Civil servants come in many shades and forms. So does their nature of profession and budget of agencies. If you are a program officer in the ministry of health, your passport might be stamped at least twice a year and you will see VISA for at least two countries in a year. If you are a teacher in the Ministry of Education, chances are you may get your passport stamped once in a lifetime. The privileges of getting passport stamped depends on nature of your job, budget of your agency and your own competencies in whatever forms (its joke if people say training is not reward).
Since I joined corporate service and latter civil service, I had a dream. I had a dream of getting my passport stamped by immigration officials of many countries. I had a dream of changing of passport documents many times as a result of never ending stamps. But my dream, couldn’t be materialized. All I could do was pressed like button in the Facebook. If I see my pictures of my friends in the Facebook doing circumambulation of Boudhanath temple in Nepal, I pressed like button. If I see pictures of my close friends posing in front of Statue of Liberty, I press like button and comment ‘wow’. If my colleague post pictures of themselves from Grand Palace, Bangkok, I add emojis.
This time, I got opportunity to visit India. Although passport is not required, I made it a point to get official passport issued. The reasons are simple;
1. I want to see looks of official passport
2. I want to see how official passport work
Today I carry this passport to places where it is not required. I carry it into loo and read my name again and again instead of reading newspaper or doing loo-thinking. I carry it to shopping mall which my batch mates find hilarious. I carry it while riding in rickshaws and proudly show it to rickshaw pullers. If Ministry of Foreign Affairs has system issuing VISA to India like they issue passport, I would have process it for the sake of it. Unfortunately they don’t. Because of this, I am not able to see how VISA looks like except for my bank VISA card.
Hope I don’t die before seeing VISA lol.