Persons of Indian Origin

December 1st, 20086:18 pm @


Not the most Indian looking Person of Indian Origin

It’s an odd-looking document; sort of like my passport but instead of the word ‘Australia’ on the cover it bears ‘Republic of India’. Inside is the picture of a very surprised-looking person. It’s the sort of look a celebrity or footballer might give in a police mugshot – or a rabbit in the glare of a car’s headlights.

The look is appropriate as this is a ‘Persons of Indian Origin Card’ and the face staring out is slightly freckled, white and most definitely not of Indian origin.

It is, however, my access to India, allowing me to live and work unrestricted in the booming economy of the subcontinent. How it came to be in my possession is a rather straightforward story – my wife, most definitely of Indian origin, is allowed a PIO card and by default my pasty white backside also gets one.

What is less straightforward is how the adventure will pan out after quitting good jobs in Australia, packing up our possessions and buying a round-the-world ticket that has its penultimate stop in Bombay.

With only scant contacts for work, a few relatives scattered across the country and nowhere to live, it could prove to be an unmitigated disaster or the time of our lives.

One thing is for sure, in a city like Bombay, anything is possible.

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