The Passport Story

I walked into the Indian embassy passport services room last Friday to collect my passport. One step into the room and I could literally feel poison in the air and negative emotions in the general. Characteristic of Indian embassies all over, they were running 30 minutes late and people were upset.

There had been some delay on the part of the embassy and now that they were finally ready, they were announcing the passports slowly – 1 at a time. And he was going through a bad run – the guy announced 4 consecutive names that weren’t present, he repeated their names 3-4 times just to make sure. This only increased the muttering and annoyance.

And around then, one guy decided it was okay to hold the entire crowd up as he had a mistake on his passport.

9 times out of 10, I am sure this would have led to me withdrawing into my own shell, trying to keep myself busy and not let the negative environment affect me. That was not to be though.

Friday was a day that was very positive. And I wasn’t going to let the passport embassy ruin it. So, it was time to be proactive and take some action. I began by requesting the guy who was insensitively holding everyone up because there was an error on his passport to do so after everyone finished. (He refused and said he would let the counter guy decide! Luckily the counter guy caught on and told him so as well)

And then, every time someone wasn’t present, I let out a loud ‘Absent!’ like we used to do in our schools (in India atleast) every morning when our teacher marked attendance. A few loud ‘absents’ and ‘presents’ later, every one’s mood lightened. Within minutes, there were some jokes and very soon, smiles began breaking out. And then, a couple of others began crying out ‘Absent’.

Satisfied, I sat down and got down to typing out a blogpost (not this one, funnily enough) on my phone.

A few minutes late, my name was called out. And of course, I marked my own attendance with a loud ‘Present’ and as I walked up, I had the whole crowd give a cheer.. as more jokes and smiles ran out.

All well. Went home. Felt good.

Life is a game really. We can choose to play it and have some fun..or not. How often do we choose to play?