The Passport Office

One of the wonderful things about the internet is the availibility of all kinds of nuggets of priceless information. Here’s one that might save you some time:

How to renew a passport (in Pune)
N.B: This is only for renewing a passport. For fresh passport, ECNR, etc. this is mostly irrelevant. If you have been through any of these processes, mail me your experience.

First of all, if you are feeling anxious or terrified about visiting the passport office, let me assure you that atleast the one I went to was very efficient, clean and remarkably free of unpleasantness. Your mileage may vary. Going to an agent is fully unnecessary if you follow the simple steps below:

1) There is a passport office (opposite Symbiosis College, Ganeshkhind Road). Take with you
a) your passport (duh!)
b) proof of address (ration card or bank passbook over one year old ONLY)
2) Get a form from the window marked “Enquiries”. Costs Rs.10. Takes about 10 minutes.
3) Fill the form. DO NOT sign or thumb print it anywhere.
4) The closest Xerox place is when you turn right beyond the parking lot. I went to the shop on the extreme right. The bitch there wouldn’t give me gum, so I had to buy a Rs. 5 tube from here. To thwart her evilness, I left the tube there and said give gum to whoever needs it. If she tries to make you pay, remind her of this fact. Anyways, make two copies of the form. Now sign all three versions and thumb-print the first page in the space provided.
5) Attach to this two copies of your passport [important note: if you have valid visas in your passport, make 2 copies of these as well. Make sure you MENTION THIS FACT while submitting the form] as well as two copies of your proof of address. This can be either a ration card or a bank passbook which is atleast a year old.
6) Take all this to the guy who sits outside and checks the form. The Rs.20 is well worth it.
6) Take all this along with the originals back to the passport office. Stand in line for a token [approx 20 - 25 mins].
7) Get the token. Now you can have a chai. The restaurant just outside is quite a pleasant place to sit and read a book. I read Yuganta by Irawati Karve.
8) You need to finish your chai before your token number comes, so some judgement is required. Failure to do so will result in you having to persuade someone to let you go before them. Not advisable.
9) Submit the forms. Hopefully all should go well and you will suffer only the withering glances of a civil servant who has been robbed of an opportunity to chastise you [my revenge will then be complete!]
10) Wait around till the cashier flashes your token number. The renewal costs Rs. 1000.

Hope this helps.