Desis hate being on time for any event or occasion. Possibly the only event that occurs on time (accurate upto the thousandth second) in a desis life is their marriage. Desis have a strong belief in life that no event starts on time. Hence they grace an occasion with their presence only a few hours after its scheduled to begin. For a desi, being late is not quite a fashion (unlike the rest of the world), its more like a tradition. Punctuality is not something that any self-respecting desi will strive for, because if a desi is on time at an event, it means that he’ll be the only desi there, for a major part of the event. Now given a desis predisposition to huddle with other desis, this punctuality business can get very stressful.
One might wonder what a desi a does with all those extra hours that he saves by not being on time. Its not that he’s making extra efforts to bring you the perfect gift for the occasion in that time, he is actually using that time to convince other desis to get ready for the occasion. Asking a desi, “Why are you late?”, can actually be a very sensitive topic for desis leading to some serious responses. This is not the regular “dog ate my homework” kind of stuff we’re talking about, there is usually a solid emotional reason for their tardiness (may involve serious topics like parents, birth , death , India…).
Desis also have a sense of saving time by actually not being on time. This holds true for movies especially. Much time is spent on deciding which movie to watch and by the time a consensus is reached, the show has already started in the hall. Desis like to start from home precisely at this moment. Somehow they find racing the movie trailers a real thrilling experience. For many desis, this is actually the best part of the movie. If they are going to be unacceptably late (more than half an hour in case of a movie) you might hear confident desi voices claiming “all hindi movies have the same beginning, being on time is actually a waste of time”. If they do happen to win the race against the trailers you’ll hear desis claiming victory over all odds and how this achievement is a true reflection of good old desi hardiness.
Desis also have this knack of sneaking into a restaurant just when its about to close. Again,racing restaurant owners and making them keep up their publicly announced promise of “open until 10 p.m.” gives desis a sense of bringing justice and fairness to this world. Also, just like movie trailer racing, restaurant sneaking is considered an exciting activity.
A common tactic employed these days is to actually lie about the scheduled start time to desis. Out of politeness though, some people mistakenly think that fudging the start time by just 30 min will do the trick. This is can be very frustrating if you are the host. Recommended cushion time is actually a couple of hours. The desi then might make it half an hour after the real start time.
Also, be very careful with food invites. Desis don’t like to dine early, neither in the evening nor in the afternoon. So you have to do some serious math if you have to invite a desi over for a meal (variables may include number of desis, your regular meal time, desis regular meal time, type of meal, whether there’s dessert….).