December 25, 2007

Why are there no queues in Qatar?

Once upon a time, when I studied geography, their population was 6,40,000. My tryst with geography ended on a glorious day called the SSC Geography exam day. But not before a hair-raising (and hell-raising) mental collapse which saw me waking up at 4 am to face 30-odd chapters of assorted rubbish for an 11 am paper.
Coming back to queues, it's just part of the Indian experience, one feels. You haven't stepped into a pile of cowdung , you haven't counted sheep (and felt like one) while being part of the ubiquitous queue, you haven't known India.
Today I used two buses and a train and my feet to reach a nondescript but quaintly named building - Examination House on the Bombay University campus. Mission: Application for photocopy of answer paper. Mission accomplished. Yes, I did run down two floors THRICE. I also felt honoured to wait in the queue since the officials there love eating together like a family, all at the same time. But I've seen worse. Officials who are never to be found in office. Libraries that take a day to process a book issue slip and then tell you that the book in question isn't available and you have to fill up another slip. And wait for another day...it goes on. Clerks who do not fancy the passport-sized photos you cut into stamp-sized ones. "Studio se karake lao," they say. This was almost paradise. The guy got back from his lunch break in time. He didn't throw tantrums. I could have kissed him by the end of it. Only, he seemed to have a very prickly beard.
Not everything was so hunky-dory. Most of the application form was a waste of paper and ink. But...one at a time...things shall change...(I hope I'm not being hopelessly sunny here)

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