Delhi part 3…

It’s what happens in the end of a journey with an objective correct? Well I can put a check mark in getting what I came for. I’ve had a headache for three days; I can’t tell if it’s because of the stress, the cold, the pollution, or some combination of the three. I heard before I left that the pollution in Delhi is seven times higher than the recommended level. Crazy huh? Yesterday, I assumed everything was done. Well, I take that back. If I assumed everything was done I wouldn’t have had Sameer go to the FRRO in Pune to check. He did. They hadn’t received anything. After working in the morning at Ethel’s place, I made my way over to the Ministry again. It was after 12 and they had stopped giving out passes to get in. I perchance happened to see the very nice gentleman who, as far as I can tell, was a gofer for one of the offices. We spoke briefly and he said come upstairs again as he walked away. I dazzled the security guard with my Hindi and told him what the other man said while handing him my pass from the day before. He asked why I wasn’t here working for his kids after I told him what I do. I said I’d be happy if I could stay in India at all.
Upstairs I immediately went to the “mean man” who happened to be in much better spirits today. I explained the situation and he agreed to fax it over. After calling the Pune numbers several times; after getting hung up on, after no one picking up my calls, after several tries, I got a number. Happily, I gave it to them. They told me to wait 15 minutes. I relaxed and sat down with my book in the waiting room. I finally went back to the back office and they told me it didn’t work, they showed me the fax sheet where it said it didn’t go through. I asked if I could take a letter back with me. The mean nice man said that I could ask Kumar again; it used to be their policy but they stopped and didn’t give letters anymore. When I walked into his office, there was another man trying to convince him to let someone who will do a world tour into the country more than once. I’m not sure I fully understood all of what was going on, but Kumar basically said no over and over again. He wouldn’t allow it. I don’t think I caught him at the best time. I tried to cajole him a bit by saying I listened to him, I had faith, things worked out, but technology had failed. He said no and he wouldn’t allow me to have the paper. He wouldn’t allow it. It was then the tears came up, I raised my voice a bit and started almost yelling at him saying he’s not understanding the situation. Trying to control myself I apologized a few times but continued to break things down for him yet again. He told me I would have to get permission from room four and sent me out. Room for was the Joint Commissioner. I walked in a bit freaked out and explained everything. He said I should get an email. By the way he spoke it seemed like he understood that the upstairs guy was a bit grr-ing. He was really nice and told me to come back down with the news.
There was no email to be had. I called all my contacts again. The only last one that had any interest in speaking to me ended up yelling at me saying that they have the email and he wouldn’t give it to me and hung up abruptly. I tried explaining that they didn’t and they asked me to get it. Again frustrated I went back to the mean nice man, who was only nice today and explained again. Some conversation went back and forth in the office about it, not all of it I understood. The always nice older gentleman said that the email went through. I still couldn’t be sure. I went back down to the commissioner’s office and explained. One of his secretary’s was so impressed I spoke even a little Hindi he offered me some burfi (it was really, really yummy). The Commissioner made a phone call and told me to go to a new room where I met a gentleman who I’d seen walk by a few times and asked me for my file number one of those times. Back and forth we went until finally we ended back in Kumar’s office and they both showed him the computer screen, said some things I didn’t understand and then Kumar turns to me and said we’ll give it in this special circumstance because you’ve been here. Only then apparently did he understand that I came to Delhi just for that. I guess he thought I was there to harass them for fun. All the while I’m apologizing profusely to the now all nice guys who were helping me out, saying it’s not their fault, there’s something wrong in the Pune office, sorry for bugging them, etc. They thing it’s a rare instance. I have a friend who’s been waiting longer than I have for the stupid visa. I went back to the office and they stamped an envelope. The top of my letter said something like fax only. They took a pair of scissors and chopped that part off and stuck the letter in the envelope, sealed it, and I think were very happy to be rid of me. I walked into each of the offices of the people I had harassed and said thank you and went off on my way.
It was almost 5:00 already so I didn’t have much of a day. I went to Hauz Khas, the artsy community area where Ethel and her friend and I had dinner last night. It kind of reminded me of Williamsburg; it has really nice art and cool shops, but the people seem pretentious and everything’s overpriced. I found a teeny tiny Japanese to go place and asked the woman if I could just sit there and eat. The sushi was amazing, and just what I needed. We spoke while I ate and she was really nice. I think I was just done for the day so decided to go home, meet Ethel, and get ready to go. I’m at the airport now. I’m happy to go home. I told Manoj that we can say yay for mission accomplished in Delhi but not YAY because I have to get the stamp in my passport first.
I’m excited to go home, away from the cold and pollution, back with my friends and my work.

    • kanchan
    • November 30th, 2011

    Aw Ana! Am so sorry to hear abou all the run-around and frustrations you experienced – sending you tons of cyber hugs!!

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