Sunday, July 03, 2005

Roger, Tower, Fleiger is rolling...

If you have noticed, when you (ever!) shut down your windows PC, it goes through the following steps: Logging off, Closing Network Connections, Saving your settings and finally shutdown…

Speaking for myself, last week was my logoff period, I completed my remaining tasks. This week I am closing my network connections, will be completing some documents. Saving the settings comes next week, that’s when I will be “transferring all knowledge” (nice words, huh?) to my successor (cannot think of any other appropriate word)… And then comes the shutdown part. And finally, on 22nd July 2005, I will celebrate my Independence Day… by sending the “Last day @ ..” mail.

The story starts on a saturday in April. Bored at home, I came to office just for doing some timepass, and my mailbox had one new mail. I opened it with my heartbeat sounding like a hard rock night, and saw that it was a “Ja” instead of a “Nein”. (Let me tell you one thing at this point, getting a positive response from a university feels almost the same as getting a yes from your girlfriend. And till I get some experience of the latter, the comparison stands!)

Cut to 13th June 2005, and I was heading to American Embassy office in Pune. Submitted the form, and was presented with the question, “15th or 20th?” Amidst the worry that I may not complete my preps before that, I selected for 15th…

15th June finds me standing in sweltering heat of Mumbai, waiting for 11.15. 11:15 sees me still standing outside, contemplating a (not so) happy thought that I am gonna wait for 2 hours more. Like they say, when in India, follow IST.

I go inside the embassy @ 1:30, and then comes wait for another 1 hour. This time, thankfully while sitting on chairs under AC. The first thing you notice there is the notice boards displaying the news flashes in various newspapers… about how many people were caught for doing something illegal to get Visa. Nice way to welcome people, eh?

After waiting for some time under these conditions, my number is called. I wait in line in front of a window. The ever-present doubt about understanding the strange (to us) pronunciations and accent gets heightened by the nasal infection the embassy officer seems to be suffering from. The fellow in front of me in line gets the full brunt of his ire, and all my threat-receiver's dials start pinging at highest frequency. Trying to display a confident front, I stand in front of him. Then start the questions, for which everybody I know has tried to train me. 1 minute and 4 questions later, come the words, “I am granting you the visa. Best Luck!” and I don’t believe my ears. I am out of the embassy in next 2 minutes, still trying to understand that I have successfully passed one more hurdle for my Masters degree.

So, to cut the long story short, all the dials checked as normal, targets locked… and I just got cleared by Tower for taxiway 1.

5 Comments:

Figo said...

congrats man!! happy flying :-)

Kani said...

all the best !!

Kani said...

hi.. y no posts lately ?

SiD said...

nice trip down memory lane.. any special reason for sharing this at this point of time?

And lucky me: I was the one who logged in ur shut down PC - of course after formatting!! ;)

Fleiger said...

@Sid: Corrected a spelling mistake, and feedburner put it at the top of feeds... No other reason.