My passport was due to expire in September this year. We are the ones who hate to be on the wrong side of law. So promptly in February we initiated the passport renewal process . There was a load of document with the old passport and some photographs which was to go to the Consulate General of India . We got the documents ready and sent them across.
The time span for new passport was given as a week. We waited all enthusiastic for a new passport.
Last year we had applied for Chiyaa's passport. It had taken close to 45 days to come back though the time scale in the Consulate website said a week. This year for mine we expected same sort of delay .
One month went by. No passport . No problem . Things take time more so when you are expecting an Indian agency to take action.
Another month went by. Now we started getting the hebbie- jebbies. I started reading up stuff on the Internet as to how long it generally took an Indian passport to come back. Trust me I was privy to some brutal stuff. There were people who had waited 15 days, 3 months, 7 months and the goriest of gory saga was that of the guy in this blog. TRUST ME I broke into cold sweat when I read his blog .
I asked my dad to ask at the Bhubaneswar passport office in case they had any clue since that was the place of issue of the original one . He too met a dead end. I read up that subsequent passports also went through the police verification process. We decided to try and inquire at the Chennai police station (since my permanent address is the Chennai one ) Yea I tell you I am all over the place :( The sub inspector told that the passport had not yet come . An acquaintance of ours who has an international travel agency reprimanded us for having sent the documents through post. He also suggested that renewals especially from overseas took a long time . Something like 9 to 10 months too!!!!
It was like a tight rope act. 10 months = time for the visa renewal. No passport = no visa renewal = ?? They cannot even deport me cos you see no passport? Or would UK border agency step in and make sure I have a passport so that I can be deported? The possibilities seemed endless !!
In crucial moments I usually take a chill pill. But such a pill was elusive too. I could not take it anymore . We decided we would make a trip to the city that housed the Consulate (a pretttttyyyyy longggggg trippppp) Before that as a last resort we decided to consult a friend who lived there. In case he could visit the office /gather any information . His reply to our email started with the words 'sorry to be the bearer of bad news but...' He narrated his tale of woe and trust me it would have made Ramsay brothers cry.
Tired of these via medias we decided to get to the horses mouth.
Birmingham here we come..............................