Towards Promised Land

The guards outside the Chennai American Consulate office speak Tamil when they want to be friendly and English when they are waving their baton in your face.

- Move Forward
- One person a time
- Are there any sealed envelopes in your folder?

The documents counter was a novelty. For the first time, I found myself proving my human existence beyond a signature. Pressing my palms against the greenlight machine. The same way I had seen in a docu film sometime back, new cadets from Nepal and India were databased by the anthropological establishment of Empire.

We were herded (in way it was an equaliser of class/community/ethnicity divides- Tamil casual labourer, software engineer youth, newlywed mehendi women, despondent aged parents- we were all to America- the potential Immigrant) into the Interview Airconditioned space, and asked to sit here and sit there. The delays and Tamil asides spoken by the security guards and general air of chaos made it familiarly endearing. Like going to get you Driver's License in Bangalore. Somewhat.

The hooked-nosed, bespectacled, severe woman interviewer turned out warm and jovial to me. Like she was with the aged couple before me. Unlike that large, red-rimmed-spectacled lady in the next counter who sounded less merciful. And I hoped I would not be guided to her den.

In less than a minute, I was issued a five-year F1 and wished luck.

I felt like I came out of a Lion's Den, having shaken hands.


whew! that sounds relatively painless. Im going to struggle with my lions soon :( wish me luck

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