But the tragedy, or the creation myth, of modern Bangalore is there in Friedman’s own words: "As I left the Infosys campus that evening and bounced along the road back to Bangalore, I kept chewing on that phrase: 'The playing field is being leveled.'"
For while the playing field was indeed being leveled, the bouncy roads of Bangalore never were. What we now have, here atop the dusty Deccan Plateau, is a city stuck midtransformation, not between past and present—many cities are stuck there—but between past and future. And as a veteran of this exquisite metaphysical dilemma, I would not have my Bangalore be any other way. Nor could I want a better and more colorful home for those angelic, disembodied voices that I know are now there for me, to help me in my hour of need, even if that hour is, like, 3 a.m., and who will always understand, as did Supertramp, that
There are times
When all the world’s asleep
The questions run too deep
For such a simple man.
And I hope, as we trained telephone callcenter operatives are fond of saying, that I have been able to be helpful.
Bruno Maddox writes a column for Discover.