Monthly Archives: September 2008

My Rendezvous with Bureau du gouvernement – I

Although the incident is a year old but it seems like it happened yesterday and I am dying to share this with you all.
We thought to give my dependent Visa a try.
Task – I: We needed a Marriage Certificate. We listed down what are the necessary documents we need to produce. Documents were very easy to collect- Wedding Invitation, couples of Passport size photographs of both of us and a signed document from our parents, thats it. Okay, phase one completed. Phase – II, Office of Marriage Registration.

In India, you need plenty of courage and patience to visit an Indian Government office, Why?? I”ll explain. Have you heard of Non-Cooperation Movement started by Gandhiji. The Movement was revoked by Gandhiji in the year 1922 but I guess Government employees are still bearing the torch and will continue this movement for generations unless some other upgraded version of the movement comes into existence. Government employees hold a stigma of non-cooperation and taciturn among the public.

Vishal inquired about the marriage certificate among his friend circle who applied for it. They told us that they got the certificate through ‘agent’. Now for the beginners, agents are like third-party self-appointed ‘interface’ between You and the Government. In principle they are suppose to lessen the pain of getting anything done at Govt. offices. They will stand for you in the queue, they will fill out the forms for you, and they might even deliver the services at your doorstep. But of course this service comes at a price. (Sample this :- Driving License costs Rs 75. But speak to agent and you could easily end up paying more than Rs 2,000). And these guys are not really the most trustworthy individuals. So if you like to take your chances, be my guest. Just don’t expect a refund, in case things go wrong. Isn’t it amazing?

Anyways, we decided to brave the govt office all by ourselves, avoiding the ‘interface’. (I think I deserve a bravery medal just for thinking about, let alone going down there). So we paid a visit the Registration Office. I am telling you that was an audacious move. So one afternoon we headed towards The Office. What a place !! beyond words. The most filthy office I ever seen. After few exploration we got the correct room. Room was quite busy. Vishal approaches a employee sitting in corner cubicle.
Vishal: “Sir, Mujhe Marriage Certificate ke liye apply karna hai” (Sir, I am here to apply for Marriage Certificate).
Mr Officer: ” Sahi jagah aye hain, Yehi hota hai, Documents laye hain??” ( You are at the right place, Did you bring the required Documents??)
Vishal: “Hanji Sir, dekh lijiye” (Yes Sir, You can have a look)
Mr Officer: ” Thik hai thik hai, ye form bhar dijiye aur usmain apka aur madam ka bhi sign hona chaiye” (They looks Ok, Take this form and it should be signed by you and your wife)
We completed the form.
Vishal: “Sir, ye lijiye completed form” (Sir, the Completed Form)
He looks here and there. And here comes the best part.
Mr Officer: “Thik hai, ab Fees jama kar dijiye” (Looks Ok, Now submit the fees)
Vishal: “Sir, Kitni fees hai ?” (Sir, How much is the fees?)
Mr Officer: “ab waise toh Rs 11/- hai, ab apki jitni shraddha” (Fees is only Rs 11/- but as you wish)
Vishal, taking the hint forwarded a Rs 50 note. The officer said, “are bhaiya khushi ki baat hai aur aap isi se hi kaam chalyenge?” (Its a happy moment and you are ending with only this )
Then Vishal took a Rs 100 note, then again he said, “itni khushi hai bas, itne shubh karya ke liye aap sirf itna de rahe hain..bhai hamara ashirwad lagega” (This much happiness you have, Son you will have our blessings, open you heart!)
I was standing there and praying, “Please don’t ask 1,000 bucks”

Finally he settled down on Rs 200 and asked us to come next day to collect the Certificate. Almost certain that we still had a few dozen trips to make before we would really be awarded the certificate, we reluctantly visited office next day. Whoa! And surprises of surprise. Our marriage Certificate was ready. And after verifying that everything has been printed correctly and correct photo had been pasted, we start celebrating. Mission Accomplished !!

Marriage Certificate in Rs 200, in 2 days. Great work, what say ??

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Buy it. Sell it. Loving it.

Its Sunday afternoon and we both are relaxing in our Living Room.Vishal is doing some pending office work and I am with my new crush, Blog :-). A new site has been added in our favorites and we can easily be found browsing it, Craigslist. Those who don’t know what the Craigslist is then there is the introduction, Craigslist is a central network of online communities, featuring free classified advertisements (with jobs, internships, housing, personals, for sale/barter/wanted, services, community, gigs, resume, and pets categories).

Yesterday we did some great deals through Craigslist. They are:
Sold –
Platform Wood Bed, $90

Bought –
* Wrought Iron Bed, $90
* Sony Wega TV & Sony Stand, $110
* Fabric Sofa & Love Seat, $150
* Artificial Tree, $25
* 4 Van Gogh paintings, $20

We haven’t finished yet praising ourselves.

Furnishing is expensive in States, and for quite some time we want to arrange our Living Room. I used to browse Craigslist just because I wanna know the taste of American people, trend and style but never thought of jumping in it too. Initially I was reluctant in buying stuffs from Craigslist. When we sold our new bed through Craigslist, it felt ok. Buying was still bothering me and how we are gonna deal with strange people plus I don’t want to compromise on the furniture’s quality. Browsing Craigslist is an art which requires lots of patience. You just have to wait for your chance. Then at last we found some great stuffs and in affordable pricing, all in best shape. Else we would have paid enough for making our savings in negative.

Through Craigslist we dealt with many people. It was an amazing experience of meeting different people from different countries. Everyone has their own story why they are selling the stuff, their lifestyle, their skill of communication and the most important thing, skill of bargaining. :-)). We met a very nice lady who has been in US for almost 18 yrs, now she is done with living in US and going back to her homeland, Taiwan. We bought our TV from an Indian couple who lived in nearby apartment and through Craigslist we got to know each other. Amazing thing we didn’t know that the guy and Vishal are working in same company.
Isn’t a perfect example of human networking.

We still need a coffee table and since morning no luck on craigslist. People Come on! Come on!