Wednesday, November 16, 2011

On time?:-(

It was 9.45 AM and I was standing in front of Indian Coffee House on mg road. I walked a bit towards the Deccan Herald office and read the news for the day. Though I would have read the newspaper at home, that piece of paper that they display in the glass window is a must see for me, when I pass that way. It probably is my habit that I caught hold of when I was studying journalism to catch hold of news wherever it is. The street vendors were all ready with their wares be it clothes or the colourful junk jewellery. Slowly the shops started opening, and the hustle bustle of the place started for the day. Now I started to check the time,it was 9.55 and I started getting jittery as usual. I then started observing the people who were passing by - the office going crowd who were rushing, the college bunking kids going to Plaza to catch the movie, tourists being escorted to silk saree stores to take back something which is bangalore specific ......I again looked at my watch and it was 10.05 and am like 'not again' why do I have to go through this always. I started fishing in my bag to check for anything interesting and thankfully I was carrying a book. So I leaned on the railing on the footpath and started reading the book. People started looking at me while passing by, wondering what's wrong with me to come all the way to mg road and read a book standing there. When these stares started getting very uncomfortable i had to stuff the book back into my bag. The watch showed the time to be 10.25 and i knew there is no point starting abuse also. What's the point and then when I thought this is it and am going back my friend comes with all smiles. Am like its 10.30 and we were supposed to meet at 10, she was like, ok sorry its just half an hour let's go. I knew there was no point in explaining the logic of being half an hour late.
This is the usual case for me whenever I have to meet someone or when I have to go somewhere. Oh that's even funnier I have reached so many marriage receptions and birthdays on the time that's mentioned and realize that the bride and groom have not even thought of starting to dress up ; or the birthday girl/boy has just gone shopping for new clothes. At least in these cases I have realized that the time in invitations card is just a number or rather the time you start from home which is what I do now. Its a different thing that I ensured that my reception card time does not remain a number and reached on time and you can guess what it would have resulted...But thankfully relatives were with me.



So coming back to meeting someone, and the alien concept of 'punctuality' for most people. It has always been the case that whenever I set time to meet someone I reach atleast 10 mins or so in advance and eventually except for rare situations the person who am supposed to meet is late. I keep wondering is it really too much to expect someone to come on time or am I stupid in the first place to land on time but anyways both parties dont learn. On rare occasions when people do come on time am like so overjoyed and in total awe of that person for sometime like as if they did me a huge favour. I think this is the fate for all people who are punctual; believe me there are people like that too who can identify with the jitters and worries of waiting.

The best part is this non- punctuality in people continues at work place too. Here also meetings happen where people keep trickling till the last 5 mins ...Am sure that is one extremely busy person who is atleast managing time for the last 5 mins and we should be thankful for the presence.

Ok there is a silver lining in this atleast this waiting period has been a great time for making stories and window shopping too.

Now even am wondering that after this post what if it gets jinxed and i start getting late for time set for meeting people. O god see this is what the concept of punctuality itself does to me....

P.S The incident mentioned first was during my college time so dont be surprised if you havent seen some of the places i have mentioned:-)

22 comments:

  1. Hey Sowmzzz, quite a thoughtful post..

    yup, as Indian, punctuality is a virtue we still hvnt really gt a hang of yet unfortunately..

    I remember once in college a senior speaker came about half an hour late.. later his PA told me tht he intentionally came late cos he thought the more the audience waited, the more important he felt he was...

    I'm not sure if it is a cultural thing or a location bit - I heard this colleague of mine who was late by 5 mins to a meeting with some germans n they cancelled the meeting cos she did not come on time; after tht she always was on time with her clients, the germans.. but unfortunately, she does not extend tht courtesy to us ..:(

    Nice n thoughtful read, Sowmz :)

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  2. Thanks Raj....
    Sadly its true that people have this perception bout us indians and you will be surprised to know that it extends further in Asia actually.

    I keep hoping people start changing but it just gets worse:-)

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  3. Someone once told me - Punctuality is a waste of time! Many a times, I felt it is true. People don't value time...

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  4. Thanks by dropping by nishdil.
    Ok now that I feel is the heights of justifying something wrong by that person...it holds the hindi proverb 'chori aur upar se seena jori so true':-)

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  5. Knowing you, I'm not surprised at your choice of a topic like this and I hope I'm not 'very late' in reading this ;-)

    Wonderful article, keep it coming!

    Cheers,
    Nas

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  6. :-) No ways for reading a blog there is no particular time as such.

    And you are one of the people who i didnt have to experience the not reaching on time. We used to work like the clock to catch the cab...Ulta baaki sab hamein wait zaroor wait karvathe the....

    Glad that you liked the article.

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  7. Its in the blood. And I don't know when we are going to come out of it.

    When I was in high school, we had a wonderful princi who emphasized on being 10 minutes early to the class/ venue and who lived up to his preaching.

    Later in life I came across "some1" (a very senior member) who preached punctuality but never came on time to preach it even. After having many meeting unnecessarily prolonged because of him, one day, we deliberately started off a very important session without him. Problem solved. These days you ll see him seated even before the juniors walk in.

    I feel such people should be treated that way without even considering the post they enjoy.

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  8. That's a good way to teach someone a lesson. I never got an opportunity to do that rather didnt have the guts to do it:-)But if its on call then its a max of 10 mins of wait and then cancel the meet not bothered about the post of the person who was meant to join.

    I wonder why its so difficult to keep up to a time and most of the time set by the one who is late:-)

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  9. There is an old INdian lok katha about the sadhu trying to save a scoprion in river and the scoprion bites him. The sadhu justifies by saying it is my dharma to save him and his dharma to bite him, so why should I be angry? So just accept that some people's dharma is to be late. IN the mean time, read your book and stare back calmly and happily at any one who stares at you! :)

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  10. Ya probably....Like it or not that's what I end up doing.....Maybe its my dharma to crib about it so i do that too very religiously:-)

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  11. everyones hardpresed for time soumya,,we would be lucky if we can atleast get half of the things done in a day,let alone all of them :)

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  12. thanks joel for stopping by at my blog:-)

    Totally agree with your point and that's the reason its important to keep with time set with other people and respect their time and things that have to do.

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  13. Phew....I guess I will be the last one to respond. The article is so true. Sometimes I wonder why does it happen only with us Indians. I guess we take everything for granted. Even here when we friends meet, we reach the earliest and others take it as one hour later. IST ka matlab we take it as Indian Stretchable Time. Next time tell the time and make the other person wait. That way only realization will come.

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  14. Hey behna.....der aaye durusth aaye atleast in terms of comments:-)I wish i could do that i.e make someone wait....if its a morning meet my mind is alert in the night itself planning the time to start considering traffic jam and all that and if i dont start at that time i start feeling so jittery.

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  15. good post Soumya...no wonder it is called Indian Stretchable Time... very few people today are efficient enough to meet appointment deadlines on time....the saddest thing is many people think it a demonstration of power to keep a person waiting well past appointment time..very well captured.

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  16. Hi priya....thanks for stopping by...
    yes its quite a sad state of affairs in terms of time...
    Glad that you liked it.

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  17. I always prefer reaching venue well before the time

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    Replies
    1. Liked the post...
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    2. Oh that's great to know....More people getting added on to the bandwagon would reduce this frustration

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  18. Touching........
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    Replies
    1. Thanks gwl.....thanks for stopping by....

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