Indian Standard Time(IST) become Indian Stretchable Time(IST). Isn't that a joke done many times over? Never be there on time. The appointed hour stretches to take a new hour! My favorite instance of this is when my friend standing at the door, with one leg outside the apartment while the other inside, engaged in a talk about nothing. Then he suddenly reminds me that he is late as usual by one hour and he needs to starts now to make it for the rendezvous!
I have been on the receiving end of the IST last Sunday. I was waiting at La Défense for two of my friends to show up. The plan was to visit the Marche de Noël, click pictures and enjoy the hot wine & sausages. Unfortunately, I am the first to arrive at the venue. They turn up late as usual. While waiting for them, I realized I was under-dressed for the occasion. So I had to go all the way back to my apartment, change into warmer clothes and come back. My apartment is more than 45 minutes away from La Défense. When I arrived back, my friends have not even turned up! They turn up 4 hours later than the planned time.
The learning experience, other than wearing warm clothes on an extremely cold day, was how people tell you about the delays. The first one fished around for words and admitted he was about to start. This was a good 2 hours later than the initial planned time for meeting. The other friend was very communicative if overlook the fact he went incommunicado for 3.5 hours! Then, he kept sending SMS-es about his current position by typing in the Metro stations. When I noticed an unusually long interval of time between his two consecutive SMS-es while passing between two adjacent Metro stations, I asked him if there was any problem with the Metro lines. The prompt reply was "Sorry, till now I was bluffing. The last SMS was only one truly reflecting my current position."