Manjula’s Crazy Year

we’re looking back on what has been a momentous year for Manjula.

If only for the lots of holidays in India: Kerala three times (twice to Kannur Beach House), Hampi and lots of local day trips. Sorting out her inconsistent IDs, getting her Passport, submitting tax returns, obtaining a visa for the UK and the BIGGY her first trip outside the country.

Now she’s just signed the documents to become a¬†Director of MyCycle Tours and Travels Private Limited.

She reckons that coming to work for me (yes she did actually work for me, originally) and this house has been really lucky

So what next? watch this space.

 

What a wonderful birthday!

Manjula had a great time on her 43rd Birthday. Yes she’s 43!

Travelling out to Srirangaptnam for Puja at the Rangatha Temple to visit Ranga, Laxmi, Garuda, Narsima and Hanuman (so many Gods in one place!) and dinner at hotel Roopa in the evening. Over 43 friends from around the world via facebook and email sent their greetings.. That also helped make her day.

She now is planning her 50th party in the UK!

Farrell Factoid

The Yorkshireman reached deep down into his pocket to pay for the meal for twelve people which cost much less than a recent, probably typical meal in London for three ūüôā

As always in India it’s critical to get to the story under the surface. When I first met her, Manjula had three different birthdates. In India when someone doesn’t have a birth certificate (most poor and rural people, above a certain age) they use their TC or Transfer Certificate from school as evidence of their date of birth.¬†As part of the rationalisation of her various inconsistent and conflicting forms of ID she had to sort it out and go for one.

She is a Queen but one birthday is enough!

Let’s give Manjula a Break

Yes, let’s give her a break….. A new¬†visa application is IN.

She needs one, who wouldn’t, after being with Stephen for OVER six Years?! yes Six years!

We’ve been overcome with the support, since the news got out about the rejection, from our wonderful friends, many of whom are visitors to us here at Mysore Bed and Breakfast.

cropped-img_4276.jpg

Thank¬†you, it means a lot to get that encouragement and emotional support. We’ve also had tons of invites for holidays elsewhere. Top of the list at the moment (from the no. of suggestions) are ¬†UK (ha ha thanks for that ), Australia, Canada, Europe (we’re voting to stay IN) and Israel.

So the thing is, the new application is submitted and we think we’re providing firm evidence on the main issue. She just wants a holiday and she really isn’t trying to slip into the country and stay there!!! She doesn’t want to move to the UK

Can you send an Email to Manjula?

Maybe emphasising something on the lines of:

  • how she really is Mysore Bed and Breakfast and is critical to its continuing success
  • how and what you enjoyed about your stay
  • that you’ll be back
  • and any other way you can demonstrate your support

Every little might help, who knows?

Manjula@mycycle.co

She has an established life¬†here, a job, she’s critical to the BnB, we have invested in our life here with a dog, a redecorated five bedroom house, a bike, a car, a successful business, a lovely garden that’s taken an age to create, ¬†has dependents who rely on her, such as her mother and she¬†doesn’t wish to move to the UK.

So why the photo of the Brahma Kamla flower?

DSC01544

These flowers are very auspices. Each flower only lasts one night. It is at it’s best at midnight and the aroma is beautifully overpowering. They are not at all easy to grow. They are therefore considered very lucky. On the past three nights we’ve had a total of fifteen, yes fifteen of these flowers. So we hope the Brahma is with-us on this next bit of the journey of: ‘The Passage from India!’

 

 

three weeks later

It’s now been over three¬†weeks, since our last visit to the Regional Passport Office (RPO), and the Houston incident, the letter was sent to the headteacher, she replied confirming the TC was legitimate and to sent a letter back to the RPO within three days. Spot on.

Then a vacuum, we’re lost in Space….what’s holding it up now?

I call them, on average, every two days. I get the standard answers, it’s being dealt with, it will be approved by the end of the day, the officer has it…. blah blah blah

I send emails and a fax, then I give you, me and Manjula a rest,

I’m back on the case today.

IMG_6329

 

 

 

 

[If you’re getting confused about timings, think what it’s like for us, we’re now ‘Back to the Future’ So real time and bloglet time creeps closer together]

 

 

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.

 

 

image

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 ūüėČ )

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

image

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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s in a name 6

All we want is a passport, so Manjula can visit the UK. Is that too much to ask?

Well it feels so much like a board game we’ve created our own. Looks complicated? Well it is!

We’ve had to find four items of ID to prove:

image

name

gender

address

date of birth

and ensure they are all accurate and consistent (no mean feat).

Move down each vertical line to realise each of the things we’ve had to complete. Sometimes we’ve had to create something from scratch, with others we’ve amended most of the key details, with others, well we’ve been running alongside Alice for some of the way and no were not mad, yet!

This is however,¬†only part of the journey and until we’d got all these forms of ID we were unable to submit the application for Manjula’s passport. Well we’ve passed another significant milestone and we are now ready to apply.

imageImagine you are a poor illiterate person. Admittedly, if you’re poor, you’ll be less likely to require a passport, but that’s to miss the¬†point. I reckon most people would find this intimidating. Bureaucracy seems to be designed to hinder people and not to help. When you understand the complexity of something that should be relatively simple you can see how disabling this is and how ‘brokers’ are so necessary in life. All this causes stress ( I can vouch for that) and money!!