Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Unexpected Turn of Events

Sometimes I feel that the way things turn out is all pre decided and I am talking about as small a thing as going for a vacation. Well, I think like all couples, we also have a few destinations chalked out that we would like to cover during our lifetime on Earth. So Egypt was one of the destinations on Aakaash’s list.

One of our close friends were planning to go and we thought it would be great for us to join them. Of course going with friends always adds to the excitement of the trip. So between making our plans and getting the paper work done we get to know that since Aakaash’s contract in Nigeria was terminating, we weren’t allowed to go on a vacation in the last 2 months.

So there went out our plans down the drain. I tried to put up a smile and bid goodbyes to our over excited friends who were leaving for Egypt to visit the beautiful and magnificent pyramids, observe the mummies and enjoy the culture and hospitality of Egyptians and all I was left with was a stupid song running in my head over and over again – “ Walk like an Egyptian”.

Well but it seems like when things have to happen, they just happen. Suddenly our 3 months extension of contract came in and we jumped on to the next plane possible and off we were to Cairo.

Wait a moment........

Do you think it would be that easy for “us” to jump on a plane? Lol...

So we decided on the dates, booked the tickets and the archaeologist guide who would take us around and the only thing left was the visa. We thought visa would take maximum 2-3 days. So for some reason Aakaash decided to wait for the last moment and when he picked up the passports to apply for visa, he discovered that Aan did not have a single empty page on his passport which left us in a frenzy since all the other bookings were done and we were all set to leave, even the packing was 90% complete.

So the 1st thing in the morning that we had to do was get an emergency passport for Aan, by that time we had realised that we didn’t even have any passport size photograph of Aan’s in a white background. So I called his class teacher, informed her that Aan would be late for school and took Aan to the embassy. Out here in Lagos, you would find tons of photographers with white sheets who click instant photographs, however the embassies don’t approve of these photographs since the white back ground is not according to the standards required by the Indian Embassy.

First of all we were not sure that Aan can get an emergency passport since there was no real “Emergency” for his passport. However, while Aakaash and Aan had gone to get the photograph clicked right outside the embassy; Aananya was busy exploring the garden during which one of the employees had attempted to play with her for a while. Volla! He was the second secretary who was to authorise if Aan can get his passport done or not.

You know at times you do the silliest things to ensure that you give your best shot to the opportunity that you are getting. Finally when Aakaash and Aan came back after getting the “not so right” photo, I pushed Aananya into Aakaash’s arms and asked to take her while giving the application. So when Aakaash went in, the guy frowned as to why a 4 year old needs an emergency passport and then looked at Aananya; Aananya melted him with her smile and there we got our approval for the emergency passport – and not for a year as the case generally is but a passport with full 5 years validity.

So you think it was a relief for us, not just yet! We went to give the approved application and the guy at the window said to collect the passport after a week. was Friday and we were flying the coming Thursday and next week was out of the question. However, after going back and forth with the authorities finally we were going to get the passport on Monday.

Tuesday’s agenda was to send our passport for the Visa which they said would take minimum 3 days. Again we were sweating since we were to fly on Thursday. So there again we had to pull strings, request, pull, push and finally we had our passports in our hands on Wednesday. Hence after struggling so much, finally we boarded our flight for Cairo..........