I guess it was October last year when I was asked to travel to Delhi to get my visa done for an onsite travel.My manager had traveled to Delhi to get his visa done earlier. Getting the visa done for that particular country where I was going to meant waking up as early as 3 A.M and standing in queue from 5 A.M and waiting for your turn at the consulate . My manager , took a evening flight from Bangalore to Delhi and chose to spend the night in the airport lounge. Early next morning, he took a taxi to the consulate in Delhi and stood in line at around 5 A.M.
“I stayed at the lounge and slept there”. “But you can stay at the office guesthouse for the night and take an early morning taxi to the consulate ” , the manager said.
I knew nothing about Delhi. How far was the airport from the office guest house? How far was the guest house from the consulate ??
So when my turn to get my visa done , I was petrified. This would have been my first visit to Delhi on my own. My earlier stay in Delhi was in 2004 , I was with the husband then . And there is so much written on blogs and media on how unsafe the national capital is for women.
How on earth am I going to take a taxi at an unearthly hour in a new city at 3 A.M ???
Should I ask the husband to take a day off from work and accompany me to the consulate???
That would mean all 3 of us going to Delhi, the husband, me and the son . The very idea seemed so silly.
And then I really prayed and hoped that I would get to club my visa appointment with that of a male colleague. I really hoped that his passport that was stuck at another consulate arrived on time , so that if we ever did that visit to Delhi, I could travel with him.
By sheer luck, my papers were verified and I didn’t have to make personal appearance at Delhi. The visa arrived through courier.
I was reading this blog post at IHM’s today and I got reminded about this incident
Isn’t it sad when women feel traumatized and terrorized in their own country??
That you don’t feel safe about travelling to your national capital.A capital that is in news every now and then for gang rapes, murders and women going missing .