Mid-August, I booked my flight for India for October 17th and applied for OCI – a permanent visa of sorts. I found it odd that I received no confirmation for the visa application but I kept forgetting to follow up until my nephew asked me mid-September if I got my visa in light of the diplomatic tension between India and Canada.
This made me look into my application, only to find out that I had to upload one more document; this less than 4 weeks before my flight. I may not be going, I thought. The document had to be very specific and I happen to talk to a friend earlier in the morning about an app that can scan a document and convert it into PDF, exactly what I needed.
The online application was now complete; only the first step – which I realized later.
Next step was to take the printed copy to the office! What’s the point of doing this online? I had no printing paper left! Luckily the concierge at the front desk of my condo gave me some.
Half hour drive to get to the visa office and here I was! In line with 15 others who from the looks on their faces had been there a while. The tension was building. We were all led into this large room, all the help windows were covered with blinds and then one clerk lifts the blind half way and peeks out to help. How bizarre, I thought! Are we in a war zone?
This one lady and I started chatting and I found out that I was standing in the wrong line and guided me to the correct window, only to be told that I was at the wrong office.
This second office was buried in the corner of a plaza. The long line behind a closed door gave me a clue. I joined another line of exhausted and frustrated people!
Without digressing too much, the on line has all the info except what you need, no one ever answers the phone call, no on-line chat, no email option – THIS in times where technology can save us time and hassle. This was déjà vu – the memory of being in any Govt. Office in India where everyone seems to be on lunch the whole day.
Ok! On to the story. After an hour of waiting, I find out that the line was only to ask questions, no applications were being accepted till tomorrow. As I started to leave, this young couple ran towards me to share some tips on how to get in quicker and beat the line.
After I came home, I couldn’t help but notice all the interconnectedness of these seemingly separate and small incidents, as if the whole thing was being orchestrated in my favor.
The next morning, I got there at 5am with my folding chair and laptop; 10 people were ahead of me. One guy actually showed up at 12am. It felt crazy to be doing this. After 7 hours of waiting to go in, we became each other best friends; there were some serious laughter and swearing. Finally, I was called inside the office only to wait another two hours but at least, there was a chair. I had given my folding chair to an older lady outside who really needed it.
I noticed this clerk and thought that I would like him to help me. He seemed kind and genuine. And luckily, he was the one who I got. After he reviewed my application, he pointed out that I was missing a couple of documents and If I could go home and get them, he would wait for me and help me. I quickly drove home (only a 15-minute drive), grabbed the docs and rushed back. My application was submitted and I returned home.
I was told a minimum of two months to get the visa. It was highly unlikely that I would get the visa in time for my flight. I should get travel insurance, my sister suggested; something I never do, but I did.
I could see the underworking of the incidents that led me to submit my application and I felt that a magic is going to happen and I will go to India. I told my sister that all the applications would drop and somehow my application will pop up and get attention, but not to hold their breath.
I checked my status once and my application did not even seem to be registered in the system, albeit their system is really no system.
I returned back from Cuba 3 days prior to my flight to India. My sister asked what happened to the magic. I said that it may happen another time. I didn’t bother checking my application status, I assumed I wasn’t getting the visa. Just as well, I thought. Perhaps, it was too ambitious of me to plan another trip within a few days. I have so much to do.
The night before my flight, I sat down to cancel my flight. The voice mail said to call within the business hours the next day. The receipt for the visa and my passport were laying there on my desk, so reluctantly, I checked my status and sat there looking at the screen wide eyed. How is that possible? My visa was received in Toronto. What?? They had no idea of my flight date.
The universe wanted me to go; from all the little incidents to this moment of actually getting the visa. It took me a few minutes to adjust and realize that I was going to India. I will have to go pick up the visa tomorrow. Luckily the flight was not till the evening, so I had the whole day to take care of appointments, work, and pack. To everyone’s surprise, I slept soundly and had never been so relaxed.
I realized at that time that I was being asked to go and there was nothing for me to worry about.
The flight was delightful and seemed quick. It was wonderful to see my family. I got there on the first day of Navratri celebrations which I participated on with my sister. This was significant, I thought. I was trying to find the big reason for this whole thing against all odds.
Then next day, I got very ill with high fever. Medications, doctors’ visits and eight days later, I started to feel a little better and only 3 days left for my trip.
Prior to the trip, I had told my sister that we are not going anywhere and no one is coming over except family. Little did I know that it would come true only not the way I thought.
On the surface, it seemed like a wasted trip since I was sick for most of it. But it was quite the opposite. The care and love of my family was off the charts, almost too much at times. Being away from family for most of my life and not accustomed to being cared for when sick, this was a heartwarming experience. My reiki master sent me a message that she saw me being surrounded by angels and that my Higher Self needed the deep healing. The angels were my family.
Another significant and noteworthy incident happened on the Full Moon Day. My sister and brother-in-law gifted me this beautiful gold diamond earnings that I absolutely loved. Talk about abundance, prosperity, family and love – all wrapped up in these earning on Full Moon Day. And I did manage to find some beautiful clothes during the little time we had left. I got henna done on my hands almost after decades.
The trip back was equally enjoyable; I got window seat again without asking and I slept most of the time. Still recovering from being sick, exactly what my body needed.
The trip was quick yet eventful; it felt like a dream and long and short at the same time.
We don’t really know what we need. Our ego plays tricks and makes us question everything and make meaning of things. There is nothing big or small when it comes to healing and what we deeply need. I totally forgot about social media and have only a handful of pictures to show – even those taken by others. I was immersed in a totally different world, different culture, different environment and just going with the flow.
Every little thing in life is actually a miracle if we notice it and I feel the miracle is always in the small AHA moments. It’s the little things that actually are the big things.
If this all was not enough that the Universe always has my back, this message from one of my dear old student left me in awe!
Thank you for keeping me on your mailing list. The story of your trip to India was inspiring to say the least. I am sorry you were so ill. It must have been awful in many ways but the Universe was indeed connecting you with many other people who were thinking about you in those exact moments. People like me who had no idea you were in India or sick. I was hiking on the trails and I found myself wishing you were still living in Milford. I was now grateful that I was at least hearing from you through your emails. I always carry a tiny candle lantern to put in the trees in the woods. That day I lit one for you. The battery lasts about two weeks if I can protect from the elements. It sends light into to world and prayers for those weeks! You were being held by the entire Universe!