Saturday, May 26, 2012

Passport office ordeal

Today was THE legendary day. It was expected to be a kind of day I wanted to remember and be proud of. And I secretly wanted it to be the judgment day too in my favour of course, but alas! 

I had an appointment at the Passport office. My passport is still valid, but I have changed some personal details and for that I had to reapply the passport. Like I mentioned in the earlier post, this time around I didn't want to go through an agent and pay him the bribe money to get my work done. Thus I wanted to make sure that I had all the documents they ask for. I was carrying two documents extra for each proof.

The reporting time was 2 15. I reached there by 2 just to be sure. I don't know why I had thought that I would be the only person for that slot as they have been so particular about the appointments and schedules. I saw a long queue outside the gate at two. Thinking I was early and fully prepared, I asked the person to let me in. And there was the first shocker waiting for me. He asked me to stand in the line. Since I was early, I readily did so without any arguments.

Now, there were some 15 odd people ahead of me, and 5 more stood behind me in two minutes. I realized that I wasn't a VIP who was allotted this time-slot for the appointment. I was one of many to be submitting my application.

I entered in, got the security check done, stood in the token line for five minutes. There were a few young people standing ahead of me. After good five minutes, I was informed that I was in the wrong queue. That counter was only for senior citizens. I told him that nobody in that line was close to being a senior citizen and I was in fact the senior most there. It didn't work. These people were the ones who were accompanying their parents/grandparents.

So I moved to the next counter. A right one this time around. The lady on the counter checked my application, verified the documents, checked everything. As I said that I was well prepared. And then came the catch - another shocker. I was asked to get an ad published in one National and one Local newspaper. I asked them why they had not mentioned it in the list of documents? They said that they had the power to ask for any documents; even the ones which ain't mentioned in the list. And their decision was the final one.

So yes, in spite of all the precautions and preparations, I came back - empty handed. I had to fill up a fresh application, take a fresh appointment and visit the office again with all the documents. Yes, too much hassle, but still better than the agent route. And the bribe route. I will visit the office a few more times, but I will get this done myself.

Ah, how boring of me!


  1. Like I got it done myself.
    They throw in a few hurdles for those who don't come through an agent.

  2. yeah, that's how it works. never been to passport office, but can understand. general railway ticket queues are even worse, they too think they've the right to refuse anybody the ticket after a herculean task of standing in the line for 1/2 an hour.
    boring, but good of you :)

  3. Where the hell you had such an experience? there is a new passport office at Malad East near TOI... its completely managed by TCS... or was it here you had to go through all this??

    1. Yes the Malad one. They are rude and non cooperative.

  4. Sigh!!! In India when you try to do things the right way this is what happens but then if despite all odds we insist on doing things the right way (the way you are doing) then only situation will change :)

  5. I like your determination.The entire system is based on DALAS as that is an easy route for the Dalali reaches in right proportion to those who are part of the gang.
    I think most of us have experienced simialr situation in local passoport offices.Only way out is to fight back.
    There are those who follow Anna.May be,soon you will have a following too.

  6. Neha,

    You make me proud with your resolve. If we all withstand discomfort and idiocies of such offices to avoid paying bribes, we can hope for corruption free India. Best of luck.

    Take care

  7. Aah well, as some wise man once said, 'Mera Bharat mahaan!".

  8. Thats great commitment Neha.. But our government staffs can be more respectful and serve us well.

    Hopefully they won't ask for any other new document next time..all the best :)

  9. Ah! why do everyone face the same, when they go by themselves!!
    //in one National and one Local newspaper.// should put about this experience in that with their names...not an adv! stupid ppl...

  10. get an ad published? what sort of a thing is that? never heard of..Good luck Neha! Hope you get it in the next visit.

  11. That's regular and routine in Govt offices! Which gets on your nerves, but patience is the word, if you need to get your work done!! :|