Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Daylight Savings Time it has been argued has many benefits in countries in the northern hemisphere where advanced economy and work conditions demand such an adjustment. Suddenly, you wake up one morning at 7am and realize that its after all only 6am and go back to sleep or worse wake up at 7am to realize that it is 8am and you are horribly late. Over the years, people have got used to it and accepted it. But it is not so in India. In a country which spans across three time zones – literally Manipur is to the east of Bangladesh which is half an hour ahead of us and Gujarat is below Pakistan which is half an hour behind IST – we have shown lethargy akin to inertia in implementing this concept. So what would happen if suddenly one day we implemented DST?

The ruling party would lose the next general election. Minorities would move to Supreme Court crying foul over discrimination because many would have never seen a digital watch in their lifetime. The government would pass a law that by March 31st everyone should buy HMT manufactured DST compliant watches which the CPI(M) would oppose as being as being pro-America. Mamata Banerjee would declare a 24 hour bandh in Kolkata which would be supported by all opposition parties. Meanwhile, Titan would protest over the deal to grant HMT the right to manufacture DST compliant watches. Several MPs would resign and go to jail over the DST contract scam.

When DST would actually be implemented, there would be a grand launch party where Shah Rukh Khan would dance to the songs of his latest movie and say “Kuch aur wish karo, DST karo!” and Amitabh Bachchan would hold a platinum wrist watch in his hands and smile “Do DST ke boondh, zindagi ke liye” The annual Filmfare awards would be held twice a year on DST implementation days which Aamir Khan would not attend because he never believed in such awards while Arundhati Roy and Medha Patkar would stand outside the auditorium and protest that DST would harm the environment. Ekta Kapoor would modify the script of Kasauti Zindagi Ki where Prerna would marry Bajaj in one DST phase and Anurag in the other. Rohit Bal, Neeta Lulla and Sabyasachi Mukherjee would design a DST line of clothes for the next fashion week where Shahid Kapur and Saif Ali Khan would walk the ramp while Kareena Kapoor would cheer from the sidelines. Dev Anand would make a new movie called “Love in DST” starring a 16 year old girl who was born when 6am became 7am.

Our day and night cricket matches would be scheduled by DST and senior cricketers would not play test matches citing injury, while junior captains would declare that only young cricketers whose bodies can adjust to DST will be a part of the team. The hockey and football federations would protest that in addition to giving preferential treatment to cricket, DST was another means to make these sports unpopular. Sania Mirza would be sued for wearing a DST compliant watch sporting the Indian tricolor that would fall from her wrist during a match. Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupati would once again team up to face the challenge of playing under DST circumstances. The Indian Olympic Association would declare that with DST, India is now truly world standard, and therefore demand that ‘pittu’ be made an Olympic sport.

The common man would be totally confused because Doordarshan would forget to adjust the clock as per DST while the private channels would remember. Aaj Tak would interview people about how they felt about DST. Vodafone and Airtel would face a network outage on DST days and nobody would know the time. Anil Ambani would buy a Rs. 10,000crore DST clock that he would install outside his corporate office and name it after Tina. The Mumbai Stock Exchange would lose an hour on DST days and people would howl in distress because they lost crores in a bullish market. Government employees would demand and be granted overtime in winter. The chief agenda in the opposition party’s election manifesto would be to have two new national holidays on DST implementation days.

Well, thank God! No one’s thought of DST as yet!

This piece was inspired during a conversation with the great Oirpus. Not only is this piece dedicated to him, all litigators are requested to contact Oirpus.