Here is a copy of my first passport issued by the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, UAE on 26 September 1981. I was two years old then.
The passport was hardbound. It carried an ugly picture of me and my thumb impression on page 3. On page 4, was a note about the countries, rather ‘the country’ to which I was not allowed to travel. It was the Republic of South Africa; apartheid was the order then.
My baby-passport was issued for a duration of five years. It was used only once – to return from Dubai to Bombay on 1 August 1983. When I had travelled to the UAE in 1981, I had done so on my mother Savita Patil’s passport. At that time, such an arrangement was common.
My first passport was renewed only once for further five years. After that, I was without a passport from 1991 to 2007.
Pages from my baby-passport…