Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The German Consulate

Tuesday, 7 August 2007 : It was an wonderful experience to spend some time at the Kolkata (Calcutta) German Consulate for me (Puthumai). I reached the Consulate at 8.45 a.m. The doors were well guarded. And once I was at the Security, I was told that due to some reasons they will not accept any more applications for the day. I was worried. Mr. Felix, a friend who came with me told the Security man that as I am from Northern part of Bengal, and that I am in very responsible position, it would not be possible for me to apply for a visa another day. The Security officer called someone on the intercom. I was allowed to file the application as the 12th man for the day. I went in. My friend was not allowed in. Once I was in the air-conditioned room, I spent the time reading about Germany.... about the technological innovations that is going on in Germany, the slowly progressing economy there and on the Indo-German relationship. There were plenty of matter to read. I sat quitely reading them. Others were making a lot of noise. Well, a German young lady came to the counter at 9.02 a.m. And the interviews began. I saw her questioning some, accepting some, rejecting some, getting upset with the travel agents who had not brought any original traveler, but had brought handful of Visa Application Forms and Passports of people etc. At 10.20 my time came. I gave the form and other documents. I introduced myself. She kept asking for some of the papers which I had in my hands. I kept speaking to her as she kept browsing through my papers. I told her the purpose of my visit. She was extremely satisfied. She asked me, " Are planning to return to your place today?". I replied, "Yes". "Well", she said, "you come at 3.00 p.m. And I shall get your Visa done!" I just couldn't believe my ears. "You mean, this evening?". Pat came the reply, " Yes. I shall do it for you. We can recognize the genuine travelers quite instantly." I thanked her and returned. All that I know was the number of notices I saw at the Consulate which said, "Visa Applications may take up to five working days for processing." My goodness! I know now, I am Welcome in Germany by every German citizen! The richness and the promptness of Germany was already visible.

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