The concept of time

  As I was waiting at the bus stop in the evening and wondering what the time was (was too cold to get the hands out of the pocket),the church bells startled me.  There were some kids on the street who appeared to be calling it a day and heading home on hearing the bells. I wondered that in Europe, probably the church bells were the only means for the common people to know the exact hour of the day. In India, there used to be clock towers or rather Bell Towers (“ghanta-ghar”) for this “time business” in some cities which I assume were constructed during the colonial times. Indians who were keen on exact time invented the sun dials as there was plenty of sun around all the time. The peasants could tell the hour just by looking at the shadows. And after sun down, who wanted to know the time? Sunrise meant start and Sunset meant stop. Life was so much simpler!

Back to the church bells – it is interesting that though so much time has passed since those old days and so much technology is there, the church bells are still tolled. Probably that is one of the connections from this time to a time long ago. How many generations have grown up and died hearing these bells and how many more will continue to hear them! It is one of the characteristic features of Europe – especially in small villages.

Anyway, if useful for nobody else, at least they are for children who can understand when it is time to go back home after playing with their friends :). And for people like me who want to know the hour without having to take out the hands from the pocket…

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