A Mere Taste Of The Refugee’s Desperation

In 1990, my visa status in the US changed from ‘student’ to ‘skilled worker’; in the alphanumeric soup of visa designations, I went from being F-1 to H-1. This was occasion to celebrate; I could now legally work in the US, and earn more than the minimum hourly wage. There was a glitch though: theContinue reading “A Mere Taste Of The Refugee’s Desperation”

A Bedtime Story About ‘Immigration And Separation’

Last week, as is our custom at home, I read to my daughter before I put her to bed. (We pick a mix of ‘long stories’ and ‘short stories’ and settle on a number beforehand, one which has to be conformed to by a ‘promise.’) On this particular night, the ‘long story’ was Edwidge Danticat‘s┬áMama’sContinue reading “A Bedtime Story About ‘Immigration And Separation’”

Losing and Gaining Citizenships

I became an American citizen more than fourteen years ago. Ironically, my decision to do so was prompted by my leaving the US–for what was supposed to be a two-year stint as a post-doctoral fellow in Australia. I was then a permanent resident of the US, equipped with the famed ‘green card.’ Subject to certainContinue reading “Losing and Gaining Citizenships”

On ‘Bureaucratic Torture’ – Contd.

Yesterday I wrote about ‘bureaucratic torture.’ I anticipated it and remembered it with little joy. Today, I experienced it. I showed up on time at the consulate’s office (or rather, the office of the company to whom consular services have been outsourced.) I stood in line, dealt with the usual gruff security guards, was usheredContinue reading “On ‘Bureaucratic Torture’ – Contd.”

On ‘Bureaucratic Torture’

For the past few days I’ve been racked with a terrible anxiety: I have a visa application appointment tomorrow. At the Indian consulate, to apply for a ten-year tourist visa, so that I may journey back to the land of my birth and former citizenship. I’ve had photographs taken, filled out forms, checked and re-checkedContinue reading “On ‘Bureaucratic Torture’”