“It seems to me like Hindus consider time as being longer than we do. For them, human life is a cycle (reincarnation), just like the universe: created by Brahma, maintained by Vishnou and destroyed by Shiva. This cycle goes on indefinitely: it has no beginning, no end. I remember hearing this in class: a day in a human life is nothing within the temporal ocean of the universe.
This might explain why, in my experience, many Indians are regularly late. And why it takes them a long time to make one specific thing. I regularly went to the post office to send official documents. Strangely, women are allowed to cut in line. Out of the many booths available only one was open. This of course created this huge queue in the waiting line.
One day, after finally making it to the booth – not without pain, the man who was supposed to tend to my mail sat there instead, drinking his tea, looking straight at us for an approximate 15 minutes. Even the Indians around me were annoyed, I wasn’t the only one! I actually have a friend, immigrated from India, who left because he couldn’t deal with how slow things were. After waiting so much or comparing with how things work elsewhere, some Indians do go bonkers.
This is just an example, there are plenty more where that came from. To get something, especially from the administration, one should have time and be patient.
This habit of being systematically late is a cause for much joking around. We talk of Indian Standard Time (IST). In reality, IST is the +5:30 hour difference with GMT, yes 5 hours and 30 minutes… they wanted only one time zone for India so they cut the hour in half!”
Jodhpur, India, september 2014-june 2015