The young clerk at the new passport office had just refused my passport renewal through Tatkal. I was not eligible, he said. Why? Because I was born outside the geographical limits of India.
This is ridiculous, I thought…. my parents are Indian, I am Indian, my husband is Indian, and my children are Indian. I have lived for the last half a century in India, have turned down various invitations to inch towards a green card from well meaning family abroad…how could I be ‘not eligible’? How could I be suspect?
I voiced a few of these wonderful thoughts, to the flabbergasted clerk…. who was apologetic and mentioned something about The Ministry Orders and Computer Programmes that would not accept this application through Tatkal.
My mind was already busy:
Me? Wonderful! So Indian! And so wronged!!
A second class citizen in my own country!!!Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
But the morning’s meditation was not in vain
The mindful self smiled kindly. Maybe the computer has hit the mark it said. For true, I loved my country in all its bounty, all its beauty, in all its poverty and all its so called ugliness, but would my love be any lesser for the soil, the trees, the birds and people that lived beyond the geographical limits of India? And the answer came back, a resounding NO.
Patriotism demands that I love some part of the earth and its inhabitants more than the rest of it? By this definition, I am no patriot. As a baby practitioner of unconditional love… I am truly suspect.
The mind quickly slipped in with virtuous sounding words:
“If only we had no passports, no boundaries, no external rules and were only governed by unconditional love…. then things would be different.” And sadness, gentle and pious nearly made itself comfortable in my heart.
But as I said, the morning meditation was not in vain.
”Unconditional love is what you are hankering for? is it?”
“yes” said the mind self righteously.
“what stops you from practicing it just now?” asked my mindful self.
And the judgmental self was stumped.
And I found myself doing the laugh-cry…. Laughing and crying at the same time at how ridiculous things were, how stupid, how simple, how gloriously simple…. The choice to be sad or happy, to be judgmental or to let go off all conditions and open the tap and let love and happiness flow.
The Ministry has decided that I am not eligible for a tatkal renewal of my passport.
I had nearly decided that I was not eligible for tatkal happiness. But the simple truth is I am, I have the right to be loving and joyous and peaceful at all times. I am exercing the right Now. The passport will come when the time is right. The ministry is trying its best, it will get better in time.