All my excitement of joining GX team 118 was decreasing day after another as I was the only volunteer waiting for visa in India, whereas other 9 Indian volunteers reached to UK almost a month before. In the mean time I enjoyed diwali and some music events at home (Nasik).
I came to know that my last flight is on Wed, 9th of Nov and if visa status doesn’t changes by Friday I need to cancel my UK visit! And when I checked it on Friday it was the same- Visa is under process at British High Commission. I was tired of talking to their call centre and sending them same mail twice a day! So I decided to go with MBA plan (my Plan B which was plan A a month back!) and started studied in anger! On other end all my friends and relatives irritated me with the question that when I am going to UK? Some people wanted to ask like am I really going to UK? :-).
I still remember it was a Monday morning when I checked my mails and I have seen a new number in a ‘sarkari chhap’ mail by British High Commission. As a LAST try I gave them a call while doing my regular work and waited to hear “Sorry sir, you need to wait for your visa” in sweet voice (though they want to say why don’t you just wait or check your status online instead of irritating us again and again!). Unexpectedly I heard that lady saying, “Your visa is cleared and you will get it in two days”. I said,”See Its of no use if I don’t get visa urgently, I want to collect it by hand”. Then again she came back in ‘sarkari’ style,”Sorry sir. You have opted for courier service, we will send you visa by courier only!” Then I shouted back what the hell are you doing with my passport for more than a month when your website says you generally get visa in 4 weeks??? Then she understood everything and said OK. Give it a try!
I was laughing like mad… It was 7th, my flight was on 9th early morning from Delhi for which I should leave Nasik by tonight and I wasn’t sure when I will get visa and how am I going to do this???
Then I have opened a call centre at my home. I called my brother to track my passport-visa in Mumbai, friend to help me in packing, Pravah to postpone my flight if possible, tried to call and track everyone involved in visa delivery process and at the same time I googled Mumbai-Delhi flights! In addition to this my parents were in hurry to go to Andaman and I was literally running here and there to get my stuffs in bag again and talking on phone all the time. By afternoon somehow we tracked all the people involved in visa delivery process and requested them not to send visa at home so that we can collect it by hand! After some time I got call from Indian program manager of GX Nivi saying,”Cool, now your flight is on 11 Nov from Mumbai”.
Hussshhh… this wasn’t the end! I rushed to Mumbai early in the morning, collected visa and came back home at night! Packed my bag finally and again left to Mumbai on 10th night. It was adventure of 32 hours without sleep, without any other thought in mind!!!
The next day I was at Mumbai airport waiting for British Airways flight number 198 and it was a Friday, and date was 11/11/11!