Making up for lost time

Ah, the last week end of October. A special time, when children dress up as the monsters they are. And scare the bejudas out of people, as they do from the moment they are born… As special as Halloween is, I love this time of the year for a more mundane reason. This weekend, time becomes time again. Not the pretend stuff we put up with during the other seven months of the year. Soon, we’re to have this fake time for eight months. Yipee! One less hour to sleep everyday. How did the Government guess this was just the pressing problem I wanted them to solve? World peace, eradicating malaria and AIDS, nominating Supreme Court justices – we’ll get around to that stuff by and by. Taking away an hour’s sleep from our citizens, now that’s an urgent problem.

They tell me that daylight savings has a laudable goal – energy conservation. The Government says, “Daylight Saving Time “makes” the sun “set” one hour later and therefore reduces the period between sunset and bedtime by one hour. This means that less electricity would be used for lighting and appliances late in the day.” Forgive me for butting in, but doesn’t Daylight Saving Time also “make” you get up an hour earlier? And since I’m not exactly overflowing with vim and vigour in the mornings, I do not use the opportunity afforded by my waking up in the dark to play hide & seek with my tooth brush, or wear night vision goggles to find my way to the kitchen. This may come as a surprise to you, but I turn on the lights! An hour earlier!

And if you’re so worried about saving energy, I’d suggest that providing a SWITCH for plug points would be a start. I don’t turn off my television, my bed side lamp, my microwave or any of tens of appliances when am hitting the bed earlier as a dutiful citizen. Because I CAN’T. Not unless, I risk life and limb to crawl beneath all sorts of obstructions & unplug the damn device in question. And what of the thousands of stores and offices that leave lights on the whole night? And the all terrain vehicles that are apparantly the only way to go from suburban residence to downtown office and back again, given that one has to cross three rain forests, a couple of marshlands and a stretch of desert on the way? I don’t want to make a list of the ways in which energy is wasted in this country. I’ll simply be wasting even more by staying up all night.

Tell you what, you want to delude yourself that you’re saving energy, I’ll let you kid yourself. Just don’t try to kid me that an hour being taken away in March is simply notional, and this hour is returned to you come October. The hour that will be returned to me on Sunday morning is simply the one I lost the Sunday in March. What about the 200 odd hours I’ve lost everyday in the meantime? And you want to swindle me out of 30 more! If all office workers can be given those 8-9 days off, now you’re talking real savings – imagine, a week’s vacation. No lights in offices, no lifts, no coffee machines, no photocopying or printing or tapping away at computers… Megawatts of energy saved! And if people wish to spend their vacation traveling, or shopping, spending money here and there, that’s good for the economy isn’t it? Isn’t that the same principle as getting a $200 tax return?

Where does all this lost time go? It probably joins the time I save by using a microwave to warm my glass of milk instead of using a stove, the time I save by using a computer instead of a typewriter, the time I save by ordering goodies instead of cooking for Diwali… Is it going into some invisible 401K account, and will be returned to me when I retire? I doubt that. These days, one can’t even retire. No, one is headed for life as an active Senior. I’ll be expected to account for all the time I didn’t spend kayakking or waltzing or golfing when my limbs still move by doing them all when I just want to sleep in late. Perhaps by the time I get to 85 or 90 (yeah, no one retires before then. If you do, you simply move onto a second career – as a writer / consultant / potter / actor, or whatever), they’ll have Daylight Saving Time all the time! And my wish to sleep in late will never happen.

I’m too depressed to continue. I think I’ll go waste some time watching TV. There’re enough people saving time already.


9 comments so far

  1. Falstaff on

    Brilliant! So totally agree that this whole daylight saving time saves energy thing is a total sham. The only reason to have daylight saving time at all is so you have a valid excuse for getting to work late one day in the year.

  2. DoZ on

    Try as I might, I can’t get a handle on the motivation behind something like this. The whole concept feels juvenile. It’s as if we’re pretending that by turning the clocks backwards and forwards by an hour, we’re controlling time itself! I HATE it when I meet the people who think this is a good idea, who claim to enjoy the additional hour of sunlight this gives them… Puhleeze! If you’re so in love with the sun (which btw appears earlier & stays around longer in the summers anyways!) you get up early… I am Dracula’s bosom buddy & frankly prefer to avoid the sunlight…. why can’t you leave me be?

  3. Karthik on

    I vote with you for this one reason:

    “Hello Mom.”

    “Hello. What time is it there?”

    “I have told you a million times. We are 10 1/2 hours behind you. Just add 1.5 to your time and convert AM to PM. It is 12:30 here.”

    “Oh ok. So you add 1.5, is it. Good.”


    “Hello Mom”

    “What time is it there?”

    “You tell me.”

    “Let me see, hmm.. 11:45?”

    “Cool, you got it.”



    “Hello Mom”

    “Is it 12:30 there?”

    “Hmm.. no, actually for the next six months we are only 9 1/2 hours behind you.”

    “Poda. You tell me the time hereafter.”


  4. Ph on

    Yes, there is that reason too Karthik.

  5. swami on

    Yeah, Karthik is right. Happens to me everytime.

  6. DoZ on

    Agree with Karthik. I haven’t yet tried to figure the time difference betwenn here & Europe – I have a vague idea that they might have thier own daylight saving time too… What a nightmare. Ah, the games we play to keep ourselves amused on our little blue green planet…
    PS: Welcome back, Karthik. My sympathies with you & your family – looks like you HAD to have rain, in Florida or as it turned out in Madras…

  7. Manoj on

    It could be worse…you could be stuck without electricity for a week, and then the day you resume work also happens to be Oct 31st. Yipee Yay!
    How about this nugget? “The only major industrialized country not to have introduced daylight saving is Japan.” They might mess up their Rs, but they certainly get their hours right. Ha Ha Ha.

  8. DoZ on

    Good one, Manoj 🙂 Sorry to hear about the power cut, though… Rains = no power… A taste of home for the holidays.

  9. Ganja Turtle on

    Amazing,pachiappas, the logical travesties that can depress peoples in the USA lol 😉 What with a Presidential IQ of 25.2, its no wonder.

    Get outa there,babe!

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