3.55am Mom: Saloniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii get up.... its 4am, you got your Stamping today and you’re still sleeping like a lazy donkey!!!!!!!
3.55am Saloni: Hmmm...hmmmm....Ya ma will get up.. gimme 5 mins... 4.00am - Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr... goes the alarm....groggily I stretch out my hand from underneath my cozy covers and hit the alarm clock angrily to silence.
4.05am - Finally, I make up my mind to get outa bed and got up to do some stretch outs....
4.10am - I switched off the A.C pushed away the screens to see the outside climatic conditions and was for a minute taken-aback at the sight of the heaviest down-pours happening blissfully at that early hour of the day.
4.11am - Hmmmmmm... with a deep sigh... I push the curtains back to its place and break into a little jog to attend to my first nature's call of the day!
4.17am - I get out of the loo, having cleared my bowels and try to peek into my bedroom once again to catch-up with a little nap for few minutes.
4.21am Mom: SALLLLLLLLLOOONNIIIIII Where the heck are you??????? Stillll on bed???? Get up you dumb ASS!!!!!
4.21am Saloni: uh-oh!...rghh....errr...uummmm... No mommm...I am up already...and in the restroom brushing... I run into the restroom with my toothbrush and paste and shut the door so softly that she doesnt end up hearing the door-bolt.
4.27am - I am out in my balcony sit-out area with a steaming mug of filter coffee, home made; mom made; fantasized with the purest blend of morning coffee, Suprabhadham (The Morning Raga of almost all the south-indian homes), a beautiful rain and a dim lit street with a couple of early morning birds chirping the dense old mango tree of my neighbor’s.
4.30am - Looked up at the sky, the clouds were clearing up on the east while they were taking in different forms of thick dark grey masses along the west.
4.35am - I found out an elephant, a sun flower, a bucket, a cone ice-cream and a woman holding a baby in those dark patches of clouds....
4.36am Mom: - How long will you take to finish your coffee??? Your hot water is ready... Go get that oil bowl, lemme apply that to your hair, you have ample time, so wash off the oil thoroughly, n don’t be in a hurry...but make sure you are out by 5.15am at the max.
4.37am - I nod my head in agreement and went in to get the bowl.
4.38am - With the usual wish-lists submission to the god and blessings from her end, she worked with her expert hands to apply the warm gingely oil mixed with methi seeds & curry leaves, deep down my scalp, giving me a feel of heaven.
4.39am - with a loud pat on the head, as a finishing note she asked me get-set-go to have my bath.
4.40am - I went in, Took my time to do the best to my hair with the bowl of shikkakai powder and made sure that i was out by 5.20am. Two loud bangs on the washroom door and one call for time-check were a part too, which i shouldn’t fail to make note of.
5.27am - I am out with my formal pants (deep purple) and brand new off-white (Van Heusen) shirt.
5.30am - dried my hair, tied it up neatly. Smeared some cold cream and applied the same on my face. Sprayed the deodorant.
5.45am - Time to pray - 10mins here, Lighted the lamp, chanted the slokas that I knew, Decorated the idols and picture frames of gods with flowers. Prostrated in front of god.
5.50am - Took the akshadai, Came upto dad and mom, and took their blessings as well.
5.55am - Honk from driver, to indicate that the car is ready.
5.57am - Kissed mom, wore the sacred ash on my fore head, one last glimpse at the puja room, Took my purse, docs and walked down the staircase with dad to get into the car.
6.13am - Arrival at the U.S consulate office
6.14 - waited inside the car till 6.45am as it was too early to get to the queue(Well there wasnt any queue at all for that matter!!! )
6.45am - Stood in the queue 7.20am - handbag screening and security checking done.
7.35am - Was made to wait in chairs for the documents checking.
8.15am - All BEP candidates were called separately and were sent in directly to the Visa interview building, where in couple of Indian consulate officers segregated my documents and handed over the entire original and Xerox of my educational/job related documents.
8.40am – Was waiting for my green folder to come back to me with the VISA information slip (Green one for L1 Blanketers to be filled in by the Indian officers).
9.30am – Was given my folder and was sent into counter number 1 for both the index finger prints.
9.50am – Was sent into counter number 4 where in a female consular was to interview me.
The interview is as follows:-
I step forward and place my original educational and job related documents on the counter slab that’s laid in front of me and smile at the officer.
Saloni: Good Morning Officer! How are you?
Officer: I am fine. Thank you. How are you?
Saloni: I am doing good.
Officer: So you are a candidate of Blanket L1?
Saloni: yes, that’s right. Officer: What’s the purpose of your visit?
Saloni: To work with XXXXY.
Officer: And where’s your XXXXY office is U.S?
Saloni: It’s at ZZZZ, PPPPP State.
Officer: Is that the Headquarters’ of XXXXY?
Saloni: Yes, it is.
Officer: So what’s your type of work there?
Saloni: I’ll be there to carry-out the implementation of my project.
Officer: What is your project?
Saloni: WWPPPP. It’s a customer support representative application designed for credit card customers.
Officer: Okay… why have you been chosen for this role at your onsite office?
Saloni: I am a credit cards specialist, possessing a rich experience of 21months in the cards domain. Hence I have been selected for this role.
Officer: How long would your stay be?
Saloni: For 3 years from now.
Officer: Okay Saloni, Congrats, you are through with your VISA, you would be receiving your passport on the mailing address mentioned by you, I hope its your office address.
Saloni: Thanks Officer.Yeah, That’s right. It’s my office address.
Officer: Before you leave, May I know your educational qualification Saloni?
Saloni: I am a YYYY in XXXX.
Officer: Um hmm.. Do you have an onsite supervisor at your onsite location?
Saloni: Yes, I do. Officer: okay that’s it then. You are through. Congrats again.
Saloni: Thanks officer. Have a good day and Bye.
10:02am: I collect my documents and walk out of the consulate office.
10:06am: On the streets of Anna Salai, elated with happiness. Informing the same to my dad who was waiting outside the US consulate office.
It was absolutely cool, with no issues at all, provided you are not NERVOUS, STAMMERING, SWEATING ALL OVER THE PLACE, PUFFING & GASPING FOR BREATH AS IF YOU JUST FINISHED SPRINTING SOME 100meters TRACK EVENT. LOST/CONFUSED FACE.