Friday, July 20, 2012

Who am I?

As Barry Schwabsky commented in Extreme eccentrics, those who maintain the question “Who am I” was started by mental cases seems to be right - only “mental impulses so strong and so disconnected from the actual environment / reality” as those that plagued, Van Gogh, Cezanne and Rousseau, could have allowed them the courage or naiveté to venture so far into the unknown. Later all religious figures and seekers began exploring this new terrain in full consciousness of the unknown consequences.

In India ringing in a bitter reality Janme Shah Sinha, Asia Pacific head of Boston consulting Group realized that he did not envy those seekers of spirituality in their quest for identity. No wonder the famous Indian film star Shahrukh Khan yelled at the US immigration authorities “my name is Khan and I am not a terrorist”.

Establishing one’s identity is equivalent to seeking Nirvana and is a herculean task. You require address proof, copy of your passport, electricity bill or phone bill. The issue gets further clouded as some accept passport copy, others went your (IRS) Pan Card copy, some insist on your driver’s license.

If the electricity and phone bill are in your wife’s name then you have to produce your birth certificate, school certificates and sometimes lease deed, or letter from the society you reside currently.

If you are brave enough to change your residence the whole process has to be repeated, you tribulations will never be over. You have to get all these copies attested by a senior Government official with a rubber stamp - the purple imprimatur, which certifies you exist. You also require furnishing bank statements for 1 Year. If you have not made any transactions because of the recession, it is assumed that you are dead, fictitious or do not exist.

Just like Frang Kafka’s character in “The Trial” who has no idea what he is charged with – we too end up wondering “who am I” if not for all these documents. The search continues…. If you are a real brave heart, then only apply for a U S Visa as you have to not only establish your existence and identity, but prove that you have enough bank balance to last through 3 recessions, that you are not a pedophile, terrorist, rapist, atheist, vampire or wife beater.

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