how they go about getting visas. Sigh.

I felt sick standing there in that queue. I felt as if I was turning into someone I had never wanted to be. The system and the pointlessness of it all is choking me. Back in office, while I was looking at the mirror, something inside me just snapped. I felt like I was looking at a stranger, gone further in years than in age. I felt like a tired old woman who had missed the last bus to somewhere.

I tried to make peace with thoughts and get back to work. But parallel, yet conflicting thoughts continue to play with my sanity.

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