In my opening blog piece – New Avatar – I referred to my son and his wife conceiving around the same time. His ‘baby’, a revamp of MyMysore.com, came out in September. Meera took longer to deliver Siddharth – nine months, to be precise. I don’t suppose genetic engineering has yet come up with a mechanism to shorten the process or devised an enabling technique to have a baby without pangs. Mid-way through the 24 hours that Meera spent in the labour room my son sent an e-mail saying she was going through severe discomfort and pain, but managing with great calm and confidence. And this was just a build-up to an excruciatingly painful finale that took several hours in coming.
The FIR (first information report) said the new arrival weighed 6 lb.13 oz., was 20 inches long, fair, with a headful of jet black hair. Time of birth: 7.03 a m (in San Francisco); 8.33 p m (IST).
I don’t know if other NRI parents ponder over this: Which time do we take into account to draw up the child’s horoscope? US, or the Mysore time? “Our time, of course, 7.03 a m,” said Meera, from her Oakland hospital bed. She made sense.
My thoughts, however, are philosophical, if utterly anachronistic. Astrology, presumably, predates America by thousands of years. Legend has it that someone in Ayodhya drew up Lord Rama’s horoscope, which was ages before they invented the concept of Time Zones. If there hasn’t been much change since, in the way we draw up horoscopes, wouldn’t ‘India time’ be more compatible than the relatively recent US Time Zone phenomenon? A swift Yahoo Search reveals that Time Zones were first instituted in US by railroads on Nov.18, 1883, though an amateur astronomer, William Lambert, had reportedly made a plea in 1809 to the Congress for establishment of time meridians.