Goa - the San Francisco of India

Finding a Job Indian Style: Aug. 18th
Stories of the day have been about working with government officials.
Sanjay has been telling a story about working with an extremely honest and obdurate government clerk. He had to get a form sent for which stamp paper was needed. Stamp paper is "official" paper that has a watermark seal and a light print of some official picture. It comes in various denominations, and is used for all legal documents like leases, contracts, etc. In this case, he needed 40 paise stamp paper in order to get some procedure started. Since the clerk wouldn’t allow him to go forward until he had the stamp paper, he had to leave the office (after queuing up for half a day), and wait till the next morning to get the correct stamp paper from a stationer. The stationer didn’t have 40 paise stamp paper, so he bought 1 rupee stamp paper and returned to the clerk’s office. More queuing, and eventually he got to the clerk. Sorry said the clerk, I can’t accept 1 rupee stamp paper, only 40 paise stamp paper. Now Sanjay started begging. "Oh", said the official, "I have some stamp paper if you wish - I can sell you a sheet for 40 paise" (Why didn’t he tell that to Sanjay the previous day?). Grateful, Sanjay immediately gave the man a rupee. The only problem was that the clerk couldn’t make change. "Ok - keep the change". "Sorry", the clerk says, "I can’t do that". So now Sanjay is stuck. He can’t get 40 paise stamp paper unless he has exactly 40 paise. How about five sheets of stamp paper for 2 rupees? "Sorry", says the clerk, "I only have three sheets". So Sanjay gets out of line, and hunts for 40 paise. Eventually he finds it, queues up in line, and waits. When his time comes, he offers the extremely honest clerk 40 paise for the 40 paise stamp paper. "Sorry", says the clerk, "I’m all sold out".
Shailesh, a kind-hearted employee from Tamil Nadu tells us his story about government officials. He has a friend who wanted to work abroad. Overseas employment is a quick way for an engineer to save a small fortune, with which they can start a family, buy a house, etc. This engineer decides to respond to an ad for bodyshoppers, recruitment agencies that connect Indian engineers with clients in the United States. Bodyshoppers act like temp-placement agencies. They take care of the Indian engineer’s visa issues, payment, medical insurance, and subcontract out the engineer to a company in the US.
So this chap (let’s call him Raj), takes an offer of employment from a bodyshopper, and ends up in the San Francisco airport. He starts his way through immigration, and the official says "Oh I would like you to wait in this room". Never having been in a foreign country, he assumes this is a natural procedure. He waits. At the end of the day, he is taken from the room to a secure holding cell where he can sleep and eat meals. "Gee", he thinks, "this seems odd", but they’re taking care of his welfare, so he doesn’t complain. The next morning immigration officials come by. It seems that the bodyshopper has been doing many illegal things. They are conducting a sting operation against the bodyshopper, and Raj is a prime evidence case. So he is told, very sorry, but you must stay a month in our secure holding cell while we build our case against the bodyshopper. He spends a month, and then is sent home courtesy of the US Immigration service.
Raj doesn’t give up easily. After six months of work, he finds another bodyshopper, gets all his paperwork done, and flies to Chicago to take on an assignment. This time the immigration official does a scan at the airport, and tells him that he has been refused entry into the United States before, and therefore cannot be accepted into the U.S. He is sent back home to India.
So now where can he go? A year later, he finds a bodyshopping company that is looking for engineers in England. Great! He applies and is accepted. This time he gets to England and makes it through immigration. A week later, immigration pays him a visit. It seems he was denied entry into the US for illegal immigration. He is sent home.
Raj is thoroughly dejected, but he doesn’t give up. Kuwait is looking for talented engineering talent on an oil refinery project. He applies, and is accepted. He gets there, and gets through immigration. His employer accepts him, and in traditional Kuwaiti style, his employer takes his passport, papers, etc., and then allows him to work.
So he works! A blissful month goes by, and the Gulf War breaks out. Raj is now in a war zone. His employer absconds, along with Raj’s passport and papers. So Raj decides to smuggle himself through the border. Spending his remaining money, he bribes his way through a few borders. Living by his wits, and begging his way for passage he manages to get to India, and through immigration. He scrapes up enough for a phone call to his relatives, who have lost contact with him for the last four months, and they fly out to pick up Raj. Forty pounds lighter and in awful physical shape, Raj has now become fully convinced that it his karma to never leave mother India again.