• IST stands for Indian Stretchable Time and not Indian Standard Time

We say that we value time; but do we do so in reality. We make it convenient to adjust timings as per our convenience and do not think about the philosophy of time at that moment. Let us start following time strictly instead of stretching it to our convenience without any regard for the valuable time of others. Join this discussion and give out your serious thoughts about the issue in addition to your own experiences.

I am sure most of you must have seen, heard or even experienced the following situations around you-
When a person is late to office and his boss calls him up, he replies "I got stuck up in some urgency, so will be there in another 10 mins". While reality is that he is well aware that he is not going to reach office before 30 to 45 mins. Similarly you are waiting for doctor's appointment and doctor does not turn up on time. You go and ask the attendant and he says " Doctor is stuck in traffic, he will be here in another 15 mins". You are relaxed and wait only to find that doctor comes in after one hour. There are many more similar situations happening around us and we, as Indians, are more or less now accustomed to it and I guess also very well known for this.

All this makes me wonder why on earth we are not transparent when we talk about timings. Does IST stand for indian standard time or india stretchable time? If it is going to take half an hour we know then why do we say 5 mins or 10 mins? Why can't we straightaway say half an hour? Are we afraid to say the real time thinking that how person at opposite end may react? Or have we got into habit of this? Or we do not value the time? Sometimes this habit may misguide others who are not very used to so called IST.

I do not say everyone is like that but still I observe that as Indians, this is very common among us. IST being so popular many people have already formed their own mathematics as to how to interpret time in Indian context. Mathematics is like below:

5 mins = 30 mins

15 mins = 1 hour

1 hour = 2 hours

So I have seen people extending the time as per their own calculations over the time they are told. Assumption is that things are always going to start late than mentioned timings. If function is to begin at 5 PM time given will be 4 or 4:30 PM keeping in mind people's mentality to follow IST.

It is said that "Time and tide waits for none". Time is precious, let us value and give respect to it. It would be indeed nice if people get into habit of mentioning near to real time estimate rather than loosely speaking any time figure that comes in their mind. Also it would be great if people start taking time seriously and do things as per mentioned timings rather than stretching the time as per their own calculations and mathematics.

Let us see if we ever get to see a day when IST will again stand for "Indian Standard Time" rather than "Indian Stretchable Time".
• The author had nice dig at those who wont follow time and yet disturb the timing of others who keep on waiting for him or her. I have invariably seen that politicians are winners in this case. They wont land up at the venue in time and the organizers has to keep on calling the guest as to when he is going come. And after coming he keep on talking rubbish as his speech and thus further irritates the audience. I am fed up with those who wont follow time and ask us to wait for some more time so that they would visit certainly. May for this reasons even our trains run with up or loose timings.
K Mohan
Even this challenging situation would ease

• Never be on time and hope to be happy in our Indian set-up, this is what i've learn't for meetings, functions, awarding ceremonies and services (private and public). Not being on time is often considered as a liberty that's taken for granted.

But if you see the offices wherein they have to punch in time and out time, see the pizza delivery 'x minutes or else money back,' small but busy hotels wherein things happen like a well-oiled machine on time (buying a token, quick counter service and cleaning service). People do things on time or well before the allocated time. Both happen in India, if you see why, I think it's the knowing the value of time and the fear of penalisation for not keeping on time.

So unless we understand the importance of time and get penalised for being late or get paid for being more efficient, the start time will be stretched for a long time to come.

• If we follow IST and maintain punctuality, people would consider us as weak and don't pay attention with no care. But if we are late, people will wait, anticipate and respect us. So, punctuality is a word that doesn't fit Indians.
No life without Sun

• We have earned this name internationally that "Indian will always be late. We don't value the importance of time". It was shocking for me to know that we have this name abroad, I got to know when I went abroad for my studies and during my induction in IT company.

Time is money if you don't value it you end up paying heftily for it.

The author has brought up a very relevant thread, to be honest when I read the title I was afraid that did I learn the wrong expansion of IST all these years.

• When I joined office in Delhi, following the advice of my parents and to remain in the good books of Officers, I started reaching office at sharp 9 in the morning. However, after some days, the sweepers strictly asked me not to come to office before 9.30 a.m. because they used to start working at 9 a.m. (although their shift used to start at 8 a.m.) and continue till 9.30 a.m.
However, till now I have not bothered to listen to those sweepers despite so much difficulty! I still don't follow IST.

Beware! I question everything and everybody.

• In India delaying things is indicationthat we are busy. Coming to meetings late indicates the greatness of the person. If somebody follows the timing strictly he will lose time. The other day I was called for a meeting. Generally I maintain Indian Standard Time . The meeting is supposed to start at 4 PM. I was there on dot 4 PM. Only a few people were there. The time given is 4 PM to 5.30PM . Even at 5PM the meeting not started. I told the Organisers that it is getting delayed. The meeting started at 5.15 PM. I got up came out at 5.30PM. The chief guest got annoyed. I told him that we will also other commitments. Nobody is having right to spoil other's time.
Everybody should respect the time. A time given should be followed. But I don't understand when our Indiansrealize the importance of time. In many organisations also the Chirmanwillcome very late for the meeting. All other people will be waiting for him. Here he wanted to show his importance to all. Once in one of the meetings in my previous company, I have presented a ppt on time Management. In that it was mentioned15 top officers waiting for an for the arrival of Chairman. 15 manhours of senior executives got wasted without any output. It is almost 2mandays of senior-executives. The Chairman of the company got annoyed.But I never bothered.
Punctuality is very important. But everybody is having an habit of not sticking to given time.. When compared to this kind of situations, an employee telling 10minutes instead of30 minutes is not a serious issue,
But time management is always important whether it is small or big.

drrao
always confident

• In India, no one is punctual to follow IST except the people of the defense forces who are very regular and punctual. They don't miss a second. We can see them advancing with time. All others are lazy.
No life without Sun

• It is generally taken for granted that we need not keep punctuality.

I have heard my elder colleagues, who had their stint overseas, narrate how people in those countries adhere to timings and keep punctuality.

However it is wrongly ingrained in our habit to believe that there is always a grace and cushion of time (even of hours) on every scheduled even when properly time scheduled. Certain people like the political party leaders and celebrity invitees feel it below dig to come on or before time. Knowing this the other invitees and participants and observers also come late. Not only that,many leave early also.

However, I had quite different experience with the meetings conducted by an organisation whose members are retired employees from different organisations. All the meetings and programmes conducted by them started do on time and ended as per schedule to the minute. Due to that reason, no one left early and were fully involved in the events. I found this contrary to the quotation that "'it is irony that they gift a watch to a retiring person a watch, when actually he no more needs to keep time afterwards".
What I experienced was the real irony.

• It is a fact that we do not give much importance to punctuality. It is true, as some of the members have stated above, that we often take it for granted that being late for a few minutes is fine. We are used to saying 'just a second' or 'just a minute' whenever we require a bit more time from another person while the time we actually take will be much more than that. I agree with the author that even if we are not able to keep the timings, we need to be responsible enough to mention the difference with the most probable accuracy. Suppose you are to reach an office at 10 A.M. but you know that you won't be able to reach before 10.30, it is always better to say that you would be there by 10.45 instead of excusing yourself for five or ten minutes. This would not only spare the other person from making another call but also would allow him to utilize those valuable minutes for some useful purpose instead of simply waiting for you.

We keep saying about the importance of time but seldom strive to be punctual. An effort to be punctual can help you in being disciplined and can improve your personality. I agree with the response by Sun at #612791; the members of the defense forces are punctual because they very well know the value and importance of time.

'Our knowledge is a receding mirage in an expanding desert of ignorance'- Will Durant.

• Not only the members of the armed forces, but also all successful people understand the value of time. It may be a different issue that after achieving success, some of them forget the value of time. Some of the cine-stars can be cited as example. However, for long-time success, punctuality is a must. From the Indian film industry, Amitabh Bacchan is an example. He is very punctual and he has been successful in Mumbai film industry for more than 45 years.
Beware! I question everything and everybody.

• It is a fact that we Indians do not stick to time schedule, just as our trains running to and fro. It is jokingly said sometimes when one came late that he was keeping IST.
It has been well accepted now that any meeting start here late. If it is to be attended by a political leader, then there is no question of starting in time. These people give words to different people to participate in their meetings, almost within a very short period. To add to their support there will be traffic block too. This Late starting of programmes have become a well accepted formula here. Nobody expects a programme to start in time these days. It has become Indian Stretchable time as given by the author.

T.M.Sankaran
Gold Member ISC