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Angappa Naicken Street a Gateway to Getaway (standard:travel stories, 2030 words)
Author: JuggernautAdded: Jun 09 2011Views/Reads: 1596/870Story 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 

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