Saved by the Indian Ambassador

The first time I was planning to go to France, we made enquiries at the French Consulate. I still had a diplomatic passport, because I had been working at the Indian Consulate. The officials at the Consulate said, “You have a diplomatic passport? No, no — you do not need a visa.” Two or three times they said that I did not need a visa.

When I arrived in France, one man said, “You need a visa! You will not be able to enter the country.”

I said, “I have been working at the Indian Consulate. I made enquiries, and they said I did not need a visa.”

He said, “No, they gave you wrong information.”

I said to myself, “Now what am I going to do?” I was alone, and all alone I was struggling. To the official I said, “What can I do?”

He said, “You need permission. If you get permission from the Ambassador of India to the United States, then we will let you in.”

At that time I did not even know who the Ambassador was. It was not R.K. Nehru. The man who was harassing me dialed the number for me, and the Ambassador’s secretary answered the phone. I spoke to her in English. Then she said, “What is your name?”

I said, “Chinmoy Kumar Ghose.”

“Oh! You are Bengali, Bengali, Bengali! The Ambassador is Bengali! You will be able to speak to him in Bengali?”

I said, “Of course! I am Bengali.”

The Ambassador came to the phone, and I spoke to him in perfect Bengali. I told him, “This is what happened. In New York they said I did not need a visa, and now they will not allow me to enter the country.”

The Ambassador immediately spoke to the man who was harassing me. Then what happened? That fellow who had not allowed me to enter the country said, “Oh, you do not know how to wear a tie! Let me fix your tie for you!” He started fixing my tie with such love. Very kindly and affectionately he fixed my tie, because I had not done a good job.

These so-called cock-and-bull stories are absolutely one hundred per cent true.

10 December 2006, Antalya, Turkey.