Last week, I finally made it to the Bengaluru International Airport with a valid Canadian visa in my passport after what proved to be quite an ordeal. The application for visa which I sent by courier to the Canadian High Commission at New Delhi ( That’s the only one in India ) in May was rejected and I got to know of this decision only a month later, 25 of June to be precise. The decision was taken on 11 June, but they neither told me about it over email nor they bothered to send the decision by a quicker delivery method, choosing the snail pace registered post that managed to arrive more than a week later.
With only a week left for the flight, my shoulders dropped and all hope lost, thinking I will never get to the Mozilla Summit. But the lawyer in Canada, who helped me with the proceedings, had other plans. He strongly recommended that I reapply again with more proof of the Mozilla Summit. So with nothing to lose, I then went to VFS application center at Bangalore, which generally takes 5 working days for the whole process. I submitted and waited patiently for the news. Finally good news came on Friday that the application was approved and can be received at Bangalore on Monday. Without the help and great support from the Canadian Lawyer Avi Gomberg, I would have been scanning the pictures of the Mozilla Summit at home!
Ok, my visa was approved, but there was this part that I must have the passport in hand, that in many stories they generally don’t bother to talk about. Not in this case though. The oil price in India was hiked that week, and as usual the opposition parties went on strike. Now they called for a bandh on Monday, the same day when I am supposed to get the passport and also catch the flight later that night! You can imagine how tensed I was! My Dad too! Though the VFS guys said they won’t close the shop on that day, over and over again!
So taking their trust, I went to walk through the empty wide roads of Bangalore, walked past the Vidhana Soudha, and made it to the VFS center which luckily was open and also I got my passport! So so lucky I was! With that I spent rest of the day roaming or sleeping ( Actually I couldn’t sleep because the bed bugs in the room of the lodge I was staying in gave me company… :X ). In the evening the city sprang to life as though they were held back by a long way from their work because of the bandh. And I had a nice time with a friend of mine from IISc and had a great dinner at the Adiga’s restaurant.
Later that night I took a bus, the Vayu Vajra, from the biggest bus stand in the world at Kempegowda Bus Stand to Devanahalli, the Bengaluru International Airport, at 9 p.m. Due to the bandh, the traffic was less and so the journey was just an hour and 15 minutes, and so 10:15 p.m I was at the airport. Being the first time at any airport ( except the Kochi Airport and the Kozhikode Airport when I was in class 8 ), I was pretty stunned seeing it’s size. I was all at sea there, thinking what to do, what not to do. My flight being at 2:40 a.m and since I had already checked in online, I was only needed to arrive 45 minutes earlier. So there I was, with 3 hours left to do nothing but wait. So taking the suggestion from my Dad, uncle and sister, I went in through the immigration customs ( the guy didn’t even know there is a company called Mozilla, more than that he didn’t know of a place called Vancouver in Canada! ). And after all the security checking and stuff, I was inside with another 2 hours to go. So I sat there, dreaming about being in Canada, which I have never been in my life!
************* So read this much eh? Then wait for the next post about the flight and on arriving at Canada! ***************