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The timing matter

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    The timing matter

    I know we always talk about it, behind the walls sometimes, sometimes behind the backs. But I think the phenomenon is 'global' enough now that we need to come out of the closet.

    What's up with Desi timing habits? Whether it's a wedding ceremony or a funeral or simply a potluck get-together, the stereotype is that we Desis are never on time. If the party starts at 6pm, you actually start getting ready at 6pm and arrive at the place at slightly over 8pm.

    Even though the savvy hosts have counter acted many times by giving a two hour earlier time for the occasion, thinking that the guests will make it at the actual time they want them to be (oh, silly them), the strategy has always been completely 'sabotaged' by increasing two more hours from the 'opposite side'.

    As a matter of fact, it seems to me that the guests have developed this sort of intuition or instinct in knowing what's the appropriate time to show up. It reminds me of mother cooking. No matter for how many people she would be cooking for, she would never measure the ingredient like masala, mirch, salt etc. It would always be guesswork, and it would always be right on the money.

    I can visualize our folks deciding on what time to show up. "Hmmm, the party starts at 4pm, ok, I'll get up at 6, take the shower, iron the clothes, and it's only 1/2 hour drive so I'd be there on time, nobody else is gonna show up at 4 anyway".

    I think that not only it has to do with what we are used to (in general) but also that we ignore certain parameters when we decide to go somewhere and be there on time. These parameters could be:

    1- We dont take into account the distance and traffic situation at the time we are planning on deriving.

    2- We have a very rough estimate about every single preparation activity when we plan. For example, you would think that it will take you 15 minutes to iron the clothes, but you completely forgot that you havent picked the clothes yet you are going to wear. Depending on which specific gender you belong to, this itself can take from 15 minutes to an hour (In my particular case it would 1 1/2 hour since I would have to do the laundry first).

    3- We always forget that we are going to forget where we put the keys for the car last time.

    4- There are always some leftovers around in the kitchen that are needed to be refrigerated before leaving (In my particular case, I would take additional 15 minutes to decide whether I should put them in refrigerator or throw them in the garbage altogether).

    5- After you have found the keys, you need to find your wallet.

    Add few more of such factors and you get the picture.

    In West, they say time is money. We love money but we dont care about time, and we are so lucky that we are still getting away with it.

    Wait till our bhabi jan whoever to be in future ...comes ur way, then u'd even forget about complaining I think u better start counting ur blessings from this moment.j/k.

    By the way, its human nature, that we are never satisfied with what we have already.Either we keep on longing for that glorious tomorrow, of utmost perfection, when we'd be all perfect. Or either we keep on thinking about our past, saying Aah it was so much better when so and so.

    But what u said up there is so true about us all. The good part is we get away with it, and still we desis r never too late... when it comes to finding a happy moment in the time frame thats still remaining. Ok, I know this didn't made any sense either.. but ohwell... I'm going by the *save Roman from getting Kachi* deal and I had to gab on my usual jiberish



      #3 So true. Im trying to find something in your post to which I could say na I dont do that

      >>1- We dont take into account the distance and traffic situation at the time we are planning on deriving.<<

      and the time you (ahem I) spend finding the address, plus the time it takes to find a parking place and then actually parking the car (theres never enough place ).

      >>but you completely forgot that you havent picked the clothes yet you are going to wear<<

      After 30 minutes or so, call Ammi jee and ask her to tell you what you should wear - let her find something for another 15 minutes and then reject what ever she finds and wear the first dress you see in your wardrobe

      Hey you forgot to add makeup time plus the extra time you spend thinking what you should do with your hairAnd abbu jee sirf 2 minutes aur after every 30 minutes. And the time you spend making chai for him to buy extra 15 minutes to find matching jewelry

      But the fun part is that youre never more then 2 or max 2 hours late

      [This message has been edited by sabah (edited June 30, 2000).]


        I guess i've been livin too long between these Dutch people---------> very punctual.

        But then again : i must be the one who is the exception which confirms the statement.


          I thought we were the only family who did that ?????

          SO true though..


          ~*~* Gizzy Ki Jaano.. *~*~


            yea roman so true

            one thing i do find different though, atleast for me, is the army dad has been an army person all his life, and even sent us to army schools as kids...and he's VERY punctual...

            at times, i remember being at a dinner on time, and the hosts of the dinner start getting ready after we arrive


              Rom Yara, forget about arriving late. What about not leaving past everyones bedtime?


                I can't deny any of what Roman has listed. At some point or other it's all happened in my experience. No matter how hard we've tried there's always somebody that makes us arrive by desi time.

                The strange thing is that when we are attending a non-desi event....we arrive on time or early. What's with that?


                  ◦◦◦ яQξξ ﺐﻳﻗﺭ ◦◦◦

                  [This message has been edited by rqb* (edited July 05, 2000).]


                    Itne ayashi ki ijazat tu hone chaheye na...

                    Trust me, You'll get pain.


                      Good point Muzna. I think mainly it's because when you are late for a non-desi party, you feel awkward and embarrassed since most of the other guests are already present so there is a communal level 'acknowledgment' of the fact that only you have been not on time.

                      It has been my personal experience that even on non-desi parties, Americans (I use Americans because I only have experience with them) are not always right on time either, but their timing is generally within 1/2 hour time frame of the actual time of the party. Which I think is pretty nominal and does not really amount to being late when it comes to social gatherings.

                      Another thing that I've noticed is that if Americans are going to be late, they would let you know of it, while we desis have a "khula dulla" timing system and consider informing beforehand as being "too formal" or constituting "the understanding that it's unnecessary because the host probably already has some idea that people are going to be late so will be expecting the delay".

                      Ahmadi yar, I have not really experienced what you are talking about so can't really say much. If it's a get-together that I've planned then I personally like to have the guests stay late unless I've some other business to tend to later on.


                        Ha, that's so true! My friend had a get-together recently. He made the mistake of telling a couple of people "I'm calling people for 7:00, so come at 9:00." Of course the word got out and everyone showed up at 11:00 and I was ready to go home and go to bed, yawn.

                        I've also always been punctual?!?! I have to struggle with my impulses not to show up on time.