The perils of punctuality

Punctuality is often considered to be a virtue. But in my experience, punctuality has been a curse and a bane, as I belong to that category of people who are punctual by nature. Though I am pretty easy-going about many things, punctuality is not one of them. Add to this the general Indian concept of Indian Stretchable Standard Time and I have a ready-made recipe for palpitations.

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It begins simply enough. Let’s say, I am meeting a friend at a pre-decided venue at 5.30 pm. I am at the venue by 5.15 pm. By 5.20 pm, I start looking out for my friend, even though there is still 10 minutes to rendezvous time. By 5.35 pm, I have worked myself into a frenzy of self-doubt—is this the correct place and time? By 5.45, I have doubts about the date and by 6.00 pm, I start having palpitations and wonder if there was even a meeting in the first place ! This is usually when the friend I am waiting arrives and says, ”Oh! Were you waiting for long? You poor thing. Come, let’s go and have something to eat. I’m starving.” There are a few variations to this theme, but this is how it happens most of the time. Without fail.

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