This is a photograph of a real driving school located just opposite to my residence and I see the owner/instructor every day as also some of his students on and off.

A regular feature of this driving school is the very obvious discomfort shown by some actors that I can observe from my veranda but cannot hear.

When the instructor is punctual, the student is sometimes delayed and the former frets and fumes. There are other occasions however when the student lands up only to find that the instructor is either away instructing another student or has not yet turned up. The student in turn frets and fumes and very visibly gets agitated. Waiting for a few minutes the student inevitably leaves the vicinity and the frustration can be very visible. The dance takes place when the instructor almost always lands up no sooner than the student leaves, only to be told by the watchmen located just a few feet away from the board that the student had come and had just left, leaving the instructor much annoyed and frustrated.

Apart from this particular drama another kind also unfolds in the mornings on some days. Three of my neighbours have school going children.  Each goes to a different school but the pick up point for all for their respective school buses is just near this sign board.

The drama is when the bus comes and the child has not yet come.  The driver, honks his horn looks up and down to see if any signal comes from some balcony and after a few moments, moves away.  Within seconds of the bus leaving, the child will appear at the spot and frantically ask the watchman if the bus has come and gone!

In the alternative, the child will wait and the bus will not come for some time after its due time.  The child will go home and get one parent to take it to the school.  No sooner that departure takes place, the bus will arrive!

Real life entertainment for me for which I don’t have to pay for the pleasure of viewing.

This week’s Friday LBC post topic was suggested by me.  I had something else in mind when I suggested that topic but I thought that my readers will find this post more amusing.  Please visit Shackman and Pravin to get their points of view on the same topic.

Pune limps backs to normalcy after blast

Pune is where I live. And I have lived here for nearly a quarter century. The main reasons for my late wife and I choosing to move here was its climate and its very laid back attitude to life. Compared to Mumbai where we had spent the maximum time together and Bengaluru where we were living before we moved here, Pune was a paradise.

So, when I caught sight of this headline, I was stumped.

The Pune that I knew does not run or even walk. Its usual pace is a limp. Its next faster pace is to simply saunter along at a leisurely pace. In fact, where I live and quite a few localities of the city, life goes on at a limpy leisurely pace bar the rush hours due to school/office/factory timings. The Punekar is not to be hurried to do anything. He will take his time.

Take my mentee who for the purpose of this post will remain unnamed though will receive a link to it via email. She has just got engaged to be married and wanted to come and give me the invitation card and to personally invite me to attend the marriage function and the reception in the evening. She rang me up at 11.30 am yesterday to announce her arrival and readily accepted my invitation to have lunch with me. She promptly asked if I needed anything from the city where she was shopping and I gave her the task of getting a couple of things that you get only in that part of the city. She said that she would be at my place at 1.00 pm. That is my usual lunch time. At 1.30 I rang her up and she said that she would be reaching in 20 minutes. I said that I won’t wait for lunch for her and she could have lunch whenever she came. She eventually came at 3.00 pm profusely apologising for delaying but insisting that I skip my siesta and spend the afternoon chatting with her. Thankfully, she got what I wanted instead of forgetting that and as a peace offering brought something extra as well. Incidentally forgetting to do chores is another Punekari trait.

That is the typical Punekar’s attitude towards life. Punekars don’t limp back to normalcy. They are already limping around. And look at the nitwit who planted the bomb. He could not even cause sufficient damage because he did not expect the bomb to explode vertically! I would not be surprised if s/he turns out to be a Punekar.

I am an oddball in this beautiful city because I am always on time and the other people involved are stumped by my punctuality. My hosts particularly can usually be expected to be in their house coats when I land up at their place at the announced time.

I would not like to live in any other city.


Come Thursday evenings and that is exactly how I feel. The Friday deadline for the LBC posts hangs over my head like a Damocles Sword. But almost always, my Muse makes it possible for me to meet the deadline. Having said that, let me share a story.

On last Friday, my young friend Srinivas suggested that we meet for a cup of coffee at 4.00 pm, because, he did not want me to miss my daily siesta yet he wanted enough time to spend on a chat before he had to leave for another appointment. It started to rain by about ten minutes to four, so, I took an umbrella and strolled down to our favourite cafe which is conveniently within walking distance from my home. At exactly four I entered the cafe, and sat down to wait for Srinivas.

Srinivas turned up ten minutes later and was most apologetic for the delay and said something remarkable. He said that this was something he found amusing that people of my generation like me and his father where so punctual! Now, the problem is not that Srinivas was late deliberately. He had parked his car outside the gate of my residence to catch me come out so that I would not have to get wet in the rain and waited in vain. He rang me on my phone, which I had conveniently forgotten to take with me. He then asked the watchman to find if I was still at home. When the watchman told him that I had gone off somewhere, he drove down to the cafe. So, I did compliment Srinivas for being punctual too, and it was nice to see him blush! He told me that he ‘expected’ me to be on time unlike most others that he knew!

Now let us get back to the LBC. Leave aside the old bandicoots who inevitably post before deadline, the younger lot either post late or not at all.

Is this some kind of natural selection process that with the passing of time, the newer generations change values and discipline? Do they operate on flexible dead lines and time tables? Or am I the odd guy around here with quaint old fashioned values of being punctual and meeting deadlines?

I hope you enjoyed reading this post on the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where thirteen of us write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by Padmum. The twelve other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Anu, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Maxi, Maria SF, ocdwriter, Padmum, Paul, Shackman, The Old Fossil and Will. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too!


“I’d like to widen people’s awareness of the tremendous time span lying ahead — for our planet, and for life itself. Most educated people are aware that we’re the outcome of nearly 4 billion years of Darwinian Selection, but many tend to think that humans are somehow the culmination. Our sun, however, is less than halfway through its lifespan. Six billion years from now, it will not be humans who watch the sun’s demise. Any creatures that then exist will be as different from us as we are from bacteria or amoebae.”
~ Martin Rees, cosmologist and astrophysicist

What statements such as this fail to address is something that puzzles me. Surely, the sun is also changing? Six billion years from now, surely, it will not be the same sun that we see today?

I believe, as many others do too, that time is the biggest joke that man has thought of for himself. Let me just give a couple of examples of why it is such a joke.

Take the nearest star that all of us can comfortably see from the earth. The Sun. The sun that we see is 150 million Kms away from us. It takes sunlight a little more than 8 minutes to reach the earth. In other words, in those eight minutes, anything could have happened to the sun and we would be still thinking that the sun is alive.

Similarly, the brightest star in our skies is the “dog star”, Sirius. It’s the primary star in the constellation of the big dog, Canis Major. Sirius is roughly 9 light years away. Think of what you were doing 9 years ago. That’s when the light we see from Sirius tonight first began its journey to us. In other words, Sirius could well be dead when we think that we are still seeing it!

My surgery is scheduled for the end of September. My discomfort makes that seem like an eternity. Days do not seem to run fast enough for my liking.

On the other hand, a visit from an interesting friend, though lasts for a few hours, seems to fly like minutes and I don’t seem satisfied with the briefness of the visit.

All well meaning advisers advise to concentrate on the NOW. That is the only reality of time. Try it. If you can permanently live in the NOW, you would not be reading this post.

This is not a problem that I have started to grapple with recently. The same issue troubled our friend Socrates too in his ‘De anima’. “The Undivided ‘now’ of sensation must rest upon a duration with which it does not altogether coincide, the present moment must conceal, within itself, the passing of another, immeasurable by its own standard.. It is another time; to the degree to which time cannot admit of varieties of itself, it may well be something other than any time at all.”

Having confused myself thoroughly and perhaps my readers, let me now come to the conclusion about why Indians are never on time. For that I take you to another post of mine. I was confused then and continue to be confused now too.


The Late Rummuser

He Laughed All The Way

To His Death.


That is the obituary that I hope my son will put in the papers when I go.

This is not quite what gaelikaa had in mind when she suggested this topic for the weekly Loose Bloggers Consortium where some of us post on the same topic every Friday.  I suspect that this is what she had in mind.

I can’t for the world of it, ever be that caricature.  It is simply not in me.  That, despite being an Indian notorious for our tardiness.  I was brainwashed by a number of well meaning people to be very un-Indian when it came to punctuality.

I have nothing more to say.

Are you punctual?

As I had indicated in my Saturday’s post, this is the third post to answer the seven questions that Grannymar had asked in her meme.

Yes, sickeningly and unusually for the stereotyped Indian, so.

I quote from a blog post – “Punctuality is the virtue of the bored, said Evelyn Waugh. Many Indians would gladly agree since they seriously have a problem with punctuality. Let’s get some tips on dealing with tardiness.

Indians have always had a laissez-faire attitude towards punctuality. We have never let ourselves be ruled by the clock. A quick scan of a few websites on Indian social or business culture and you will find a common refrain in all of them: ‘Indians appreciate punctuality but may not reciprocate it’. Added to this will be a warning to keep your schedules flexible while in India or while doing business with Indians.

Obviously this is a generalization and all Indians cannot be judged by this yardstick. Every society has punctual people. And every society has people who make you wait just to show you how important they are.”

I do not know whether I should be pleased with myself for being in the group of punctual people or disappointed that I am not like the stereotype.

What do you think?