Friday, March 2, 2012

Any time means no time

An American in America stops to help me. I say 'Thank you for helping me with the bags' and he shrugs and says 'Anytime'.
The Indian in me is confused. The coin gently tinkles into place. 'Anytime' - it is like saying -no problem.
It is maybe a contraction of - Oh! I would be happy to do it for you any time!

That takes me back to Calcutta... and a totally different use of "Any time"
We had uncles and aunties at the culture-club where we met on Thursdays ... friends of our middle class parents, secretly feeling a bit uppish because they worked on higher pay-scales. At the end of the social gatherings smiling adults would nod and say to each other ... haan so let us meet outside also. Do visit us with your family - Any Time. ... Banni yava-glaro!
meaning ... well .. it's hurry...don't take it too seriously!!

Our friend Ajit has to develop 3 avatars today.
twenty days ago his boss handed him a file and said not priority... do it any time you are free
2 months back his friend got a lovely baby girl. He decided to visit them... sometime ... Any time.
5 years ago he married. She had said let's go for a musical concert. He said, sure ... anytime
and today the file, the baby visit and the are due. They have all said TODAY!

Truth is
when you hear - any time - you can assume the job will remain - not done
we work on - dead lines - and if no dead line is set, the job just does not get done.
that is a reality
Any time means no time

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