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Identity loss October 14, 2007

Posted by Sharath Rao in rant.

Tyler asks about people who have earned multiple and major recognitions in one year – much like Al Gore this year.

I can tell you someone who has had multiple de-recognitions in a matter of 3 days. On Wednesday, I lost my Yahoo! Corporate ID (losing it on Day 7 at work – probably an organizational record) and today someone stole my backpack which was pretty much empty – except for my Passport, Visa and I-94.

If you were a CNN IBN journalist you would ask me how I feel about the whole episode and I will tell you that I am really excited and looking forward to mountains of paperwork – with authorities as diverse as the Indian Embassy, US Embassy in Madras and Department of Homeland Security – pretty much at three well-spread out points on the spectrum.

There are rating agencies that keep track of how easy it is to do business in different countries. They use information like how many days its takes to set up a new business etc. I am going to keep track of the number of places I will have to sign, number of phone calls, emails etc. I am currently busy collecting each and every piece of paper with my name on it – if you have one, send over.

One funny thing I noted though was this thing on the San Francisco Indian Consulate website –

“Habitual losers of passports may be denied further passport facilities.”

Imagine what you would answer to some foreign government official who demands a passport as part of some paperwork – “My country is fed up of my passport losing habits and will not issue a passport.”

This specific incident apart, one of those things I really hate is about not having some document/login/permission required for some purpose and having to wait more than 3 minutes to get it.

And my secret fear (which Alex wanted to know) is that one day I will have lost such a unique combination of documents that I will never be able to get them since there would be a catch-22 about possessing document X to get document Y replaced and then vice versa – a problem that only be solved in the long run.

Link from Tyler.



1. ravi - October 14, 2007

gosh, u’re growing old!! isn’t this ur second incidence of losing ur passport?

Surprisingly, it isn’t a case of forgetfullness and you can never be so! Perhaps, you need to consider some system like one of those where you manage all your blogs, older data, and people’s emails. Suggests a new application I could build for a mobile phone, but then you could lose your mobile as well[:P]

2. Abhinav - October 14, 2007

Gosh. Hope you get the documents done. And pls be careful next time:)

3. exaggerator - October 14, 2007

Join the No ID revolution
UK – http://www.no2id.net/

There is a similar anti id activity in the US but my bad, I have not enabled google’s web history and thus I am not able to trace back to that website. http://exaggerator.wordpress.com/2007/10/14/outsource-your-memory/

4. Sharath Rao - October 14, 2007

@ravi – no man…not second time !!! What makes you think so 🙂 ..I was on the phone (with aswin) when the bag escaped my attention !!!

@exaggerator – wont work man…modern economy is based on identification and documentation…in fact 99% of the time most ppl would rather do with these documents than without …its for our own convenience…else the system would not have survived…

its a small price to pay for participation in the modern economy ( consider SSN/DL for instance)

5. Vishnu - October 14, 2007

well sharath sorry to hear abt your loss..
Please post your detailed experiences later. Let us know how corrupt Indian officials deal in a foreign land… I am curious to know if they ask for baksheesh or rishwat in USA and what the rate is? 😀
P.S. The first and the only bribe I remember paying was at Hyderabad airport on my journey to USA. I paid him Rs.200/- when he scared me that he won’t issue me a VISA because my passport didn’t have the non-immigration stamp to Pakistan and Bangladesh on it !!!

6. Sharath Rao - October 15, 2007

yeah..fingers crossed 🙂

7. Randomizer - October 15, 2007

I guess when two absent-minded ppl talk, the resulting absent-mindedness reaches catastrophic proportions ! 😛 Sorry to have been a part of such a tragedy ! Good luck on your adventure

8. Sharath Rao - October 15, 2007

“when two absent-minded ppl talk, “..

yeah, I think we should just stick to email 😀

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