Thursday, November 25, 2010


For the past one month of my stay in India, I have found that this country offers numerous ways to develop your patience. Here I list a few which I encountered or I have heard from my friends.

1. Getting a passport: Getting a passport in this country can really count as an accomplishment worthy of being cited in your CV. First hurdle is to submit your form which itself can take one full day. And in this total day you can encounter anybody from touts to rude passport officials. After this comes the guys for inquiry. The local police and the intelligence who will invariably require some tips for expensive tea and sweets. After this if you are lucky we will get the passport and when you get it it is already three to four months since you submitted the form. But wait, your chance to gain a little more training is not yet over. You can get a passport where your father's or mother's or both names can be of a person you have never heard of. So, you again go back and forth few times to get it corrected. At the end you are one frustrated, pissed off patient guy.

2. Get your Voter ID: A small piece of laminated paper needed to exercise your democratic rights. Well what to say? It is also a wonderful training opportunity. First you have to submit your form, the mandatory first step. So, you have to go to some center where they will collect your form. You queue up for your turn. The office will invariably open half an hour to one hour late. By this time the queue is a mile long and you are probably half a mile from the office gate. Generally if people don't jump queue your turn should come after an hour or so. But, this won't happen since every other person in this country is VIP. So, these VIPs will come with some VVIP and try to get their forms submitted out of queue. So your time needed get upscaled by a factor of two or three. Now, this process has to be repeated twice or thrice depending on your luck to get your ID. Twice or thrice I say since after your form is processed you have to submit your photograph and then still mysteriously if your card does not arrive you have to submit your photograph again. Lets move one to other methods now.

3. Sending a registered letter through Indian Postal Service: Over here the queue jumpers are less in number but still it does not deprive you of your chance to test your patience. Over here you will encounter many times people who are given a computer to speed up the process but they are so inefficient in handling the device that sometimes you might feel that the computer is a devil which you should not install in government departments. I don't want to elaborate here the real challenge since they are similar to the ones above this one.

4. Traveling in suburban trains during rush hour: Well this one is not only the test of your patience but also the test of your ability to squeeze yourself in a volume half the total volume of
your whole body. Believe me this is possible. And on top of that the time you will take to reach your destination will go up exponentially as you get closer to your destination. How this is possible, is still a very difficult question to answer for me.

5. Doing a PhD: This is probably one of the best patience training ground. People have written numerous treatise on this subject hence I am not able to add anything to this subject.

6. Having a Tata photon whiz in non metropolitan city: I am not able to comment on other service providers of wireless internet but this one is really amazing. In the advertisement of another similar product from the same company on TV they show the sign of infinity in the end meaning it is infinitely fast. But believe we should not miss the point its not infinitely faster but the opposite. INFINITELY SLOW. Infact it is so slow that probably I should put infinite "O" s in the word "SLOW" before I even think of putting the "W".

Of all the above you would see that except for the last one all others have to do something or the other with the Government. So, you want to improve your patience just deal with some government department. Here I end this post with due apologies to Indian Judiciary System.

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