How we Indians honour time
If You are reading this, I am myself curious about why we Indians honour time differently than Europeans. So this post is as informative to You as to why Indians are late everywhere, as it is to me.
We Indians are infamously known to be late everywhere. During these 8 years i have been living here, i reach work everyday at 08.15. Maybe once a week i can be at 08.00. My reasoning? What is the difference between 08.00 and 08.15. It is just 15 minutes. When it comes to my training at the school of Capoeira, there hasn’t been many days where i have reached classes 10 minutes before( Sorry Patryk, it is not that i don’t respect You. Let me explain..)
In Poland (generally everywhere in the western hemisphere) time is something which people follow very strictly. If You agree to meet some one at 18.00, You have to be there at least 5 minute earlier. You are not supposed to be at 18.15. It is uncomfortable for the person waiting for me to wait that 15 minutes. Recently my friend told me that if some one would keep her waiting 30 minutes, she would storm off because it means she is not given the respect she deserves. Suddenly my Indian brain kicked in. I asked her ‘What? Really? You would go home?’
Then it hit me. Actually she is right, why would someone wait 30 minutes for a meeting?. Even it is a casual meeting, I shouldn’t be late. But then she explained that i have to call and inform at least 30-40 minutes before the meeting, and explain that i would be late and the reason why it is so. Then it is fine. 80 percent of the time i try to keep my promise and meet my guest at the agreed time.
During my school years, there was not a single day where i was late. At 08 am the school gates would close and no one was allowed to enter past this time. During school days the bus would come waiting for us at a specified time near our home, and if we were to miss it there would be no way to be at school on time. Being late to school would mean meeting with the school head master and i would have to invite my father and mother along for the meeting. The consequences were too much. So everyday 15 minutes earlier i would come and wait for the school bus with the other students.
But problems started once I reached adulthood. Now there was no father, mother to wake me up, or the school head master waiting to punish me. I became my own clock and time piece. Since there were no consequences in becoming late 10 or 15 minutes, I started to lag with my appointments.
I am consciously aware of the fact that being late is not pleasant for the other party. The other person wouldn’t be happy waiting 15 minutes for my arrival. The problem i think is, no one sat and told us Indians the consequences of being late or why it is not pleasant for the other person to wait for our arrival. If You had read my last post about physical punishment in the Indian society, You would have came to know that most of the explaining in India was done through punishments.
Just before writing this post i had managed to post the timings of trams leaving my home in the morning to my place of work, at the front door. I have done the same for the evening classes of Capoeira. Now when i wake up, i quickly glance the bus and tram timings, and then its a marathon to the closet to leave the house on time to the bus stop. If You have any suggestions on how to improve timeliness for an adult, let me know. I know that this post would seem childish for many of You. but please help an Indian in need.