India’s Take on ‘Daylight-Savings’

Something I had penned down a couple of years ago still makes me wonder whether anything has changed. Here is the updated version…

Having had to deal with clients in the US for work, I’ve been accustomed to their switching time rituals every March and November. The concept of ‘daylight-savings‘, much-needed in places with hugely varying levels of sunlight, seems to amuse us Indians though.

Most Indians, I am pretty sure, are not quite aware of why the concept was introduced, what purpose it serves, when and why it is observed and so on. Some of us take the literal meaning of the word ‘savings’ and wonder what exactly is being saved when time changes twice every year. Then there are some others who know briefly what it is but are unsure of the rationale behind it and continue to live without any curiosity towards it. Finally, there are some others who are aware of it, follow it and know it in much detail, but just don’t give a damn about it.

People who take the literal meaning of the word fail to grasp how exactly what is saved when time is changed twice every year. When you delete an hour from the day once and add it back later, the outcome is a zero-sum game. There can obviously be no gain if, at the end of the year, we are back to square one. “Don’t you have better things to do than to adjust your clocks?”, they might say…

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Then there are the ones who don’t quite understand why someone would do such a thing. Having been exposed to a lot of sun right from our birth, we Indians have not been much accustomed to low sunlight that takes some working hours off. On the contrary, we have so much sunlight that we wish we could outsource some of it to the needy places, just the way the West outsources most of its stuff to India. The lack of its need, coupled with the lack of education and awareness of the roots of this concept, makes these people wonder why someone would feel the need to play around with time. After all, time is not an asset in one’s control, yet there are countries that have the time to fiddle around with time !!!

Finally, there are the ones who mock the West for their better use of daylight. They are the ones who might have lived in the West, are thoroughly informed of the reasons and need to have daylight savings but just don’t care. As a whole, they find the concept of daylight savings a mere notion of trickery thought of by the West to make the rest of the world dance to its tune. Of course, these people clearly misinterpret ideas and end up with unshakeable false beliefs of their own. They would do well as conspiracy theorists, I say.

While these three categories could briefly summarise the take India has on daylight savings, there are millions more who are now educated and, quite frankly, have no say, as such. They are pretty indifferent to such trivial things, caring more about how their work schedules would be affected by the change in time in the West and how they should plan accordingly. I, myself, have begun to make plans to shift my work timings to match up those where my clients are.

Wish me luck while I save time even without daylight savings…


24 thoughts on “India’s Take on ‘Daylight-Savings’

  1. Well, the daylight savings is completely based on longitude and latitude of a location. When you live in a place where it gets dark at 3:00 p.m. in winters, even an extra hour of daylight looks precious. Being a proud indian myself, i believe that a location of a country does not add any value to it. There are many other things, Indians should rather be proud of. Although, its an interesting take on the concept of daylight savings and connecting it with the personalities of people.


    • Hi Geetika, I am well aware of the concept of ‘Daylight Savings’. But recently, during one of our client calls, I came to the realization that most Indians aren’t. In fact, just to confirm my hypothesis, I did ask around before I even began writing. So, this post did have some sort of menial research undergoing behind the composition. 🙂
      Yes I know why the daylight concept was introduced and also why it is implemented. I also agree that the location of a country does not have any impact. However, as I said, the sole purpose of this post was to highlight the Indian ignorance and as you said, connect it with the personalities of Indians. 🙂
      Nonetheless, it was indeed wonderful to have you here. Do keep visiting.

      Thanks a ton.. 🙂


  2. That was hysterical. I loved it! I love hearing about the different ways of thinking between Americans and Indians as we don’t really hear about it much otherwise. I did a post on Daylight Savings where a Native American was quoted and I think most people feel the same-that Daylight Savings is useless. Actually if it’s lighter later in the afternoon then it’s darker in the morning so you are just taking from one to give to the other. Were you talking about the Sun Salutation as a bargaining tool? That cracked me up. “You think I care whether you go back and forth an hour?” and “they have nothing better to do than adjust their clocks.” So funny! Great post!!


    • Wow, it is quite a thing to receive such a positive feedback from an avid writer. Thanks a ton. It’s a huge boost to my morale.
      Frankly, I wasn’t sure how Westerners, if any, would react to this. I thought people would start lecturing me about what DST basically is, why it was introduced and provide me Wikipedia links to ‘educate’ myself before making such baseless comments. But nothing of that sort has happened yet. Phew !!!
      Just to be on the safer side, I had to paste the Note twice !!!

      Yes, I did read your post on DST but that was after I had already composed a draft of this. So, I haven’t really used any stuff from there, but I did find the Native American quote funny. 🙂

      The Sun Salutation was used only in reference to the ‘yoga’ that Indians love to indulge in. It was used apropos the ‘close’ friend context, basically because the Sun is so close to India (at least it feels so because of the heat).

      Thanks again for your valued feedback. I’ll treasure it.. 🙂


      • I loved it and I don’t think you even need to post a notice! I’m laughing again that you feel that you would be lectured. There is a huge gap between our government and how we are perceived in the world, and the people themselves. When I moved to the UK it was when Clinton was president. The first question every one asked me was if we really cared that he had had an affair. Knowing that most politicians have affairs and many marriages are shams I said no, as long as he’s a good president why would I care! In reality, the person who had Clinton impeached was having an affair himself! I think it’s great to talk like this as it brings down the walls of misunderstanding. We only know what we see or what we are told right? I’ve tried the Sun Salutation and found it difficult to do but it is beautiful to see! I got the context, no worries. My only constructive criticism if you don’t mind an unsolicited comment is: to just relax in your writing and try not to worry what others will think. Your football post had a confidence to it because you knew the subject well and didn’t worry what others thought. Again, if I don’t have it right just tell me. You have good ideas and I find that the wordpress community is very supportive for the most part. I didn’t blog for years as I thought my work would be ripped apart but that has not been the case at all! (PS-I did not think you took that idea of Daylight Savings from me, no worries 🙂


        • Haha. I just wanted to be on the safer side, considering that people have become so sensitive about such issues. The recent Trayvon Martin case did spur a huge racial controversy, didn’t it? So, just to be safe, I put up the Note.
          Yes, there is always a huge gap in larger countries between the government and the people. I opine that as an organization, enterprise, community or even a nation increases or expands, this gap only increases further. It’s essential to bridge this gap, one of the most essential responsibilities of the middle management at all levels, one which they don’t seem to be doing very well anywhere.
          Your reply to the question in UK about Clinton is what I would have said too. What matters is not his affair, but his capability to as a President. It should primarily concern Hillary Clinton only. 🙂
          Yes, I agree that there is a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to our (India and US) issues, be it cultural, political, social, economic, or even linguistic. I love to identify stereotypes and use them as I have above.


        • Oh and more importantly, your constructive criticism is certainly the most valued feedback I’ve ever received yet, be it either on FB or even through the comments here. I totally welcome such opinions. In fact, I am grateful to you. So, please do not think I would mind. I LOVED IT !!! Thanks 🙂
          Yes, you are right about me being a little nervous and reserved, almost to the point of being uptight. But here, it doesn’t require much to drag anybody into a controversy. The most trivial and inconsequential tweets by both celebrities and not-even-celebrities have been turned into huge inflammatory remarks. That’s the reason for a little cautiousness from my side. After all, I do want to survive. LOL. 😛
          But yes, I agree that the WP community is very supportive. I’ve observed that in such a short while itself. Luckily for me, most of my readers are like-minded people who will not mind a couple of snide remarks about the stereotypes. Moreover, I hardly doubt that people here would be interested in the opinions of a nobody (me) instead of focusing on the scams and scandals that are currently plaguing the country. So, yea, perhaps from the next post onwards, I’ll drop my guard a little and see how it goes.. 🙂


  3. It was awesome to read. whatever is accompanied with word saving has to be all time favorite for Indians. How did u managed to zero on those three categories of people. There are many categories in India considering our population.


    • Well, firstly, this is not a research paper. So, I haven’t really done enough of a background verification and surveys and stuff, but I did do my bit of research to divide people into those categories.
      Secondly, I am just assuming that ‘most’ people would fall into one of those categories. Those are the stereotypes. In case you are interested, there is another category too – the not-so-customary type of people. I consider myself one of them. We are the ones who know the entire concept, have done our homework before commenting on others and are aware of the cause, effect and impact of the concept. So, we do not fall in the stereotypical category as cited above.
      Thirdly, to consider the categories of over a billion people, I would have had to spend my entire life for a single post. I am just too lazy to do that 😀

      Anyway, thanks a ton for stopping by and reading it. Am glad you liked it. 🙂


  4. Nice take on Day light savings dude. Initially, I was of the same perception like Group B :P,But i guess i was a bit smart in assuming that “SAVINGS” has to do something with DAY or LIGHT and not Bank accounts :P. But down the line, i got a grasp of it 🙂


    • Well, buddy, you aren’t a stereotype, so you won’t be in the same league. But yea, we, because of our ignorance of the concept, often end up looking silly when we travel abroad.
      Thanks a ton for stopping by. I am glad you liked it. 🙂


  5. Even as the disclaimer tries to camouflage the snide remarks, the unpleasant commentary absolutely underscores Indians’ ignorance of many global concepts. And the sad irony of it is that it gets passed off with a couldn’t-care-less attitude. Well written, Sid.
    More power to your thoughts. Let the darts fly out to hit bull’s eye every time ahead. Best wishes…


    • Thanks. 🙂
      The disclaimer has been posted for obvious reasons but as you said, it doesn’t really suppress the impact of the fact.
      Will definitely try to find more ‘bulls to hit’. I’ve got plenty of darts up my sleeve. 😀


  6. Had a nice read…well categorised…i accept that there r more categories…and also d reasons for excluding everything else…this mentality of this zero to this right…thats only mentality people have these days…i eould say there are many more things that are, if not more, but atleast equally important…
    Guess…i am not in a position to comment on the westerners…
    A nice read overall…and the comments by ‘pradnya’ and ‘dana’…
    Keep up the good work sid…


    • Hey buddy, thanks for stopping by. Am glad you liked it. It was just an idea that popped up in my head during one of my client calls. So, I spoke to a few people and hypothesised the rest.
      Keep visiting… 🙂


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