Living in a different time zone

It was a lazy Sunday morning. I woke up without the alarm screaming in my ears. The new habit of checking my mobile phone for time made me see the clock on the screen that showed 8:00 am. I had a video shoot at 10:00 am at office that day, so I got ready and left home as my phone screen showed 9:12 am. By the time I rode from KR Puram to Banashankari, it was 9:50 am. The bike ride was unusually pleasant, considering the time of the day. On my way to the office I crossed Lalbagh Botanical gardens. I saw many people coming out of the gate after a morning walk. I thought to myself that these people have been lazy today, imagine a fresh morning walk at 10:00 am.

I messaged my team that I would be delayed, would reach office by 10:20 am, and they should get started with their preparations for the video shoot. Some minutes later, at exactly 10:20 am, I reached office and was surprised to find it empty.

I messaged my team again that I had to leave by 12 noon as I was travelling to Hampi the same afternoon and needed them at the office soon. The response was a casual “okay, will be there.” As I waited for the team to arrive, I called a partner for an update on some magnetic sticker designs. He also casually told me that I should call him at 10:15 am and he will have an update by then. I couldn’t comprehend that statement and out of curiosity asked him how I could call him at 10:15 am the same day when it was already 10:30 am. He said in a confused voice that it was still 9:10 am and I need to call him an hour later.

Just before this call, I had turned on my laptop on and glanced at the computer’s clock, which showed 9:00 am. Not believing what I saw, I had told myself that Windows 10 had lost its time sense 😊. But when my partner friend mentioned the time, I couldn’t believe my ears.

Everything just stood still for a minute as it hit me hard what had just happened. In a flash, I thought of the walkers at Lalbagh and the ‘supposed’ delay of my team’s arrival, and the time on the laptop. I had only followed the time on my phone’s clock and believed it blindly. I had not checked the time on any other clock during the last two hours.

The actual time was 9:30 am and my phone showed 11:00 am. When I checked the settings, I found out that the time zone was mistakenly set to a different country. That is when I realised why my team was still on time and I was mentally living in a different time zone, even though physically in Bengaluru.

For the first time that day, I looked up at the sky and noticed that the sun was closer to the horizon, hadn’t risen high. It wasn’t a cloudy day either. The astronomer in me felt ashamed at this blatant oversight.

I was mortified at how blindly I had followed the mobile and never bothered to crosscheck and verify the technological error, through my personal expertise. While I pride myself on my multifaceted abilities, this lesson needed to be learnt. I also pondered on how much we youngsters depend on this 5-inch wonder and expect it to be always right.

At the same time, I also appreciated the importance of being present at the moment and cherishing every aspect of it. If only I had looked at the position of the sun, I would not have written this article. So, was it good or bad? I am still wondering.

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Sriraghavan S M

Sriraghavan (Raghu) is an Astronomer by qualification (MSc, Astronomy, Bangalore University) and a teacher by passion. He is a trained counsellor and psychotherapist. His firm belief and conviction to transform the education system in India led him to be an entrepreneur through NumberNagar®. His core work at NumberNagar® revolves around product presentations, academic content, and training. He teaches Maths and Science to young students, rubbing off his passion to them. He trains teachers as well, inspiring them to better themselves. He has taught Physics in educational institutes, during his early career days. He has travelled extensively all over Karnataka, training teachers and popularising Astronomy. He advocates multiple intelligence and is constantly on the lookout for new things to learn. He is ambidextrous and enjoys sketching. He was an avid cricket player in his younger days. He is an enthusiastic biker and uses long solo motorcycle rides as means of reflection and rejuvenation.

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