How to get PAN card and Aadhar card for a Bhutanese Foreigner in India?

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As an Indian citizen, getting a PAN card can be the most hassle free process you would ever encounter with Indian Government. But this post has been written to help foreigners.

At the time of writing, the UTI website provides a separate option for applying PAN card for foreigners. You can check the list of documents required as well as the guidelines for application. In most cases, foreigners would like to use their Passport as their proof of identity and there are different options mentioned for providing proof of residence in India. Since Bhutanese citizens do not require a residence permit or a VISA to enter India, the most efficient way of getting a reliable address proof is opening a bank account, preferably with a government owned (State bank of India) or state-owned bank (Punjab National Bank).

Following are the things you need for generating your proof of residence via bank:

  1. A friend or relative who already has an account in the bank and is ready to be your reference.
  2. A rent agreement made between you and your landlord or any other document accepted by the bank as proof of address.
  3. You may also need to affix your photograph on the passbook and get it stamped by the bank.

Once you have your bank account functional, make sure you keep it active by making some transactions and then use the copy of your passbook as proof of residence.

Now that you have your proof of residence and identity, there should be no problem in getting yourself a PAN card or Aadhar card. You can check the UIDAI website for getting more details about Aadhar enrolment. Also, note that some of the enrollment centers may not be listed online and it is better to ask around in your locality if there are any centers nearby.

I understand that writing a post after simply going through the rule book does not work as a great advice most of the times. But this post has been written after personally following the whole process and getting the desired results. If you find that some of these steps could be skipped or there is a better way of getting the PAN and Aadhar card in India as a foreigner, please do share your findings via comments.

P.S.: You don’t need to open a bank account for getting Aadhar card since rent agreement is accepted as proof of address, but it is always better to have an account handy for future purposes.

Disclaimer: This post has been written based on personal experience and beliefs and may not be treated as a solution or proven theory. Please do your own research before taking any action that invites doubt.

New Year Ride to Shimla

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I didn’t have much plans for the new year’s eve and the only places that were open for party in Chandigarh were either discotheques or high-end restaurants. As the open DJ night in sector 17 got wrapped up early, I had no certainty about what I’ll do at midnight. I was suggested to go home and sleep peacefully, but that didn’t sound exciting at all.

I decided to celebrate the new year at my friend’s place and left with him after having dinner. We went to the nearby shop, bought some fruit juice and shared a South-Indian dish(Images in gallery). When we got to his place, his four flat-mates were already there and were watching an award distribution show on TV.
It was 11.30 pm when we got this idea to get pastries, and thus we left on our bikes to search for a place to buy them at this hour of night. Finally we found an open shop and reached back home well before midnight. Just when the minute and hour hands of the clock were coming closer we started dancing. Slowly it gained the momentum and reached its height during the final count down. We continued to dance for another half an hour.

Just when we were sharing jokes, one of them asked me to tell him when I go on my next motorcycle trip. I straight away said, “If you are interested in a trip, why don’t we leave now?”. I suggested all of them to get on their bikes and leave for Patiala to eat the well-known “rajendra ke paranthe”. After much ado, finally the two of us decided to go on our own even though we were redundantly warned about the drunk drivers and strict police.

We wore the jackets, took our back-packs and started off on separate bikes. Just when we were about to take a turn towards Patiala, I stopped my fellow rider and asked him, “Why don’t we go to Shimla instead? road to Patiala is not that fun.” He thought about the weather, speculated the chances of frost bite but finally gave in. We got on the Himalayan highway and after riding a few miles I told my friend that I need to get some petrol as my bike was already running on the reserved fuel. It took us 3 U-turns, 6 closed petrol pumps, about 10 extra miles and a whole one hour to finally get the petrol filled.
After that we took just one stop which was much-needed as our hands were aching because of the cold. We had some tea, shared one ‘parantha’ and continued our journey. All this time, we were riding past the drunkards who were probably coming back from Shimla after celebrating new year. Some of them parked their cars on the roads, played loud music and were dancing with liquor bottles in their hands. There was a lot of traffic from the other side and I had to open my helmet’s visor so that the high beams didn’t affect my vision. This made riding even more difficult as I now had to bear the cold air on my face.

We finally reached Shimla at 4 am and roamed on the Mall road while clicking pictures. There was not even a single soul there, and it was indeed a unique experience to find peace on those roads which were known for their hustle and bustle. After walking through both the upper and lower Mall Road we finally found a shop open where tea was being prepared. We also ordered some buns with butter which turned out to be one of the most delicious breakfasts I have ever had.

We left from Shimla at around 6.30 am and reached back in about 3 hours, as we drove fast through the curves and turns while enjoying the empty roads and magnificent views.

 

How talented the underprivileged kids are?

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Pic with the kids

I always believed that kids are supposed to be naggy and spending time with them means dealing with their cries and piss. But this notion got completely changed when I volunteered for Aashayein foundation with the help of Vidwan.
Me and my senior Mr. Ashish Batra met at Sri Sri Bal Vidyalaya primary school for underprivileged kids situated near the BSNL exchange in RDC, Ghaziabad. He debriefed me about the cultural fest called “Khushi Ke Rang” we were supposed to organize. As we had only 2 days to prepare the head mistress was kind of charged up on us, but I later realized that it was just her way of getting the work done fast. While she continued to hasten us, we maintained our cool and took care of all the arrangements one by one. The children had already prepared some of the performances which included songs, western and cultural dances. We analyzed their performances and decided the schedule so.

I got so mixed up with the kids that I started teaching them some dance steps by myself. It was an amazing experience as they were very obedient and worked hard until they got it right.  Just while I was showing them one of the masculine steps, a boy did a cart wheel right out of the blue. I was stunned because he was hardly 7 years old. Soon I realized that there was not just one but about 10 boys who could easily do this stunt flawlessly. To the addition of my amazement a girl did a cart wheel and then 2 more showcased this skill. Watching these little kids do it so easily, I thought that India has really got some talent.

On the day of event, about 12 more volunteers came to the school to become a part of the fest. Each volunteer was assigned about 5 kids with whom they interacted and helped them during the drawing competition. We were dazzled by the marvelous drawings that these kids were making with utmost brilliance. All the drawing material was provided to the kids which was later donated to the school.

The kids were filled with joy and were very anxious to perform on the stage. After all the performances, the stage was declared open for dance. The kids who couldn’t perform earlier were patiently waiting for this moment and grabbed the opportunity in no time. The volunteers were also dragged on stage by the kids who were eager to copy each of their steps. Lunch and drinks were then distributed as the kids made a disciplined row on their own.
Another example of such discipline was noticed by me when one of the kids spilled his lunch. Normally a kid of that age would start crying or just start playing with it. But instead he got up, brought a broom and cleaned the mess on his own. I guess the hardships in their lives teach them to rely on themselves. This incident touched my heart and made me more sure about staying involved with the social work. Just imagine what these kids can do if only their basic requirements are fulfilled.

All in all this was a wonderful experience and I loved spending time with the kids. 🙂

Revolution 2020 by Chetan Bhagat : Novel Review

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Revolution 2020I ordered this novel in spite of the negative reviews and by the time it got delivered, I was pretty upset about making a wrong choice. But as I was free coz of Diwali Holidays, it worked as a pass-time.

The start-off was fine with the infantile childhood memories, but the story was unable to take effective turns I guess. Although I did enjoy some of the lines (which I even tweeted while I was reading), there were not enough punches in this one.
One thing that I like the most about Mr. Chetan’s novel is that the humor is maintained even in the worst situations. For instance, in his last novel called “2 states”, there was reference to the weird underwear of the guy when he was worried about his marriage.

Anyhow, this post is about Revolution 2020 and I intend to keep it short, because it doesn’t have much to discuss about.
As for the story, it is quite simple and kind of predictable at most points. You can read the synopsis at: http://www.chetanbhagat.com/books/revolution-2020/

The prologue and epilogue were used in a very conventional style, with the whole novel being a narration of the guy who suffered the most. The character’s emotions were portrayed pretty well and his changing course of life and thoughts was the only curve.

Maybe this was just a try to make us understand the effects of corruption and a story telling that “money can’t buy you happiness”.

Following are the concerned tweets:

https://twitter.com/#!/speedoholic/status/128434620382445568

https://twitter.com/speedoholic/status/128689213913825281

https://twitter.com/#!/speedoholic/status/128698441240027136

https://twitter.com/#!/speedoholic/status/128701297632350208

https://twitter.com/#!/speedoholic/status/128701842241757185

https://twitter.com/#!/speedoholic/status/128702302314958848

https://twitter.com/#!/speedoholic/status/128705180177924097

https://twitter.com/#!/speedoholic/status/128714148531011584

https://twitter.com/#!/speedoholic/status/128716245330694144

https://twitter.com/#!/speedoholic/status/128720889113100288

https://twitter.com/#!/speedoholic/status/128724662199914496

https://twitter.com/#!/speedoholic/status/128726064389308416

https://twitter.com/#!/speedoholic/status/128832476696162304

https://twitter.com/#!/speedoholic/status/128836427323682817

https://twitter.com/#!/speedoholic/status/128838417671913473

https://twitter.com/#!/speedoholic/status/128840949924249600

https://twitter.com/#!/speedoholic/status/128841603568762881

https://twitter.com/#!/speedoholic/status/129039982420697089

https://twitter.com/#!/speedoholic/status/129040139572871168

https://twitter.com/#!/speedoholic/status/129040281667510272

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Inter-circle MNP might be coming soon

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Image: Mobile services in India
According to the recent news, soon the mobile users will be able to use MNP (Mobile Number Portability) when they shift from one circle to another.

For those who couldn’t understand, India is being divided into various circles/zones for providing mobile communication. Each service provider may offer different services in different circles. For example, a message pack’s cost might be different in Delhi from it’s value in Mumbai.

Now this is just a declaration, that such things have been proposed. There has been no intimation of the approximate date of this change. Do keep in mind that such decisions may take a long time for affectation. For instance, MNP was proposed in India in 2005 and it could only be implemented after 5 years in October, 2010. (Just for the record, MNP has been present in Japan since 1999.)

References:  
Zee news : A new policy that will help users avail free roaming services across the country and inter-circle mobile number portability.
Hindustan Times :  Mobile phone service consumers may be allowed mobile number portability even if they shift from one state to another.

Delhi Bikers Breakfast Run (Hodal)

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Click here to visit the corresponding Flickr Set

Alarm was ringing, I was about to snooze it when I suddenly recalled I had to leave for the breakfast run. I threw away the blanket and jumped out of my bed as I was 40 min behind my schedule. After stuffing the backpack with an extra pair of clothes I left in haste. The distance (60km) which takes about 1:30 hours to cover was covered in just 50 minutes.

I was wearing a plastic sheet over my shirt and was soaked from gloves to socks because it was raining cats and dogs in the area I came from. I reached the meeting point on time and was so charged up (or rather lost I should say) that I applied the brakes at the very last moment which made my motorcycle skid in a drifting fashion. I was kind of embarrassed as it was perceived that stunts were not encouraged here at all. But I got over it as Joshua came and shook hands to welcome me. I mentioned that it wasn’t done on purpose.

Soon, it was time to mingle with other riders as I started talking about usual stuff like whether it was their first run and all. To get rid of the wetness I changed at the rear side of the petrol pump. (This is where my extra pair of clothes got utilized) This also gave me the time to arrange my regular stuff like waist bag, camera, mobile phones, earphones and wrist watch etc.

We just got the morning tea served when the Harley Davidsons and Suzuki Hayabusas drove in. It’s always a treat to eyes watching the HDs rolling. They parked the motorcycles with as much respect as they deserved and it was soon like an Auto-Expo with flashes coming from all the sides. Of course this was the time to draw out my digital camera and start clicking; and so I did:

I just couldn’t get enough of it as I kept clicking them from different angles:


My dream bike was right in front of my eyes; Hayabusa which was the fastest motorcycle (248 mph/397 kmph) in the world until the freaking Dodge Tomahawk (350mph/560 kmph) came in. (Although I don’t consider it as a motorcycle coz it’s more like a 4 tyre Quad)
Then I heard a whistle and I knew it was party time. Joshua was standing on the pavement announcing the procedure and rules. Almost all the things were already mentioned in the message we all received on facebook; except from the fact that we were being served omelette in Hodal. With all due respect to my favourite breakfast, I would like to add that I was very less excited about it, as there were some other things propelling in my mind already.

We were supposed to drive in a 2X2 fashion with the headlights set at low beam. I was lucky enough to get space beside an HD whose pillion was a kid (as much equipped as the rider); and the whole setting seemed perfect. We drove together up to the next stop which was about 40km away from our destination and it was indeed a pleasure for me.

This is where my friend Sameer joined us who suggested the HD’s logo to be clicked:

He was riding a Yamaha Fz and the helmet and gears gave him a pure wheeler look. We decided to get ahead of all so that we could record the campaign, and certainly we got a magnificent video recording (which I might be uploading after some editing). We reached Hodal in no time and managed to get these clicks:

Soon it was time to have the breakfast and we all moved into a hall where all the arrangements were already made. There I met the HD rider (whom I drove with) as he somehow recognized me. :/ He (Mr. Titus Koshy) was so down to earth and friendly that he earned my respect in no time. I told him about my trips to some hill stations like Morni Hills, Chakrata, Tiger falls and Hatkoti as he listened patiently. I learned a lot from him as well. He told me about various things a biker should take care of. I even got a picture with him while we were coming back to Delhi:

Not to mention; he was not the only one who was humble and easy to break the ice with. As Sameer had to leave early, I talked with new mates and now I am having lot of new riders in my friend list.

There was also a guy named ‘Swapnil’ who made the environment quite musical by using his guitar and singing.

After the breakfast, we went outside to enjoy the view of lake where gooses were already waiting for my camera:

And then after stretching our backs we were ready to motor again. Although some of us went to different destinations like Agra and Vrindavan there were still many motorcycles lined up all smoking. This time I made sure that I’d be the last guy to leave as I wanted to get more photographs.

Although they vanished like mountain fog I reached them in no time. As it was getting hot I decided to get back to my usual driving style as I started taking over the lots. Although I did try to drive along the royal HDs for a while I guess me and Vishal were among the very first ones to reach Delhi. This was an unforgettable experience for me and perfectly served my motorcycling ardour.

Review: Corridor | Sarnath Banerjee

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This is a nice and entertaining graphic novel. 

Here are some of the lines that I particularly liked:

That’s the thing with smell, YOU DON’T NOTICE IF IT’S YOUR OWN 😀

Universal death rate, one death per person!

Repentance can not bring back the corn, the birds have eaten away

Life mostly is a stream of missed opportunities, anything else is cinema!

It all comes down to chewing your food well!

People are like onions; they have layers and layers. BUT WHO WILL KNOW? WHO HAS TIME?

Is 25 the new 18?

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not old enough to drinkThe recent raise of minimum drinking age from 21 to 25 in Maharashtra is pure hypocrisy! The majority of Indian citizens seem to be ungratified about this anserine convention. Especially the Bollywood is shocked to its guts as we get a line from the recent updates like: “Big B finding it STRANGE”  and “Imran filing the PIL”.
It is more like a decree recounting that we are not responsible enough at 18. When we can get a driving license and a voter card then how can we be not able to decide about drinking? India is a developing country and the level of advancement achieved by youngsters in all walks of life is not a jest at all. When at 23, Sid Mallya can own the  3rd largest liquor company in the world how can he be not allowed to drink?

What makes it more perplexing is that they have set different rules in different states. While Kerala, Goa, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh allow 18 year olds to handle booze; Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu keeps it 21. And it’s not astounding anymore that  it is completely prohibited in Gujarat and Mizoram. What do the state governments want to prove here? Isn’t it a dubiousness on our ‘integrity in diversity’?
Moreover, are these rules being implemented aright? If it were so, there had been no case files piled up in the courts. The beauty of our plotters is that they are more occupied in making new rules and not descrying that the old ones are not even hunky-dory. This is one of the reasons that corruption is building up so well. It appears that the rules are meant to be broken.

If such stupendous rules are imposed on the nestling citizens, of course they will be aroused to go against it. What is required is to use the power of youth and not to suppress it. It is not that we should support drinking as a habit or anything alike, but it is just that the basic rights being provided should be well delineated based on the needs and acquisitions.

P.S.: Under-age tipplers can still be found buying liquor in every state, so I guess it doesn’t really matter.

http://twitter.com/#!/speedoholic/status/81390085093851138

Indian yogi ‘Baba Ramdev’ fasts against corruption

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Image Courtesy: www.bbc.co.uk

A few days back I saw the BBC headline: “Indian yogi Baba Ramdev fasts against corruption.”
Now what image of our country does it draw?

I cannot deny that corruption in India has caused so many problems that people are no longer ready to bear it. Thus, when such strikes are organized the people get to see a ray of hope that maybe, just maybe this time some things will change.

The way I see it, Baba Ramdev is surely a good Yoga educator but when it comes to events like these, it’s perplexing to understand who is telling the truth. I do not understand whether the sympathy people are having for Baba Ramdev is purely based on his effort to evade corruption or they are being hypnotised or something. He sure has a great following due to his remarkable achievements in the field of meditation and Yoga. But this makes it difficult to believe that people who follow him are actually against corruption or do they just want to agree with their hero.

There is controversy in every little statement. Viz. Baba Ramdev says that thousands were injured owing to the wipe off organized by police; while authorities count injured as 30. Now how bad someone’s math can be?

I also heard about the proofs that some harmful events like bomb-explosion were being planned, by those who are always awaiting such opportunities when mass number of people can be affected.

Several upshots like these made it clear that the agitation could not be allowed especially in a city none other than the capital of India; and thus it somehow defends the police action. Moreover, according to reports the tear gas was only being used after the violent agitation by supporters. If this was true, then Baba Ramdev should have just got down from the stage and hand himself over to the police because he was already given a warning on Saturday night. This would have saved the thousands of people who got beaten brutally by the police; according to the contradictory reports.

Now if we assume that all the claims made by Baba Ramdev’s supporters are true, then surely the police’s action cannot be justified at all. Making an announcement is  the foremost thing that is required in such a situation, where there are high chances of stampede. But it is hard to believe that Indian police could have acted like Jallian wala Bagh‘s troops; because for one thing, General Dyer is not alive anymore.

Other than this, the never-ending fight between the two political parties has given this a totally divergent picture. What was supposed to resemble a “satyagrah”, wouldn’t have involved such comments being made by the politicians’ one after the other.

There is a huge difference in the ways of Mr. Anna Hazare (associated with Jan Lokpal Bill) and Baba Ramdev. For instance, the Ramlila Maidan was being booked for carrying out Yoga and not for any agitation. Breaking the rules (under section 144) in the first place made me think more about the ethnicity of this so-called ‘Fight against corruption’.

Wake up dude! We are not being ruled by a foreign company now; the people we are pointing our fingers at are the ones being elected by us only. We the people of India are responsible for its past, present and future.

For me, fighting against corruption is not going on a hunger strike but to eradicate it from the roots whilst we start from the leaves; the leaves that we have watered for our own sakes.

P.S.: All that I have written here is purely based on the knowledge that I received from the news reports. Now we all know about the preciseness of such reports, so maybe the way I am thinking now is also a result of the ideas being implanted in my brain by such manipulated compositions.