Remember the days when inviting a politician meant that your function would be delayed by many hours because they would always be late? Well, it’s gone forever. I was at the India Economic Summit in
It made me think. Whatever happened to Indian Stretchable Time?
Is this just a stray incident, meant to impress the foreigners who were at this conference? Is this the effect of the globalization of
Then another incident caught my eye. My son is 14 years old. His day consists of going to school, attending tuitions, going for tennis coaching, watching TV. All these activities happen at precise times. His school bus arrives at 6.20 AM. His tuition is at 2 PM. His tennis coaching is from 4 PM. There is not a moment to lose. If he is late in one activity, then it affects the next. No time to waste. No time to be late.
My son may not grow to be a politician. But clearly he is going to be as punctual as our ministers are today. Happiness!
This business of ministers being punctual has another special significance.
But in the new
I am a Virgo who has a bee in his bonnet about being punctual. For a long time this has been considered a major flaw in my character. I have arrived at parties only to get glares from my host which softened only when I offered to help them set up for the party. I have had colleagues wonder if I had no work at all – how else could I be so punctual? I have suffered ulcers when my bosses (this term includes my wife) have made me late.
And I have always despaired about this thing they call Indian Stretchable Time.
But now I have hope. Suddenly things seem to be changing. We have all begun to cram our lives more. We all have much tighter schedules. So we can’t afford to be late. This attitude is starting at a young age.
Does this mean that everyone is being punctual? Of course not. Nothing ever changes so quickly. But the trend is clear. More and more people are demanding punctuality. Because they are busy. Because they are more equal. Because that is just the new way. Those who don’t fall in line are suddenly going to discover that they are outdated – a part of the “old guard”. People who didn’t quite get it. Sort of like someone who still uses a typewriter and doesn’t know what a blog is.