So the state department returned my renewed passport late (over the weekend). I live in Austin. I know there is a consulate in Houston. I found out this "same day" service in Austin can't give me my visa till Thursday.
I am a US citizen. Flying to India for the wedding of a friend of mine.
I am willing to drive to the consulate. They only reply to questions about visas by email. I am getting concerned, can anyone suggest any to this?
-- EDIT!! --
[the following sounds bleak - there is a bright side, read "EDIT #2" below :)] To those of you who suggested I apply and use the difference between expected date of departure and date of the arrival of the visa, thank you but this did not work!!
In fact I'm sitting in the airport 24 hours later and nothing has arrived. My bank says they have changed me the required $60.00 for the visa, and i have an email saying it's in process, but when i take the ticket number they give me and my passport number here, I get to a page that says "Details entered by you could not be found" - in addition the website is archaic and difficult to use. Overall a very crappy experience so far. I think the moral of the story is if you're depending on something first-world, YOU ARE SCREWED. At this point I have not much recourse than to reschedule my flight.
-- EDIT #2 --
OK, so the email confirming my Visa DID come later on, but it was approximately 24 hours later. And it does in fact say I can use it immediately. I asked United Airlines to move my flight up and they did for free, so I'm leaving early next week now with no harm done. Since I'll have my passport from now on, getting a Visa can and should be done well in advance of the trip!