There are 24 hours in a day. There are 24 time zones that divide up planet earth. That would make sense, because if there were 30 time zones and 22 hours in a day, every time someone asked you what time it was you would need to take out your calculator and conduct a series of calculations, which statistics have shown you will run out of battery power before you get your answer.
The Greenwich Mean Time is not a type of sandwich but rather what is known as the Prime Meridian – basically the central point. Everything East is ahead of time ‘0’, everything West is behind time ‘0’. So if a man in Mumbai orders a dosa, that takes 4 minutes to get ready, at 3am, what time is it in Tokyo when his cousin decides to change his underwear? This, the amazing people of Hyderabad, is why time and time zones were created, so that one man does not eat dosa while another man is changing his dirty underwear.
Being that we are such a global community, one of the issues that we often face but has never really been addressed is when do you wish someone if they are in a different time zone. Case and point, you live in California and your relative lives in Hyderabad (cause it’s such an amazing place to live). Their birthday is April 1st. Do you wish them on April 1st Hyderabad time, which means it is still March 31st in California? Or, do you wait until its April 1st in California, at which point it’s probably April 2nd in Hyderabad?
Your instinct would be to say, “Obviously after I have performed the calculation using the advanced calculus, I have determined that it is best to always wear clean underwear.” Your second instinct would be to say, “Well, you wish them on the date of the location they are in.” So on March 31st you will wish them on April 1st in their location. While this is the considerate thing to do, is it necessarily the right thing to do?
If you decide that you will wait until April 1 to wish them while it’s April 2 over there, do you now have to explain the time difference issue and that you only remembered because you saw it on the calendar, do you wish them as though you are correct, or do you say wish them and add “belated” to the wishes which indicates that you were late in wishing them?
You can take it one step further and opt to wish them not based on the current location of the individual but rather where the individual was born. So the person was born in Guam but currently is in New Zealand while you are in England. You choose to wish them on April 1t Guam time, which means that by the time you get around to wishing them it will almost be April 3 in New Zealand (I’m thinking of the worst case scenario here).
But wait, it gets more complicated. What if it is an anniversary and the husband and wife are in two different locations like Hawaii and Russia. Do you wish them at the same time? Do you wait until it’s their anniversary in their specific location? Do you wish them based on the location they got married?
While most of you may think that the answer is rather straight forward, it’s actually not. I’m sure most of you have at least one relative or friend whose feelings are easily hurt and would get offended that you didn’t wish them according to their schedule.
You can take the easy way out by wishing them using an electronic mean such as Facebook or email, which will have the message waiting there for the recipient at their convenience.
Believe it or not I still manage to forget to wish people on time, if I manage to do it at all. Next time I promise to wish you while wearing clean underwear.