When the clock strikes 12 it is either mid-night or noon. That is a simplistic answer. Most clocks I know, even the Big Ben clock tower in London or Gantaghars in Delhi, have a record of being a little too slow or a little too fast depending on the season. From their chime one could only say it is only nearly 12pm or 12am.
A clock is a clock whether it works or not, unlike humans who suddenly become bodies and are cremated or buried when their heart packs up. A more complex phenomenon is that people all over the world are in different time zones. Countries have their own time zones. It is not midday or midnight for everyone at the same time. My morning in India is your night if you are in the US. It is not the same cup of tea, you see! More fundamentally the day and dates are different for countries in in different hemispheres. Yet in the modern world businesses all over the world are interlinked.
Historically India became free when the clock struck 12 on the night of 14th August 1947, and it was the dawn of freedom at that precise moment. Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister delivered his famous ‘India’s tryst with destiny’ speech in the Parliament at that moment to usher in our freedom from bondage from a colonial power that is today lecturing the world about democracy and tolerance! I was destined to be in the Capital at that moment. The community gathered near our house, hoisted the Khadi tricolour, saluted it and sang the national anthem with a lot of emotion. We congratulated each other and distributed sweets. I was all of 7 years then, but have photographic memory of the occasion.
The long hand of clocks everywhere have gone round and round since that all-important day for nearly 7.7 million times less down time for repairs. I feel that human hands that claim to work round the clock are grossly exaggerating their own performance.
Sadly every journey has an end point. Today we don’t use clocks for knowing time. Very few of us wear watches except as an ornament or for making a statement. There is no musical chiming sound. At best we set our cell phone to sound an alarm for getting up in the morning. Public Clocks are only the nearest historical land marks for locational identification. Even there Google is miles ahead. Many of them have frozen hands with no movement at all. However, clocks have the chance of survival as becoming antiques with value addition.
WFH has changed our work culture and the role of the time piece. Punctuality in attendance has lost its significance. In the past some great leaders were known for their punctuality and others had a dubious reputation for breaking it. Significantly in the same period the measurement of time has become more and more accurate. We have milliseconds, microseconds, nano seconds and so on. Split second has become an obsolete expression. It is no more just hours, minutes and seconds. My prediction is that in the not too distant future the time scale will undergo a metric conversion.
To end the story, let me narrate a time related story. There were 3 friends. Two of them had observed that their otherwise normal common friend tended to behave crazily at 12 Noon. They politely brought it to his notice without offending him. He denied their allegation and challenged them to prove it. They met the next day at 11.30AM and placed a time piece on a table with the alarm set for 12noon. As the time approached the designated hour the friend under test repeatedly said “See, nothing has happened to me”. As the alarm finally went off, he was elated that he had passed the test. In joy he lifted the time piece and smashed it on the floor. End of story.
This is my take on this week’s Friday blog post topic suggested by our young blogger, Sanjana. Do drop in to see what the other bloggers in this group have to say on the same topic every Friday. Shackman, Conrad, Ramana, Sanjanaah, Gaelikka, Srinivas and Padmini.