Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My Self Help Manual - Get a Visa

I am sure you will agree that all of us are very troubled. Our lives are unsettled. We are extremely impatient. We want instant gratification. We want instant results. We have extremely short tempers and fly of the handle at the blink of an eye. We are over worked and over stressed. We reach the point of irritation in a flash. We need stimuli all the time, whether it is a television, a mobile phone or a computer. We can never relax, let our guard down, step off, and tune out. All this manifests itself in many ways. For example we become aggressive in our behaviour, we drive aggressively, we drink we eat too much. We have high cholesterol and elevated blood pressure. So we are put on medication and that starts the downward spiral.

In this situation many of us head to a burnout. Our spouses and family constantly plead with us to relax and calm down. Some of us do take this to heart and start yoga in an attempt to calm our jangling nerves. Many others take to practising religion in some form. Others turn to spirituality and gurus and Godmen. We spend time at Ashrams; the Brahmakumaris are a case in point. We want to go to Igatpuri to get into Vippasana mediation course.

Sound familiar?

Before you despair and think that Stonethrower has at last seen the inevitable conclusion of his wasted life, as he approaches his 50th birthday, no. Before you think that Stonethrowers heart, if not liver are now totally shot to pieces which is why he has seen The Light, you could not be more wrong. Read on.

For all you fellow hedonists out there, I have a quick fix solution for you. No need for yoga, no need for Godmen, no need for temples, spirituality, Vedanta discourses or Gita pravachans!! Nope. To achieve calmness, patience, control of temper and total discipline I suggest you immediately apply for a Schengen Visa from the French Consulate. You sometimes get more and sometimes less benefits by applying to the British, American and other European counties. The French I have found, by and large the most beneficial. The most useless are the Asian countries – Thailand, China and Singapore. Hong Kong does not even have a Visa system, it’s strictly Visa on arrival. These are all useless.

The process of applying will sort you out. It takes just a total of 3-4 hours if you are granted a Visa in one shot, if not each additional application will take an additional 2 hours after an agonising wait of several days. You will be a changed person after this process. The advantages are manifold. Not only do you immediately appreciate the virtues I have listed, but you can do it in the city you live, it’s very cheap - only Rs 5000/- and takes a short time. The effects and benefits are, in proportion to other forms of self help so dramatic that there is really no meaningful alternative.

Let me explain and point out just a few benefits the process has on your life. An important caveat here, to experience the best results of this unique therapy, you must undertake the entire process yourself and not use agents and assorted secretaries. This is the same with religion, yoga, vipassna etc - you have to undergo the process yourself and not through a proxy


We are all extremely self centred and believe we are always correct; it is our way or the highway. When applying for a visa, us smart guys look at the Consulates website. This has certain information and instructions. Sometimes to double check, we speak with our travel agents who give us different information and instructions. Then, after we have been reasonably confused we actually submit our paperwork to the Consulates agent who has a third set of information and instructions, which, needless to say, is not mentioned on the website nor is the travel agent aware of it. This teaches us humility, to accept that we are not always right; others have more knowledge and wisdom than us.


We simply do not have any patience. Once you have been made to stand in line to submit the application to the Consulates agent you have already learned to exercise some patience. Then you are required to visit the actual Consulate and are told a time, say 11 am. You turn up at Consulate only to find no place to park your car so you park miles away and walk to the Consulate. Once you reach there a watchman will ask you why you have come to the Consulate, 11 am appointment you say contemptuously. WAIT, is his answer, under the Gulmohur Tree on the footpath in the hot sun or pouring rain, depending on the weather. After a good 45 minute wait on a footpath you are allowed inside the Consulate only to be made to wait in a room that reminds me of an American jail as I have seen on countless movies. Here you wait some more, if you have been naughty, a lot more. This teaches you patience.

Respect for fellow human

You may be a real hot shit. A wildly successful self made businessman, a powerful lawyer, a builder or a doctor capable of neurosurgery. You may have been educated in the finest institutions for which your parents have spent thousands and sacrificed horribly. You have the life of others in your hands. You may think you are the cat whiskers. However, when you are in the Visa process, a chit of a girl at the Consulates agent can strike fear thru your body. Let me tell you, when I was submitting my application, this girl, not a day over 23 asked me if I had my visiting card to supplement my application. I was shocked, this one question made jelly of me, who the heck would think I need to produce a visiting card in addition to all hotel bookings, flight bookings, train booking 3 years of Tax returns, 6 months of bank statements, an insurance policy and the kitchen sink? This teaches you to respect a fellow human being.

Controling your temper  

When you reach the Consulate at the appointed time, you will have to encounter and deal with surly, rude and arrogant security personnel. They have the right to tell you to stand on a footpath. Once you are granted entry into the Consulate, another similarly surly, rude and arrogant security personnel will ask you to hand over your mobile phone, switched off please. Then once the various doors have opened the surly, rude and arrogant security personnel will grunt and tell you to sit in an extremely uncomfortable plastic bucket seat to await your turn. Mind you all this is done to us by our fellow Indians. This kind of behaviour teaches to hold your temper. If your driver or cook spoke to you like that with the accompanying body language, you would have dismissed them in 30 seconds flat. Here you hold your temper.

So folks, you now see what I mean. To improve yourself in a short cheap manner do apply for a Visa.


  1. Spot on. You are a new age Guru with innovative programmes for self improvement.

    1. Many thanks. Looking for orange cloth and some Rudraksha mala. Any idea where they are available? Or should I stay western like Deepak Chopra?

    2. New Age remember, so no orange robes or malas. A Richard Branson persona is more like it.