Sunday, April 17, 2005


“Time is different in America.”

I dreamt this line. Time IS different in America. You say 3pm – you mean 3pm. Here in India time has a different quality. A friend put it this way – “Here, we move from eternity to eternity…so time has far less value.”
Well, my view is that life is short and that time is a precious commodity not to be abused. It seems the Indian view of eternity sort of overrides that one! Both are clearly worthy sentiments – but not necessarily in sync with one another.

Countless times I am told something wil take 5 minutes here and 5 minutes can be anywhere from 5 minutes to never..

From Asha:

"About Indian punctuality, I am fully aware and fully agree with what you have written. But, I cannot change the society. So, at least I insist on punctuality and for me when I say 1.15 it is nothing but 1.15. Whenever and wherever I go, I always go a few minutes early and never have I gone late. So, not all people are imperfect...most of them are. I think in a country with over one billion population and such low literacy level this cannot be helped. But, the present day generation is getting better. These days, in most of the private sectors, MNCs and foriegn banks - 5 minutes means just 5. However, in most of the nationalised banks and any of the govt dept what you say is absolutely true. its more of a chain reaction, i guess.

let me tell u an incident in an office that i worked some years back. the office starts at 9. I was the secretary there. My boss would be there by quarter to 9. One day I reached office by 9.05 and went into his room by 9.07 and he remarked " you re late by 7 minutes". the next day I went by 8.47 and he said " 13 minutes to 9. you cannot barge into my room before 9". i was shocked. Puncuality is understandable but this was a little crazy, I thought. i did not work there for long. why i am telling you this is, there are some exceptions also. he never used to see or meet anyone who did not come on time and outside his room hung a saying 'BEING PUNCTUAL IS THE FIRST SIGN OF PERFECTIONISM'.....anyways..."