#36 The Horrors Of Immigration

Hey there,


This one is about the unraveling of nerves at immigration.


Tarrying at an immigration counter isn’t really for the weak, especially if you’ve been not-so-cordially asked by an officer, that in your mind has way too much of a dominion over incoming passengers.

The immigration counter is a barricade between perdition and kingdom come with devils as gatekeepers for some odd reason. The officer’s perpetual gaze between your passport and you stands unrivaled as one of the most unnerving experiences of all time. I’ve been on the receiving end of “You look nothing like your picture,” many a times and it’s been nervous giggles on each occasion because it’s true. Renewing my passport right before I was hit by the hormonal wave was, in my opinion, a perfectly timed tragedy.

Regardless, I never did anything wrong but did that stop me from breaking a sweat? No. In that very moment, my twisted mind wanders off to the darkest places. And it’s not even just about the urgent need to look like the photograph on your passport, it can be anything. Every question put forward seems like a trick question but it really is straight forward.

“What’s the purpose of your visit?”

I was 14 so give me a break but this is what I formulated in my complication of a brain - ‘Oh shit. Purpose of visit… Why didn’t I learn the answer on the plane? Umm, here to see Big Ben? Who sees the Big Ben, they ride it. Oh no, that’s the London Eye. Wait, I’m in the UK right? Umm, Buckingham Palace. No, but if I say Buckingham Palace, it’ll seem like a propaganda. I’m only 14, what propaganda? This is what Sridevi went through in English Vinglish. Damn, she’s looking at me. Say anything. Anything!!! Anything is better than nothing. Food? To eat maybe. Who comes to London to eat? She will see right through me. Say something now!’

“To visit.”

They should’ve arrested me for that answer alone. But for all those who still get the jitters while traveling, it definitely gets better. Actually anything is better than - To visit.

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