Tuesday, 12 June 2012 22:33

Chetan, Dinesh and Kamal Kumar, love you guys!

Written by  Kamal Shah
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I am going to let you into a little secret: my Canadian visa application was refused. Twice. My whole trip to the US and Canada was in jeopardy. I was thinking of calling the whole trip off. My parents thought I should go ahead with the rest of the trip. However, the main reason I had wanted to go on this trip was a cruise to Alaska which started from Vancouver in Canada. The best part: they had dialysis on the ship!

Another highlight of my trip was going to be the 'Maid of the Mist' ride in the Niagara Falls from the Canadian side of the falls.

Both these would not be possible. Why spend a bomb on something I was not very keen on in the first place? That is what I thought.

I let my friends from college, Chetan, Dinesh and Kamal Kumar (yes, he's my namesake) - they were coming with me on the cruise with their families, they were doing the cruise only for me, Chetan and Dinesh stay in the US, Kamal Kumar in Canada - know about this. They were all very disappointed. They touched base among themselves and decided to convince me to give the visa one more shot. This time they sent their cruise confirmations and we added a lot more documentation. My friend Kamal Kumar got in touch with - hold your breath - the Canadian Prime Minister's office!! He actually managed to find out the file notes on my visa file! We got to know the reasons for the refusal and point by point addressed the concerns. I also changed the travel agent through whom I submitted my application, choosing a much more professional agent this time.

Within a week of submitting the application, I got my visa!

So, the trip is on!

However, if it wasn't for my three friends from college who convinced me to apply again - adding for good measure that they would foot the visa application fee - I would never have applied again. I would have given up on the cruise. I would have probably gone ahead with trip, albeit a short one without the cruise and the Niagara Falls. It would be like a half-hearted trip. Now it will be my original itinerary.

As soon as I got the news about the visa being granted, I sent my three buddies an email with the subject (forgive the slang!):

GOT THE F**KING CANADIAN VISA!

The email had the following content:

THE CRUISE IS ON. F**K, YEAH!

... http://www.kamaldshah.com/2012/06/chetan-dinesh-and-kamal-kumar-love-you.html

Kamal Shah

Kamal Shah

Hello, I'm Kamal from Hyderabad, India. I have been on dialysis for the last 13 years, six of them on PD, the rest on hemo. I have been on daily nocturnal home hemodialysis for the last four and half years. I can do pretty much everything myself. I love to travel and do short weekend trips or longer trips to places which have dialysis centers. Goa in India is a personal favorite. It is a great holiday destination and has two very good dialysis centers.

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