We were allocated back to counter seven. But lunch time had kicked in. It was 1300. The counter would again be alive after an hour.
We looked around the hall. A few minutes ago it was bursting at the seams with so many anxious Indians . Now there were only a handful of us.
There were 2 ladies who seemed from the Middle East . They were looking for an emergency visa to India . There was some bottle neck to the process. They were really getting agitated . I has heard them getting into an altercation with the official at the visa counter. I even heard one of them say they would never ever want to go to that country if not for the exigent conditions. I felt sad that my country was being criticised but then I had no idea what they were going through . There was another elderly couple I think who we're looking for the remains of some one. They were also having some issues. There were people who were not very educated and were having trouble navigating through the web of officialdom . People were very critical of the whole procedure and the way things were progressing . I somehow did not find any of the officials rude or standoffish. We the hapless souls with our most important documents lost somewhere or looking for very important documents to get something done maybe reminded them of quintessential Indian predicament .
As I sat waiting for the lunch hour to get over , I wished everyone present there return with whatever they were looking for - an emergency visa, a document to collect last remains , an emergency passport, whatever.
Finally lunch hour drew to a close and the person manning counter 7 returned. He heard my need to get details of the police verification that happened for my passport renewal . He went ahead and got the details. Some documents seemed to be missing in my application. We had no idea how. They had tried to get in touch with me but since mobiles are disallowed during office hours at my work place they were not able to get through .
He asked us if we had the original marriage certificates . We nodded yes. He asked if we could show we felt like idiots when we said we hadn't brought it. The outcome of his wish to see our work permits was also the same. We felt awful at having come all the way but not having the documents . He said I could come with the documents and the passport would be ready in a week!
We did not believe what we heard.What about all the horror sagas on the Internet . All this seemed too good to be true did nt it?