Comity Tracks on amity mail

January 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Comity tracks for amity mail

Namit Agarwal: A love for the letters

Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, The Hon. Prime Minister, Islamabad, Pakistan.

That was the address on the envelope that Namit Agarwal, 19, sent by ordinary mail on November 20, 2003. Inside was a letter requesting a few words from the Pakistani leader “on peace and a message to the youth of the nation (India)”. This earned him a police inquiry — a call from Delhi, followed by a Calcutta Police sleuth at his Jodhpur Park door (who was bowled over by Namit’s “collection”). The reply from Islamabad, on February 12, more than made up for the trouble.

“The times of achieving national glory through war are over… It is only through peace and mutual amity, as good neighbours, that an atmosphere can be created in which youth… can draw the maximum advantage…” The two paragraphs penned by Prime Minister Jamali have inspired the student of Bhawanipur Gujarati Education Society to spread the word of friendship.

It all began in 1998, when the numismatic and philatelist decided to pursue another hobby — collecting autographs and pictures of world leaders. His first letter, to then US President Bill Clinton, went unanswered. His second attempt, to British Prime Minister Tony Blair and wife Cherie, turned into a lasting relationship (“The Prime Minister and Cherie are always very touched by the expression of such warm feelings and support,” wrote 10 Downing Street).

In the past five years, Namit has written to, and received replies from, the likes of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Queen Elizabeth of England, Australian Prime Minister John Howard and President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak. His favourite ‘pen pal’ is none other than Nelson Mandela (“Your message gives me strength and hope and I cannot imagine a birthday without it!”).

“I started with asking for stamps at first, and then autographed photographs. Nelson Mandela has sent me books, posters and stamps,” smiles the Ist year B.Com student. “But in the subsequent letters, I ask them for their views on various matters, more recently peace. Now, I am going to collect messages from my school and friends and send them to Prime Minister Jamali, to show him that we understand.”

The envelopes, with just the illustrious name, the city and country on the envelope, unerringly find their target. And the replies renew Namit’s faith. “My teachers are very excited about the letter from Pakistan. And my parents, who have supported me but didn’t want me to send a letter to Pakistan, are also very happy,” adds Namit.

Categories: Press Clippings

Identity crisis

January 10, 2010 Leave a comment

Its strange but true that one has to establish his/her own identity to others. It so happened with a friend of mine who lost his id recently. He had a flight to catch the next day and we had to literally run from pillar to post to convince people that he is the person he is.

Add to the problem my friend doesn’t speak good Hindi. I went along to the local police station to convince them to issue a ‘Pehchaan Patra (Identity Proof). I spoke to one of the officer who seem to had his own version of everything. He thought that my friend might have disobeyed some traffic rule and the cop must have seized his licence and we were there to get a new one. No point of arguing with a cop. He ended up suggesting that we get a certificate that a college id card has been lost.

We thought of atleast trying that and went to another officer. This gentleman said that he could issue a ‘Pehchaan Patra’ only on the basis of some identity proof. Great our system is sound! Really secure!

We finally managed to get some scanned copies of a bunch of relevant documents from Warangal that tried to prove this chap’s identity. Man the power of internet is amazing!

We took the bunch to the airport. The lady at the airline desk was trying to understand our problem when this lady with a very large rounded pair of ……………………..glasses poked her finger in “You have your flight tommorow. I have to catch a flight now” She pushed both of us aside and then asked “I hope you don’t mind if I…” “Sure go ahead” – I said. Miss airline was not really convinced with the documents we produced. The documents had pictures of atleast a few years ago. It is the period in a man’s life when the hormones take a twist and with it changes the whole appearance. And unfortunately this twist happened after the pictures on the document were clicked. But looking at our innocent faces and the bunch of documents she agreed and approved the documents.


Categories: Weekend Diaries

About Namit

January 9, 2010 Leave a comment

Dear Reader,

Namit Agarwal
Namit Agarwal

I am an Indian citizen living in Mumbai although location hardly matters as I believe in a boundary free world if not country at-least.

My love for the development sector and my desire to bring a change to people’s life has brought about a visual change in my life.

My blog comes straight out of my heart and gives the world a sneak peek of my life.

Although not a polished writer but making an attempt not to disappoint you.

Thanks for reading!

Categories: About Namit Tags:

Oh Weekend! Is It?

January 9, 2010 1 comment

After a hectic week a weekend is a much needed relief. The best thing about a weekend is that its not the alarm clock that wakes you up but the loud neighbor talking over the phone.

Sipping a cup of coffee with extra sugar while checking the torrent status I had started last night. Delighted to see “Download Complete”. Checking Facebook status updates “3 comments, 1 friend request, 16 Farmville gift requests and 87 updates from friends”. Gmail says “6 unread mails in Inbox and 23 in Spam”. Decided to clean spam but gave up after 78 mails. Checked ‘bookmyshow’ for Avatar 3D; Happy to see first two rows still have seats left at Growels’ Cinemax. Sure not to miss the 10:30 show tonight.

A weekend also gives an opportunity to finally read the newspaper. 154 pages! including supplements of course. Not enough appetite for such information overdose with already a recommended copy of Forbes India in waiting.

The independence to take a late shower but just before the taps go dry. Its scary that Mumbai is left with very little water. A quick lunch and a long nap on agenda before stepping out for some random shopping and watching Avatar with friends obviously.

Well it did not work as planned. Had a tiring round of shopping. Got myself a GUCCI shirt from FENDI. Well Thanks to the South East Asian countries producing great stuff at cheap prices but with international labels. Replication to perfection! Btw Fendi is a shop at Bandra Hill Road dealing in such stuff.

Saw Paranormal Activity instead. On my lappy. Scary stuff man! I watched it alone in the middle of the night and it sent a chill down my spine for some shots.

Categories: Weekend Diaries