It is very interesting here in India, when we talk about time.. such as " what time"... " how long will it take.." Whether if you've got your own watch that is accurately aligned with the world's clock... it doesn't matter, when you're in India, you follow their "time".
5 minutes, can means a wait of half an hour up or more. I returned to the phone shop, as my card was not activated still ( after 2 days!), the boy old me 5 minutes... and we chatted and while i still keeping track of the time, i was sure he lose it with all the talking. Half hour later, i asked again, another 5 minutes. That will be an hour, my boy!
I went back, as he promise i will get my phone connected this noon, let's see.
For the class time and schedule, it stated on the paper.... " according to Shala time" ( means to check out the big clock hanging on top of the entrance door) " Shala time" is 20 minutes ahead of the accurate Indian time. If my class is 9am, i've to appear at the Shala at 8.40am; otherwise i'll be considered late!
To play safe, i always reach half hour before the stated time ( which is 10 minutes earlier than the Shala time).
Last but not least, we can safely follow our own time on the watch, if we've got private arrangement between friends, not locals.
And yes, practically mat by mat, no space.
Its interesting, but to be honestly, the energy in the room was amazing... sometimes i get goosebumps during the opening mantra. Its a feeling that i yet find a good word to best describe it.
And so, the funny part that amused me is, Sharath recognize the students, not by name... but by nationality. There was one point i heard him said, " Russian, come over here.... Japan.. japan.. here... you.. French go there..."