we’ve got the service on our side

Ok ok we were disappointed that we weren’t getting the new slick service promised by the minister. BUT we do have two other services on our side:

The police service are with us and on the job. They might be a bit traditional BUT we’ll have no worries

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Thankfully,  we’ve also got the SMS service also ‘on our side’ otherwise it might be confusing and not very fast.

So its happening

Manj has met the Policeman, neighbours sign to say Manjula is who she says she is and lives here. Result!

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Our SMS arrives on Stephen’s trusty phone (it even gets a chortle from our friends in Mysore!)

they come fast fast and furious, usually in the middle of the night…

Your GSC no. for Passport verification is xxxxxxxx. Contact Nazarbad PS for verification. Courtesy: Police Computer Wing 20/02/16

Your Passport Verification is complete. Contact your Passport Office. Courtesy: Police Computer Wing. 05/03/16

Police report has been submitted by your Thana and its under review at Commissioner Office, District Mysuru city. 09/03/16

Police report not yet finalised by Commissioner Office, District Mysuru City (Mysuru). Contact Police for details 11/03/16

xxx Police has submitted clear report for your current address. 11/03/16

called at Police Commissioner, report has gone to the RPO, I called, they received it. OK the final bit did take ten days but it’s sorted. The Police service has had to deal with 800 verification reports just for passports. It must take a heavy toll.

the SMS service has now gone quiet

When we get back home..

At our interview the assistant passport officer stated that they would issue the passport and get police verification (they visit your home to check you’re who you say you are and that you live there) done afterwards and When we get back home….. We realise. He wasn’t telling the truth.

imageThe passport will NOT be issued until after police verification and there is a statement about verifying original documents. This isn’t going to be as straightforward as we once thought and it’s going to take longer. It was clearly a waste, doing the affidavit and following the ministerial announcement.

 

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It’s taken me over.

What’s happening to me?

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Am I getting too old? ill with something? falling apart? why can’t I motivate myself? It’s so difficult to get things done.

It’s reappeared

It must be Summer again.

 

Have I always been like this or is it a new phenomenon? has anything changed in my life to lead to this? Maybe its ……

Lethargy air

I remember back to earlier last year.

I’d only been back here a few weeks after a short trip to the UK. On getting back I hit a wall of hot thick air. It’s like transparent foam and possible to walk into but not quite through. You have to breath it in. There’s no choice.

People who visit here, worry about a whole set of things. Malaria, Dengue fever, being ripped off, attacks from dogs, the price of food, chain snatchers, you name it, we all worry…. but I reckon one of the most insidious things is lethargy air.

It’s getting worse but most guests miss it as they choose to be here in the winter.

So what is happening in Mysore?

I’ve lived here for over six years. Surely I’m used to it by now. Fact is…. Summer arrives earlier every year. Mysore is known for a wonderful climate throughout the year. But whereas summer used to arrive in April, the past two years saw it arrive in March and this year it was upon us in Feb! It’s a combination of  a busier city (hip hip hooray for development), climate change and someone called Nino.

Now, this year, in March we’re in the mid to late 30’s

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So be aware. It may come to your street soon.

Lethargy Air  can hit at any time. But the mid afternoon is the high point. One feebly starts with a vague list of things to achieve and if today is anything to go by, within two hours it becomes a mental struggle to place one foot in front of another. I’m walking in treacle. Of course, I exaggerate but not by much.

There is a lasting impact from the day before and the overnight tussle with the air, dogs and sleep.

I think I just need a rest

 

Almost all good intentions fly swiftly out of the window. With a combination of lethargy air and ‘things never quite get delivered as promised’ syndrome well not a lot gets done. It’s no accident that one often feels that the term mañana is so much better suited to Mysore than Spain. Tomorrow just never arrives. Maybe

Maybe it’s just time for a beer!

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and I can’t really believe I’m saying this but maybe it’s also time for a bit of English Air!

its the people that make it!

Mysore Bed and Breakfast is very much an open house, where we have now welcomed guests for over four years. A great community is beginning to develop. It’s formed from our guests, many who have returned or know of us through other friends, together with out team of drivers, gardener, cleaners, the hosts (Manjula, Lucy and the Yorkshireman) . There is also a network of other friends such as Homestay hosts and tour companies that collaborate to provide a great experience for visitors to this wonderful India. This helps create a richer life experience for us (eh… we don’t need to travel, the world comes here 🙂 !)  and a greater depth for our visitors.

P1120354We’ve decided to introduce some of our community beginning with one of our guests.

Stephen F (a different Stephen F 😉 ) is a keen touring cyclist who has been to Mysore BnB maybe three times. He’s even left one of this cycles here for regular use! Originally from Northern Ireland he now lives in England and works as a communications consultant. Stephen goes way beyond the cycle tours we provide. He recently visited again doing a cycle loop travelling from here and taking in the National Parks. Previously he’s toured parts of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. On his first visit here we were amazed to realise we’d spoken to each other over the phone earlier in our careers in the early 1990s…. the coincidences of India, great stuff!

He’s just bought a rather expensive cycle and whenever we’ve had prospective guests planning on long and overnight tours we ask for Stephen’s help, whether its planning the tour, working out the best maps, finding suitable accommodation or general survival tips on cycling in India. Stephen has been a godsend. He now joins and has helped organise our family cycle tours back in the UK.

P1120379Stephen, as you would expect, has been on all our tours. Stephen and I have now started to develop longer tours taking in the local countryside, villages and my favourite, Srirangaptnam island.

See the map below.

Other cycling guests are also suggesting their favourite tours.

So this next year we’ll be inviting cyclists to come base their holidays here, join us on our established tours and we’ll help them design day tours in and around this wonderful area

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Thank you,  Stephen

 

 

 

 

can we apply for a passport please?

 

What’s in a name? is it lucky No 7?image Ducks in a row?

 

Well, yes… well, we almost have gathered together all the relevant forms of ID so we are  ready to dive into the duck pond! there is just one more thing to do before we can submit the application on-line.

 

It’s  to visit an advocate for Manjula to sign an affidavit declaring who she is and hasn’t any criminal record etc etc.

if they accept this at the Passport office it will speed things up considerably as the police verification visit can then be AFTER the issuing of the Passport

We’ve also had to make some momentous decisions which we will share at a future date!

 

We find a very helpful advocate and the document is signed. We’re ready..

 

 

 

 

You’ve asked for more detail

What’s in a name 6B?

Well, we seem to have ‘hit a chord’ with our imaginary board game.  There has been interest via facebook, our web site and directly to our blog.  Here’s a little more detail to satisfy your thirst. Rememeber, we’re doing this to get a passport!

PAN card, Manjula has already registered to pay tax. It was relatively easy, handled by our accountant.

PAN Card

We shoot ahead with this one! Maybe it’s not exactly playing the game but we did apply in advance, almost as a ‘dry-run.’

The PAN card is a registration to pay tax and is useful, amongst other things, to prove one’s name.

 

 

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The Aadhar Card is the Indian name for the ID card, now becoming familiar the world over.

It works as a universal ID to help access a whole range of services.  Based on biometrics (really?)  it’s invaluable BUT… in Manjula’s case, she was listed as a male, name was incorrect and it was an old address. (no comment) So there needed to be significant changes (really!).

What is cool about this system is, it’s all amendable online: no brokers (aka middlemen), no need to visit offices nor queing. Absolutely fab!  Requests to amend the details are submitted online. Updates are dealt with at a contact centre and confirmed or rejected via Email and SMS (text)  At this stage, I’m overcome with serious enthusiasm.

I register with the system. (as Manjula of course… your wouldn’t believe how much her reading and computer skills have really, come-on 😉 )

I amend everything ALL at once. BIG BIG mistake. ALL rejected. Now then Stephen, listen up, less of the ‘bull in a China shop’ or ‘at a gate?’ go at it a little more gently.. Shanti Shanti. OK, so I submit the changes one by one,  waiting each time for the confirmation of success before trying the next.

Sorted! Big achievements all round.

Quackety Quack

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But next, we need proof of her address to show she has lived a for over a year at Moksha ‘Manor.’ An accepted way to do this is a bank account.

A stroke of luck.

I opened an account for Manjula years ago. With a couple of changes, a passbook newly printed off, her photo added together with  a print off of the transactions of the previous year, a letter from the bank manager with a stamped photo of Manjula and Ducks away!

 

 

imageand finally, (I’m joking.. its not finally, stay with us guys) we need evidence of her Date of Birth.

In a traditionally informal society, such as this and especially for those people from a poor background, they would generally, not have a birth certificate.  Evidence of their age and date of birth would therefore usually come from the school leaving or transfer certificate.

We’d first obtained it as part of the PAN process but needed to get it re-issued. sorted easily.

There’s another Donald Duck!

 

 

So we now have formal evidence of Manjula’s name, gender, image, her father’s name, her date of birth, age, and address (for over a year).

You might feel a bit exhausted just hearing the story.

I can assure you it’s been quite an ordeal just getting to this stage.

In real time (ie not blog time) it has taken months!

We’re now in a position to apply online for a passport…… What does the future hold?