Cover Story on the ABCD experience was illuminating
I apologize for my comments being a bit tardy, but I just wanted to express my admiration for your cover feature in the December issue of Khabar (“The ABC’s of the ABCD Experience”), which focused on Generations X and Y. Reshmi Hebbar is a prolific writer, and whenever I read her work I find myself agreeing with her views. She writes thought-provoking articles, and I really like the fact that she always writes about issues that touch the lives of Indians living in the U.S. I look forward to reading more such articles in Khabar’s upcoming issues.
NRI’s love to complain. Give the Houston Consulate a break!
This is to answer the dissatisfied NRI who complained about the Houston Consulate’s outsourcing program (Khabar, December 2007). If he had carefully looked into the application process, he’d have found that there are options for sending three or less passports for $20, and four or more for $30. Previously, the Houston Consulate used to charge the same fee. I’m not sure about the email process, but when I called I got a live operator to answer my questions. No country can totally outsource such sensitive work, since it could threaten national security; it’s only the processing part that’s outsourced.
I’m tired of NRI’s who complain about anything Indian. I know that India is not a perfect country, but the U.S. is not good in everything either. I wonder how much this gentleman spent for his Green Card and U.S. citizenship. I’m sure he paid through his nose and never complained one bit about how long and tedious the application process is. It’s the same when applying for a U.S. visa in India. It can be a nerve-racking experience for many; in fact, now the new rule is that you can’t even go online and fill out the application unless you have prepaid. I’m sure that’s very gratifying!
Sometimes we NRI’s /Indians don't see the bigger picture. Here is the Houston Consulate trying to streamline the visa process so that we don't have to pay $13 extra for it and waste a whole day at a visa camp! I’m also disappointed with Khabar for publishing the letter without checking the facts.
Kite festival at BAPS mandir brings back memories
On Sunday, January 8th, my wife and I went to a Big Lots store not far from our house. As we were leaving, we saw this big mandir close by. It was clearly visible from the parking lot. There were many cars at the Lilburn BAPS mandir and the sky above was crowded with kites. I then realized that it was Utraan Makar Sankranti (Gujarat’s kite-flying day). We bought snacks from a Swaminaryan sweet shop in a trailer and sat at a table to watch the festivities. There was an elderly gentleman in a wheelchair at a neighboring table. While chatting with him, the sign on his kite spool caught my eye. It read Surat ni charkhee. I was pleased to see my wife’s birthplace displayed right next to us. There were so many colorful kites of various shapes and sizes flying that day. One, I remember, looked like the Garuda bird. It was fun to watch kites getting crossed, rubbed, and cut as they went up and down. It felt just like India and brought back happy memories.
Amir Ali Mackwani
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