KATHMANDU, May 13: The time on your invitation reads 2 pm, but when you check your watch for the umpteenth time it screams 3 pm.
One could assume that lackadaisical attitude might well be the reason why things move slowly. Many an event has the chief guest arriving late, traffic.
Lately being an easy excuse to throw at the hall full of people. An apology, a couple of jokes on how crazy is these days traffic and people are well on their way to forgetting the injury, however slight.
The traffic could have easily been avoided if only the person had moved perhaps 15 minutes earlier. 15 minutes, is that too much to ask for?
As school children, it was drummed into us that punctuality was a virtue. We were taught to value our time and respect everyone else’s. Indeed, no one could deny that there were quite a few advantages of being punctual.
Being on time meant that we were ready beforehand for the work that lay ahead of us, we actually accomplished our work and there were no one to reprimand us.
However, over time, the concept of being fashionably late started taking precedence over the time honored virtue that was punctuality. And suddenly we are now running our lives around the clock of ‘Nepali time’.
What is Nepali time? The definition would probably go something like this. Nepali time starts at the minimum of 15 minutes later than the scheduled time of a particular event. We have come to expect it and we work our daily routine to fit in with it.
Meetings with friends invariably have at least one person arriving a little late. The friend will have a plausible excuse ready and we might grumble but we really do not mind.
Suman Lamichhane, 25, a student, says, “I make sure that I inform them if I am going to be late and I expect the same from them. But if they turn up late without any prior information I get pretty irritated.”
When did we start disrespecting time? Some claim that they end up being late however hard they might try. Others are just too comfortable in their own little bubble to make an extra effort.
We have attended many events starting half an hour late, sometimes even an hour or more. Talking to Dipesh Ghaley, Chief of Operations at Kgarira.com, on why events rarely take off in the stipulated time, he shares, “There are many factors that add to an event starting late.
Sometimes tasks given to specific people fail to be completed on time. Thus the whole show ends up running behind schedule.
Everyone should be responsible and see to it their designated jobs are done on time.”
When asked what steps can be taken to improve the situation, he said, “Like any other event management company we would like to break off the bonds of the so called Nepali time but we fail to do so.
I think the best thing we can do here is to make sure that each person does his duty. There should be a written agreement in black and white with clear details. Then I am sure people will really start working.”
Yet things aren’t that bleak. There are still more than a handful of punctual people who understand the importance of punctuality. They agree that being good with time management and punctuality eliminates unnecessary worry.
As Anjali Rai, 25, a student from Dharan states,” I feel more at ease when I prepare ahead and complete my tasks on time. I think it just makes the results of my work so much better.”
Tara Devi Rai, 55, a homemaker from Lalitpur elaborates, “My parents taught me that time waits for no one, that there is a particular time for everything. They gave me and my siblings various examples to explain why time should be respected. That is a lesson I learnt well. When I am punctual I have time for all the things I have to do. So it means no worries.”
So surely we can turn around the hands of time and live in those days when time was king.