Back in Bangalore

Today, Bangalore greeted me as only Bangalore can--offering me up to the bureaucratic gods, and landing me at Vodafone, where I got the run-a-round trying to get a SIM card activated--"No, sir. You need a letter." "No, sir. The photo must be this size." "Please, sir. One more hour." I made a total of four in-store visits in a span of six hours.

Each time I was greeted by a security guard whose only job it seemed was to press buttons on a tiny machine that spit out a number to customers wanting to get a place in line. I don't know what the guy would've done in the event of an emergency. Maybe run, like the rest of us. But it got me thinking--not for the first time--about the fact that thousands of men and women across the city and country perform these types of jobs. Not just menial jobs, either, but mind numbing, deadening, wholly unnecessary jobs. Wasted human potential, and a waste to the nation.

But, sure, I got a new SIM card.