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Winds before Portugal Visa

As I traverse the bustling streets amongst throngs of people, I recognize that I am not the only one on this journey. Though we traverse the same paths, our destinations and goals differ. With a heavy heart, I awoke today to print documents for yet another visa application.

Despite my previous four applications being rejected on the grounds of not meeting the criteria, I cannot help but disagree. Alas, it seems the authorities and I are at an impasse. Each time, I hand over the required papers to different individuals at different locations, hoping to reach Europe. Not that I am enamored by it, but I believe the journey would be significant. However, like the previous attempts, I remain in India.

As I meander through the streets of Mumbai, contemplations swirl in my mind. Amidst procuring a certified and stamped bank statement, I receive a message from my lawyer, requesting a Shares Certificate from the company CS. Despite reaching out to CS, I am met with silence. I realize that I am reliant on numerous individuals for this application, and it leaves me feeling fragile.

The embassy demands a photograph capturing 70% to 80% of my head, emphasizing my face. I visited a shop where the proprietor swiftly took a picture with my new iPhone, praising its superior camera. After emailing the image to himself, he edited it, digitally trimming my hair to create a glossy, flattened appearance.

I inquired if he could print the other necessary documents: the Shares Certificate, bank account statement, travel insurance, invitation letter from Portugal, flight reservation, and proof of employment. This extensive process often spans days or even a week. In an effort to avoid errors, I printed redundant documents, my mind clinging to the past. I couldn't help but wonder if they'd find a loophole in my paperwork, as the Danish Embassy had. It felt as if they had conspired in their air-conditioned chambers, delighting in denying me access to Denmark and regaling their friends with tales of how they preserved their nation's sovereignty from an Indian man seeking to immigrate.

In a moment of clarity, I returned to my present surroundings, noting that everyone in the shop hailed from Bihar. The Biharis are an astute people.

As I continued my errands, seeking attestation for my bank statement, I encountered a bank representative who handed me a form to sign. The irony of having to waste paper for a statement readily available online was not lost on me, exposing the underlying mistrust and misguided incentives in the system.

The urge to take a break arose, but the task was far from over. I needed to get another set of documents certified from a different bank. As I walked, the crowd around me swelled, their black and white attire signifying their legal profession. The weather began to shift, the winds and clouds seemingly whispering a message as I pressed onward.

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