Monday, I sat in the visa office. Grumbling about the mass of people, the lines, the slowness, the tardiness. You get the mood, sitting on a stiff chair at 8 am after being frisked, mobile taken and bags dumped is a definitive mood buster.. and did I emphasize that this was on a MONDAY MORNING!
Grouchily, I sat there and for lack of better things to do observed each candidate who came and trembled before the glass screen, hoping that their answers would be convincing enough to pass the unuttered exam.
Person 1- Delhi babu
Short and stocky, jeans with chappals, a white shirt untucked, the jaws chewing on an invisible chewing gum, the missing gold chain aside the puffy cheeks and jowls certified that he had grown up in the lanes of a Gaffar market and had learnt about the powers of his invincibility – talking down to others and cockiness power.
Grammatically correct English, jostled with a “ cant u read the papers you dumb women” attitude while retorting to the ladies questions … He was so smug that he actually gazed back at the rest of us lower mortals who were still confined to the chair. It was hilarious.
Candidate 2- Friend of Delhi Babu
Walking advertisement of united colours of Benetton.
Dressed in – Benetton T shirt. Benetton Bag, Benetton jeans with the logo in BOLD EMBROIDERY across each ass cheek, and in case you did not get that he liked that brand. Benetton Slippers. ;-)
He was the meek, madam please don’t chew me up, I shall do whatever you want me to.. So nervous was he that he dropped his bag twice when the additional documents were being called for. The benettonj swagger not helping to charm the german authorities.. hahahaaa
Candidate 3- Women in Burkha
Was fascinated by her, covered from head to toe she had to bravely face the wrath of the german counter women, who was asking her all sorts of personal details about her man, his job, his income, letters, signatures, documents, dates. Insurance, she stood there, fumbling muttering, her safety pin firmly fixing her burkha in place ensuring that her respect remained intact
Wished for her to get the visa.
Wished for her to not get the visa
Wondered where and what would happen to her when she went to live there
Willed her to move, break free and be independent
Willed her to stay back, with home and warmth
Wished her release, but from what and to what I could not say
She made me smile. Like a bird on the edge of the cage, hesitant to move either way.
Where there to attend the training, loose pants and the floater slippers indicated their hesitation in convincing them that they were legitimate employees.. they seemed the curd rice dinner and a rasam comfort zone people. They seemed that they were scared. They would be the invisible men on the German streets, but then again arnt we all invisible all the time
She was the cutest, short and frail, smart trousers with a red bag, eyes lined with worry she whispered agitatedly to me how the fat bald man at the counter was so rude, in how he just barged in without paying heed to the que. She was going there to meet her daughter, and sat there with her knuckles white from holding the papers pressed so tight.
Aww if other than me I wanted someone to get the form, it would be her.