So this is what reverse logistics in India looks like. The router that I preemptively bought at Best Buy doesn't work. The Belkin support engineer (a lady from Chennai) apologized after an hour's diagnosis and gave me a pick up address in Mumbai for a replacement.
A 5 min call to Best Buy in Chicago gets me my replacement receipt.
The service center is located in the heart of Central Mumbai, Tardeo.
Rows of Indian college kids and office boys sit in a confined, low ceilinged and stifling room waiting for their number to be called out. Today I am EB 0452 S.
The heads of the customer service reps are not visible over the edge of the counter, and so every few minutes or so a disembodied voice shouts out "phor sikshty phor!". "Phor thirty six!"
Had dinner at Cafe Mondegar tonight, old Parsi cafe going back to 1935.
Mumbai has been quiet the past three days, "too quiet, as Philip Marlow would say. It's the quiet before the storm called Ganpati breaks out tomorrow. What's a one - day prayer devoted to Ganesh, the elephant God, in the rest of India is 15 days of tribal mayhem in Mumbai.
Ganpati is brought home to a loud banging of drums on Day 1. Ganpati is paraded on the streets, accompanied by entire families and neighbourhoods dancing along wildly, unencumbered by any reticence.
Ganpati is taken for immersion in the sea and in artificial lakes (the government is promoting an 'eco friendly' Ganpati) on days three and six and nine.
But now it's day 14, and tomorrow is the Big One. There'll be no namby pamby family Ganpatis carried for immersion. Tomorrow will be for the big Ganeshes, the neighbourhood ones, the ones sponsored by political parties of all colour.
Marine Drive will shut down. Chowpatty Beach will be packed. Mumbai Police has prepared flawlessly, with routes mapped out for entry and exit (reverse logistics), and every square foot of the beach cordoned off and supervised from 40 foot high towers.
Don't ask us Indians to manage airports and ports, but boy can we handle large scale religious events. 5000 years of practice comes in handy.
Btw, the banner photo was taken from our holiday home outside of San Gimignano at 6.20 am. What light! It lasted all of five minutes.