Blunder I made.
With the T-visa (Tourist visa) and the ticket to India, which I had from earlier this year, I reached the JFK airport on the morning of November 15th to catch my Air India flight, AI 102.
Staff, at the Air India check-in counter: "Sir, the travel to India on T-visa has been suspended for foreign nationals and those not holding OCI card."
I said: 'Well I have the T visa valid till 2025 and so I shall be allowed.'
Staff: 'No Sir, not allowed'
I go on the Indian consulate's website, found the details, and said to myself: 'I have made a blunder.'
I couldn't have called anyone because 15th November was a Sunday.
One of the Air India staff members reached out to me to change the date of my travel.
Not knowing by when I will be able to fly but having some confidence that it should not be that challenging, I got the date changed to November 20th.
Well, lesson learned, and now the only option was to get the visa.
Monday morning, I visit the Indian consulate and made an emergency request.
I cannot thank the officials at the Indian consulate enough and the visa was issued like a walk in the park.
The sad part of this whole episode is that I had to get another Covid19 test done and for which I paid extra money.
So, you see, how the US, my country of residence, became my layover :).