You don’t have to go all the way to the Indian High Commission to apply for a travel visa to India. You can do it at Mustafa which is a 24 hour shopping centre. It’s great that you can even come here late after work to apply for and collect your Visa. We didn’t know this and only found out when we came here so I thought I’d blog about it and put it out there. Another warning is that it’ll take you a long time to fill up the form and get everything done. At least an hour. The information asked is pretty much in detail including which countries you have been to in the last 10 years. I think they would be more concerned if you have been to Pakistan in the last 10 years as this is explicitly asked in the form.
There is also a part of the form that stumped us. It asks for referees including their telephone numbers and addresses, including a referee in India. But, we don’t know anyone there, we wailed. When my sister went to the counter to ask if she could leave this blank, she was chided. The man at the counter told her that it was mandatory to fill it, “There are more than 1 crore (10 million in the Indian numbering system) people in India. Surely you must know at least one person there”. When she told me this, all I could think of is that there are more people in China and I don’t know anyone there either! Anyhoo the other people were polite and we soon just put down a friend’s name who used to live there. It made me wonder, what about tourists who come here from Europe. Surely they are not expected to personally know someone in India such that they would have their telephone number and address? Well at least this incident gave me fodder for my blog.
Anyway we haven’t got our Visas approved yet. Perhaps tomorrow.
We wanted to have an early lunch at Shakuntala, which has a wonderful South Indian Vegetarian Rice Set which is close in standard to the one at the original Komala Villas, but it only opens at 11.30 am.