Recipe for being allowed to stay in India

One month
Two brown envelopes (NOT TO BE OPENED)
Three copies of everything
16 passport photos
40 hours at the FRRO and MHA (across 9 visits)
1000 Rs in auto fairs

Mix it all with a large dose of frustration, required patience and random queue number systems and what do you get?

One visa extended.

Thanks for the visa – however FRRO this is how you made me feel today

After receiving my message of renewed visa at 9:45 am, I had to stay until 1:30 pm only to know that I had to come back another day with more papers in order to get it actually stamped.

8:30 am at the FRRO part 2


The Afghans clearly “own” the FRRO. They have divided the seats of the waiting section into a male side and a female side (there is no such official division as far as I know), and they are trying to enforce it stringently.

One of the ladies has been talking about moving me (in pushto) for the past 5 min. Not one being big on such appropriation of public space by any group I am stubbornly remaining in the seat I sat in when I came.

8:30 am Foreigners Regional Registration Bureau


I am glad I am not a national of Afghanistan – then I would be number 100-something, being “other national (non-Afghan)” I am just number 18.