Monday, July 2, 2007

Meri Beti Angootha Chhap Hai!

Now since we’re in Singapore, the DD had to get Squiggles passport made so we could get her a permit to stay in the country. Apparently, they can deport us if we don’t sort out her passport and permit within 40 days. But the question is where would they deport her without a passport?

Anyway, interestingly these are the list of things required by the Indian high commission –

1. Birth certificate – no need for rationalizing here!

2. Photograph – The passport size snapshot taken at age 2 weeks is obviously going to help fight some ID related crime especially when she’s 5! I’ve always wondered whether anyone has tried taking a child on some other child’s passport…. Maybe I should try taking my niece on my daughters passport or vice versa… the only problem is my niece is 3 years old not 3 weeks. If you know more on the subject please satisfy my curiosity.

It wasn’t possible for first time parents to take a 2 week old baby to the photographers. So, the DD decided to take her photo at home and asked my dad to print it for us. He hadn’t accounted for my dad’s feedback on the photo – ‘only one of her ears is visible’. What??? Will she be classified as an alien if both her ears aren’t visible in the photo? I haven’t heard of anyone being born only with one ear… is that possible?

To make matters worse DD’s colleague told him that his son’s passport application was rejected because one of his eyes was closed in the picture. Do these guys have any idea how much time these tiny tots spend with their eyes open in the first few weeks of life? DD flatly refuse to take another photo with both ears visible and made the firm resolution that he would throw a tantrum if they came up with such flimsy excuse to reject the passport application! He’s clearly already influenced by Squiggles even though it should be the other way round.

2. Thumb print – Angootha Chaap literally means thumb print but is more commonly used to refer to illiterates who cannot sign their name and are forced to use their thumb print as proof of ID.

How on earth are we supposed to get her to give her thumb print. I was quite naughty actually, sitting in a corner while DD struggled to get squiggles to obligingly put her thumb on the ink pad and then place it in the appropriate box on the form. As you can guess, there were several blobs all over the place but not in the box. What was even more funny was that DD was not satisfied with the blob because he couldn’t actually make out any lines on the thumb print, it was literally a blob. So here DD was struggling with his blobs and me giggling away.. not very nice I know. After the ordeal he sat back in his seat and with a dismayed expression on his face goes ‘Meri beti angootha chhap hai!’ (My daughter is an angootha chhap (illiterate). All our hopes of being parents of an over achiever down the tube and so soon!

4. Visible Distinguishing Mark (VDM)

DD: Does squiggles have a VDM?
Moi (confidently): She has a birthmark on her thigh.
DD: Great

After a pause –
So you want her to expose her thigh everytime she needs to prove her ID?

Oops… I didn’t think beyond the fact that my little baby is so tiny and that actually she will grow up one day. The thought of a 20 year old having to lift up her skirt to show her birthmark… I don’t think she would have quite forgiven me….

Well thankfully the embassy people didn’t notice our daughter’s missing ear and her passport will be ready this week.


Moppet's Mom said...

We had to take Moppet to the police station for 'verification'! All of 5 months old, she sat on the policeman's desk and I made her put her thumb print on assorted registers that were required. We also got fingerprints on various other documents and the desk and both our clothes!

Squiggles Mom said...

Moppet's Mom - DD was smart.. he got the ink all over her clothes and not a spot on his shirt!