|Angappa Naicken Street a Gateway to Getaway (standard:travel stories, 2030 words)|
|Author: Juggernaut||Added: Jun 09 2011||Views/Reads: 1309/698||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A biographical travel sketch describing struggles to obtain travel documents.|
Angappa Naicken Street a Gateway to Getaway Subba Rao “Your application for passport is incomplete,” said the clerk at the Passport Office. “How come, I have submitted all the required documents,” Juggernaut was sweating and anxious. “No, I don't see ‘No Objection Certificate' from your employer.” “I did submit through the travel agent.” “I don't see, we could not review your application further until you submit ‘No Objection Certificate. '“Next,” shouted the clerk. Juggernaut was literally begging the man to reconsider his application as he was ejected from the office. Standing outside the office were hundreds of people milling around in hot sun; scores in a line to enter the office, lots of others just standing or walking around, all in pursuit to get passport. In early seventies, the government made it hard for regular folks to get a passport, a socialist philosophy of ‘Collective Karma.' Out of luck, nobody to get help from, in a City few hundred miles from home, with no knowledge of local language where the locals insist on talking in their language, Juggernaut found himself in a dilemma; getting another original certificate in-time from bureaucracy was next to impossible and abandon any efforts to get passport means losing a great opportunity to take up a fellowship. Juggernaut decided that he shall get the passport by hook or crook. He started looking for a crook to help him out in this endeavor. “You know somebody to help me to get passport?” asked Juggernaut addressing a man in a local garb appeared not saintly to say the least but then there was no game plan to go further. “You need passport?” “Yes, I need passport.” Juggernaut moved closer to the man. “You come with me,” said the man walking fast making his way pushing people towards the road and climbed into an auto-rickshaw (motorized rickshaw) signaling Juggernaut to jump in with him and spoke with the rickshaw driver in his language. The rickshaw took off like a rocket, moving at high speed maneuvering the traffic as if it was racing against other vehicles. Juggernaut, confused and disoriented looked sideways to see whether he can recognize landmarks on the route to return to his motel safe. The Click here to read the rest of this story (327 more lines)
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