The Curious Case Of The Surname

It is always exciting when you know your passport is going to get stamped with a visa! At least for someone like me who had the first flight well into engineering, a visa is like the chocolate that I never had. I submitted my passport details and a person called me up, let us refer to her as Julia Roberts for the sake of having a name!

Julia : Hello Mr Sriram, I just went through your passport and see that you do not have a surname!

Me : Oh I do not have a surname.

Julia : So is your first name ‘Aaditya Sriram’

Me : Nope

Julia : Ok I am confused now!

Me : My First Name is Aaditya and Last Name is Sriram

Julia : Alright, are last name and surname the same thing?

Me : Hold on, let me google it

****** 3 minutes ********

Me : Well according to this  Yahoo! Last name and surname is the same!

Julia : Well I think you need to get your passport corrected then!

Me : Na na, its ok I dont want a surname I’ll live with Aaditya Sriram as firstname.

Julia : You will have a lot of issues with government organizations if you do not have a surname!

Me : I’ll manage :) Thanks

This conversation actually threw me off gear and I ended up doing a lot of searching online about the case of the missing surname and figured life would be really hard without a surname in many countries! So then I called her back and

Me : Hello Julia! How you doing?

Julia : I am good Adeeetya! Whatsup?

Me : I decided i’d get the name on my passport changed!

Julia : I am glad you changed your mind, good luck with that

I’m sure she laughed out and made fun of me after that! Well so I freaked out and prior to this had a  very bad idea about how governmental organizations worked and how inefficient they are. My only silver lining was the fact that more than 50% of South Indians do not have a surname on their passport and they all get it corrected once they realise how this could bite their rear! Went through a million blogs and they all made it sound like a ridiculously easy process, i begged to defer and thought the only way to find out the truth is by going through the ordeal myself! My dad suggested I go through a Passport agent, but I wanted to give the Passport organization a chance to prove their organizational capabilities.

The following are the steps to get it changed, the online part of the process is mentioned on this post, as I’ve my passport office appointment in the future as of writing this post.

  1. Go to Passport Seva
  2. Click on Register in case you do not have an account already, else click on login. You know the charade!
  3. Once logged in, click on the tab that says “Apply for Fresh Passport/Reissue of Passport”
  4. It will give you a link to download a form, download it and fill it!
  5. While filling form, in the reason for reissue choose OTHER and type “NAME BIFURCATION”
  6. Fill up other details and save, it will generate a XML file.
  7. Upload XML file from the page whose link you can find on the login page
  8. It will create a ARN for you, now click on “View Saved/Submitted Applications”
  9. Choose the current upload and book an appointment

I went in for a tatkaal appointment as mentioned before and got my passport in 24 hours of the passport office appointment! It actually works when it is just name bifurcation, but again in my case I had no other change! It was the same address.

Carry the following with you for proofs:

  • Old Passport
  • Copies of the first two and last two pages of old passport
  • 10th Marks card [in case ECR stamp is on your old passport]
  • Address proof [in case of address change]
  • Yourself [yep you need to go]

It is a long wait inside the passport office though! So take a day off and spend it there! Do not go early do not go late! Be on time :) Good luck to everyone! Get your passport on time and enjoy your study/work adventure in the US!

The Crayon Head

Crayons! A single word to describe the imaginative powers of Indians when there is commotion! Everyday on my way to and from office I go past at least one crowded spot where I just see people standing around something which I presumed to be really interesting. I never really had the chance to go see what was happening until recently, this one experience cleared all doubts that had accumulated over the last 24 years of mine on this earth. We love commotion! We love drama! We love drama and commotion with a dash of lime and lemon, in fact it is our favorite cocktail! It gets us high, it gets us involved in others business and sometime lands us in a pool of junk. What am I talking about? You know what I am talking about! Last week, I was at this car workshop getting my seat covers changed and some stickering done for my drive, KABOOOOOM! A loud thud and some screaming is all it took for all heads in a radius of 500m to look in the direction of the sound, such a response is only natural I guess. I saw a guy lying on the road and next to him was his bike, my Dad and I went upto him and helped him up and took the bike to the side. He had been hit by a car, a Mahindra XUV500 [retarded car] and a man with a shiny bald head driving it freaked out and just sat inside the car that was in the middle of the road! I asked him to move back and park to the side of the road, he did that. The guy who got hit was fine, atleast on the outset so my Dad and I decided to leave the place to let the guy handle the situation with the car guy. We had walked like 10m and when we turned back there was the huge familiar crowd, staring at the two gentlemen, the hitter and the ‘hitted’ :P [halli english on purpose] fighting a battle of words, it reminded me of this clip !

There were at least 20 people watching the drama unfold and my dad and I were watching the crowd watch, I guess that made us meta crowd! What started off as a two man battle just like the video ended up in a band wagon of peole arguing, few taking the side of the biker and few the car guy! Finally the car guy stepped back and let the volunteers carry on for him! The bike guy wasn’t hurt and he tried asking for money before the guy who was driving the car said this

I am a lawyer, if you want a settlement lets go to the court and decide!

The bike guy freaked out and said this

Atleast take me to the hospital and let me have my foot checked!

At this point I felt pretty sad for the bike guy, he was unnerved by what he had just heard! His bike was definitely broken, but I guess he did not have the right to ask for repair money but the hospital request was fair enough.  The car guy took him to the hospital and all of a sudden the crowd had lost their entertainment piece! After some awkward stares, they started speculating what had happened and then one guy blamed the biker and the other the car guy. There interesting insights into the physics of accidents too by the onlookers! Pretty fascinating! Seeing the crowd a guy on an evening walk stopped and tried to find out what had happened only to realise it was the after party that he had arrived late to.

At times I just feel everyone is looking for some weird stuff to happen to people around them just so that there is a entertainment! A similar thing happened around 5 months back, I guess my first paragraph is now contradictory! It is my second huddle moment on the Indian roads this. A lady had fainted and people were looking and discussing what could have happened, one guy said a car hit her and sped away, another lady said a bike had hit this woman while yet another claimed she just fainted [turned out this was the truth]. Seeing this I asked the crowd to help the lady into my car and I asked another lady to accompany me to the hospital where I admitted the lady. The weird part of this was that a Cop saw the lady had fainted and when I offered to help he ran away, what are public servants for? Welfare of people? I might have to read the fine print of human conscience to understand this kind of behavior from humans. The story doesnt end here, when I went back home from the hospital I got a sound hearing from my house help in front of my parents! We all looked on in shock, finally she told me I could land in a lot of trouble for helping unknown people falled on the road. A shiver and chill down my spine and I gathered myself to ask her what she was blabbering only to hear that she is saying this only for my good and she means only the best for me. This tale followed as a supporting argument

A lady was on the side walk of the road, in good clothes and dairly well groomed, a crowd had gathered and one guy said she should be taken to the hospital and an auto came by right then. This guy took the lady in the auto, on way the lady took out a knife and along with the auto guy robbed him.

I did not know what to say! Awestruck, I thought  this was a pretty good reason for people to just crowd around victims of accidents or incidents. Just to make it sensational they tend to use their colorful imagination to make the story more like an Ekta Kapoor soap! Stories are intriguing, the whole world runs on morals taught using stories, except the stories now are just murky and pure evil! I won’t deny, most of the stories are interesting and keep my head engaged in thought for a while but there should be a way innocent people get help when needed!

Rohit ditches Maggi!

From Maggi to Haleem, the rise to glory has happened in the ongoing series against Australia for the stylish batsmen Rohit Sharma who had been under performing till date. As per reports last week when Rohit breached the 100 mark it was said that 100,000 kilos of Maggi got burnt and was thrown because of his long innings. Post that event, people have started using Rohit innings as timer for pulav and fried rice, but today has changed the equation involving the length of Rohit’s innings and the kind of food being cooked.

  Haleem the popular dish that is generally available in abundance in the party town of hyderabad during the month of ramzan, requires a very long cooking time. Seeing the recent innings that saw Maggie boy getting to a 200 the hyderabad Haleem association has decided to use his innings as a tool to measure cooking time for the mouth watering dish.

Sehwag has to be used as an example of caution with which the Haleem association would have to spend money and follow the new time calculation mechanism. Sehwag since his 219 in 2011 has been putting Maggi to cook and coming out to bat and returning to the dressing room on time to eat it. Even worse now he is sitting and making Maggi for the rest of the Indian team since he doesn’t have a spot in the playing 11 or the next in line 15 players!

  This innings has also spelt the end of ex Indian opener Gautam Gambhir who has since decided to buy a part of the equity offered by the Haleem association of hyderabad!

Man Becomes rich after falling into pothole

Pothole menace in Bangalore is a huge issue with people falling into these huge craters everyday! Last evening a man however made a fortune after falling into one of the deep potholes on Tin Factory road connecting OMR and Ring road, he had hit oil. He was driving a 30 wheel tanker lorry with an extended trailer when all of a sudden the whole vehicle disappeared from the road, after 30 minutes of frantic searching by the locals who thought they had witnessed a David Blaine trick they found the driver climb out of deep hole in the road and shout in joy. He was covered in a black slimy liquid which was later discovered to be oil! Yes you heard it right, Bangalore has oil and the credit for the discovery goes to the driver and partly to the mayor of Bangalore for refusing to close the potholes.
   The government of Karnataka has approved an award of 10 crores to the driver for discovering oil. The ecstatic driver in an exclusive interview with the unreal times said that he was overjoyed with his new found wealth and would like to watch a movie at a theater in Bangalore, it has been his childhood dream he said. He was unable to afford a movie in the IT city all these days. The driver Mr Viyunduthan Oilingam hails from Jamnagar where his father works with the reliance refineries, no wonder oil discovery runs in his blood, rather oil runs in the holes he falls into. He has 1 wife and 3 kids who are all very proud of him, Gujarat CM NaMo personally visited the family and said that Viyunduthan belongs to Gujarat and will be given a palace in Ahemedabad. NaMo seems to be trying to hide the oil discoverer for his personal uses in the future.
  Bangalore will now have a huge boost in terms of economy, also the initial cost for setting up and digging a oil well has already been avoided thanks to the 300m deep potholes in bangalore. The mayor has ordered all potholes to be dug into deep and look for presence of oil. Initial estimates suggest that there is enough oil to fuel Bangalore and the rest of South India for another 1243 years. The IT city may now buy out Hosur from Tamil Nadu to expand Electronic city to ‘fuel’ further development. The mayor has been congratulated by all governments who are now ready to clean his shoes for a share of the oil to develop their own states.
  Arnab Goswami has also signed up exclusive television rights to interview the pothole that is now credited with the availability of oil. The nation would definitely like to know if the pothole has any other rich neighbours from whom we can steal all the oil and further screw up tin factory road. Manmohan Singh  when asked about what plans he had to exploit this new discovery, said “… . ……… . . .. “.
  Following this breaking news other states have also decided to invite Mr Viyunduthan to discover oil. All cities have been ordered by the supreme court to stop repairing the roads, in fact no new roads can be laid as per this law with immediate effect. Kanpur is pegged to be the next oil exploration zone since it doesn’t seem to have any roads at all.

IT Professional gets the pink slip for slipping some pink stuff from work!

The soaring Onion prices have claimed yet another victim, this time news coming in from Bangalore that Mr Vengayam Madaya a Senior Programmer at one of the most reputed IT firms in Bangalore has been sacked. The reason being that he had been consistently getting a box everyday to take onions made available at the lunch buffet that is offered by the company as a complimentary meal everyday.
   The food caterer found that everyday 300-400 gm of onion was missing after the first round of lunch being served. This had been going on for the last 32 days and the caterer could not bear the loss of 16 kilos of onion! He complained to the company management and company then reviewed tapes and found the suspect taking loads of cut onion and putting it in the box and running away. To put matters to an end, they planned to catch the onion victim in action, they succeeded and caught him pink handed, sorry red handed.
  Mr Vengayam pleaded and promised to grow onion bulbs at home and return all the onions as soon as possible, the company security officials turned a deaf ear to the requests and terminated his employment. Mr Vengaya was seen in tears, it is not clear if he was crying or it was the onion that he had managed to grab and put in his pocket before being confronted earlier today.
   Mr Vengayam is from a family of 4, his wife and 2 sons who are working in hotels as managers. The hotels have now put a watch on the sons to prevent them from following their father’s footsteps. His Wife Mrs Vengayam is inconsolable again it is not clear if the onions were to blame for the tears rushing down her fluffy cheeks. She says they will now make onion pakodas and sell it on the streets to IT professionals so that the onion when being friend feels the pain they feel right now.

BCCI is Hiring

News has just arrived that BCCI has put up a job opening in the Indian cricket team. Owing to the way our bowlers are getting hit, especially Ishant Sharma, the head pontif Srinavasan has made up his mind to get things in order. The job description states that every time the ball goes flying out of the park the new hire should fetch the ball and throw it back. This is specially needed because ICC has added a rule saying only 10 new balls can be taken in a match and ishant Sharma and Co have been bowling so well that at least 20 balls are lost per match and around 18 go out of shape due to the terrific force with which stupid deliveries by Indian pacemen is being hit.

When Srinavasan was asked why he doesn’t get new bowlers instead, he stated he cannot start a breeding center to get bowlers made to specification. He also hinted that the new hire might be used for ball exchange Pardhe ke peeche. Since Bhuveneshwar Kumar can only bowl with a new ball, the new hire might be used to throw in a new ball everytime he gets trashed, so now bhuvi can swing the ball throughout the match. Srinavasan has also specified a new budget allowance of 60 rs per month to get ishant a haircut, he aims to cut costs for this new expenditure by making Rohit Sharma the official Maggi cook of the team.

Speaking more about the job put up on faukri, Dhoni said he is tired of searching for the ball in the bushes after his bowlers get hit everyday all day, he is personally going to pay the player 50% of what BCCI is going to offer. The job perks as per the job listing states that, the employee will get free Pepsi and ‘Towels’ but has warned the player from wearing the towel on his pant during the match. The player will also get free tips from Srinavasan and his son in law Meyyapan on money management. We all know the route that is going to take, said Dhoni jokingly. On asking for more details, we have exclusive info that the player will get a salary based on his performance, that is the number of balls retrieved by him, on an average 5000 INR per ball retrieved. This would easily give him a per match earning of 250000 given the way Indian bowlers bowl. His Jersey number will be 420.

On asking if a female fetcher would be considered, Srini and Dhoni said that without a reason itself Ishant is fetching balls he was hit for in the stands, if there is a girl he will throw the ball there as over throws just to go fetch it with her. Lets hope that the Indian bowling learns to respect itself.

Trainfic India!

Trains have always been a source of fascination! How do they move from one track to the other without jumping out? How do so many trains travel on the same track but different directions and still manage to stay clear of going kaboom? The whole Indian railways is a world wonder, just for the sheer size and volume of the rail system! My love for trains began with the famous cutlet, there was something special in the cutlet you get in trains! I don’t know if it was because the potatoes were mashed on the floor by bare footed cooks by feet in the oily dirty pantry car or because it was fried potato and the only deep fried item other than the vada on these long journey!

   I regularly go to sabarimala, but the travel has generally been normal with no crazy ass bloggable adventures, but the one I am still on (yes I’m blogging from the kerala express enroute coimbatore) although not bat shit crazy, it’s got a few first times for me. I finished the whole pilgrimage from kottayam to Pamba by cab and then by foot to sabarimala and back to kottayam. I’m waiting at the railway station, half sleepy in this very noisy station. All I remember is that my train the one that goes from trivandrum to new Delhi.

I buy myself a copy of digit, start reading it to stay awake, it works pretty well except I’m not listening to the announcements. A train chugs into the station, u suddenly look towards to train and see the board reading Trivandrum to New Delhi and back. My train was scheduled to arrive at 2:05, the time right now was 2:05! I was surprised the train was on time in a state where well it never comes on time! I take my bags along,  my uncle follows and we realise the train is moving in the wrong direction as it came to a screeching halt. We thought the travel made us get mixed up with directions and proceeded to enter the train. In kerala I believe it is normal for reserved coaches between trivandrum and cochin to be used as passenger trains, in other words like a local train where any number of people can jump in and squeeze the life out of everyone. We got in, S9 coach check, seat numbers 65 and 66 check! Phew, but wait there was someone  on our seats already! To be honest, there were 6 people sitting on a seat that was meant for 3. Yeah, this is cool, I now have to drive out 6 people to reclaim my seats. I ask the ladies in a cool and calm manner, to get up and give us our seats as this is a reserved compartment. They go on and act like they can’t hear us, one of the guys there starts talking in Hindi asking what I want! I said in my Butler Hindi,

Yeh hamara seat hain, anghhhhhh (captain style)

My uncle by then asks someone if this is the kerala express, that guy said yes. Is it going to coimbatore? Umm, no this is going towards trivandrum! Holy shit, we were in the wrong train, actually wait right train but wrong direction! The train was already moving out of the station, and we decided to jump out. My uncle seems to have done this before and he jumps out all pro like. I go to the door and my legs freeze, I’ve never done this before! What am I supposed to do now? Like just jump and sit on my butt? Or fly away as far as I can from the train? The platform was going to end and the train was pretty fast now, I had to think quick but act faster! So I acted, yes like a fool, and jumped and landed on two legs, surprisingly I did not fall. There is a cop left next to me! I was like Erm

Peace out?

He gave me a disgusted look and asked me if I was deaf and couldn’t hear the announcements about the train! He said the following in malayalam

This is the trivandrum bound train, it is 3 hours late! Your train is at 2:05, (I was like gotcha, now what will you scold me for,  but here goes)  have you ever seen trains come on time? Fool, go and sit there, your train is 30 minutes late!

I was like, whaaaattt? (the way Phil Dunphy from modern family says it), and then meekly ran to the nearest bench and sat down to a bunch of guys laughing at me. It’s cool, I now know that even if the train start and end locations are the same and it is at your platform at the scheduled time it Is not your train! This reminds me of the following

All that you hear and all that you see are false.

My uncle and I shared a good laugh, then we had some coffee and sat down for the right train to come. The train finally came, we checked it was indeed the train to get into and finally got in.

   Empty Seat? No sir, there is a freaking family tree here! My seat? Lol they said,

Are you an idiot to get into a train with a confirmed ticket and expect a seat?

They gave me and my uncle our seats but people crammed in on the remaining space and eventually squishing us too. My uncle and I could do nothing more than laugh at our situation. The guys around have been good though, no fuss, and they are not making noise either, giving me space to think clearly and blog in a moving train. The first time I’ve done that! On a positive note, I shall not be thankful for every train journey I have with a berth that is mine and only mine!

  So what did I learn today?
1) my uncle has jumped from a moving train before this
2) I am lucky i did not break my teeth when I jumped onto the platform like I was catching the golden snitch.
3) how to blog from a train

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