I was about to thrash my cell phone when its Alarm rang twice at 3.15am in the morning. But i had no option but to wake up because my VISA interview was scheduled at 10.30am. My cab arrived on time at 4.15am.
After collecting other two colleagues, we left Pune at around 5.30am
Weather was very pleasant and after so many years i saw how sun looks when it rises. I could see the clouds and beautiful mountains. It was really very relaxing. Roads were empty and we managed to reach Mumbai at around 9.00 am.
Our first stop was VFS center, which isn't too big but provides enough facilities to help you get refreshed.
They allow to enter only when you produce your VISA Interview letter. They tick your name, which means you have arrived! Coffee and sandwiches was the only food available. I had it because i didn't know how long it would take.
At 10..00 am, a guy entered in the waiting room to announce that the bus for 10.30 time slot has arrived. I quickly switched off my cell phone and put it in the locker provided. I was allowed to enter in the bus when i showed the second blue receipt from VHF voucher (1st one was for food).
The bus was nowhere near to the picture printed on the VFS voucher. Thats understood.
VISA consulate was just few minutes away and we got into the line as soon as we stepped down the bus.
I was doing each and everything mechanically.
We had to flash our interview letter again to enter. We were asked to keep our passport, DD and interview letter handy. The guy at security gate asked me to remove my belt, watch and wallet. I was a bit afraid, because my wallet has a lucky coin given by Mithila. I wanted to carry that along with me. He checked my docs and gave me thumbs up.
It was another line after that. Where my DD was taken along with two copies of form I-129 and i was given a wooden block to carry all the time. I was asked to sit and wait for my name to get announced.
There were lot of people in the room. Most of them are Gujrathi Families, and all of them were Patels! Room was filled with the people from all walks of life. Kids, old people and celebrities too! I saw Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma and his son Rahul Sharma sitting quietly in another line. I thought of taking their autographs but I didn?t have the extra paper.
Finally my name was announced along with the Door Number. I headed towards the door. Impressions of my left and right index finger's were taken. And i was given a pink coupon, which had a 3-digit number on it. I was asked to wait again for the number.
It was very tedious to wait anxiously. One needs to be very attentive. I could manage to wait till 3 and half hours as I had just watched Kabhie Alvida Na Kehna. I was humming "Jhalak dikhlaja.. ek baar aaja aaja" and " Tera, Tera Tera kasoor..." assuming that my door number will be Tera (Thirteen).
At last a lady announced my number. My heart started to beat faster. I was the second person in the line. It was a closed room.. like an STD PCO.. sound proof. I entered slowly and greeted the lady and gave her the pink coupon.
"Hi... How are you?" She smiled.
"I'm fine.. thanks"
?Give me the coupon?
?Which coupon?? I was puzzled.
?The pink coupon?
?Ummm.. ? I was frozen. I didn?t know what she was talking about.
?That coupon? She pointed toward my hand. It was in my hand itself. She was smiling. And I felt like a stupid.
"So, where are you going?"
"Humm.. thats great.. have you seen %$#@". She was talking about some place in Buffalo.
"Umm.. no mam.. This is the first time I'm going to US"
"Do you like snow?"
"It doesn't matter.. I'm only concerned about my work" (Sometimes i think, I'm a bit boring)
"How long you are going to stay?"
"Four to Six months"
"And who will be paying for your trip?"
"I see" (She was smiling all the time)
"What are you going to do there?"
"I'll be helping those guys in implementing ........"
?I mean US guys..?
?Actually we have our development team there and..?
She stopped me and said ?Its OK.? And started smiling. She was just pulling my leg.
"And how much salary you'll get"
"Mam, I'll get the DOA"
"60$ a day"
(then there was a silence for few seconds.. those were the longest seconds in my life. I knew I?ve goofed up the things.)
"Ok.. you'll get your VISA within two days" (She smiled again)
"Thank you mam.. nice talking to you.." (I smiled back!)
And then i came out happily out of that box. Many faces waiting in the line easily figured out what my result was.
Then i returned the wooden block and headed towards the VFS to get my stuff.
And when my TL called me and asked, "Kya hua..?"
I said, "Samjho ho hi gaya!!"
I informed Dad, mom, mona, anuj and other friends immediately. It defiantly was a happy moment.