Sometimes you simply have to accept what life throws at you. There is no choice. Fighting won’t help. Getting upset won’t help. Today was one of those days…
Rather than rail at the universe, it got me thinking about different definitions of what is accepted as “proof” of address for various official (and perhaps unofficial) requirements.
The stumbling block today, aside from some mysteriously missing paperwork, was a little thing known in these parts as “permanent” address.
Now… for those not familiar with the term, permit me to introduce you to this pesky little thing.
If you happen to luck out and your parent’s own their flat / house – yippee!! Hang on to their address as your “permanent” address until you graduate (if ever!) to the status of being a real live “home owner.” Forget all those fancy flats you live in proudly paying rent from your hard-won earnings, these simply will not do!
If you aren’t so lucky, hopefully in your “native place” or anywhere some distant relative has “ancestral property” to which somehow you can finagle some form of tenuous connect… This is why most driver’s and maids in the major metros proffer paperwork with an address in their village, not the place that they actually live.
But… I hear you ask, what if I don’t own any property in India? Or my parent, or grandparent? Or…. even some crazy long lost great-uncle? Well… my friend…. you are basically screwed.
You either need to forge documents or not get done whatever you want to get done because without a “permanent” address, you do not exist.
If anyone ever wondered why India ranks 8th globally in terms of home ownership, this is a factor!
Personally I don’t believe the data on ownership – a whopping 86% in 2011 or even 55% in 2001?? Really?! I can’t help but wonder if this data reflects this bizarre often convoluted way of somehow tracing back to someone in ones extended family that does own property!!
This is completely contrary to notions in other countries where – guess what? The address you provide is the one where you actually LIVE. As in the address where if someone came knocking on your door, you would probably be home to answer.
Nope! That simply will not satisfy certain authorities in these parts because if you rent, you will at some stage move on to a different place, so you can’t be tracked down. That is too risky.
What is needed instead is your father’s father’s (in very rare cases like Kerela your mother’s mother’s) home which has been taken over by the family retainer and no one can access, no mail would reach you, no word would ever find its way to you. That would be acceptable.
Some of us as we go global have no “permanent” address.
Often in your adopted country there are restrictions on owning property. And links to ones country of origin fade as years become decades… particularly as the generations before shake off this mortal coil.
If you are a foreigner in India? It is considered impossible for you to have a “permanent” address in India. Even if you have lived here for decades. Your passport is not Indian therefore no Indian address could ever be acceptable.
It means providing a mythical “permanent” address from your passport country, with oodles of physical ORIGINAL and CURRENT proof that it is your “real” address… even if you haven’t actually lived there in, say, 30 years!
There is no logic.
I wonder – how many people who go global retain a current valid “permanent” address in their country of origin?
PS This is just temporary grumbling. I am blessed with “homes” and a loving families – Canadian and Indian – plus friends who are like family scattered all over the globe. Indian issues will be sorted… it was just one of those days…