In the fall of 1979, I traveled from the U.S., where I was a college senior, to India to attend my sister’s wedding in a small town in Gujarat state. On the way back, I got stranded in Mumbai because a fire had damaged the airport. I was with my brother and his wife, and we checked daily on when flights would resume, but found little progress. Exasperated and, as overseas Indians, accustomed to better efficiency, we rounded on an airport official. While he was annoyed at our impatience, he was also apologetic—and philosophical—about the lack of urgency to reopen the terminal.