# A Timed Tragedy

So here I am, with my weekly load of clothes to wash at the Infosys Bangalore Laundry. This service, of course, is the pinnacle of comfort for Bachelors like me who can’t wash a cloth to save the world! But, the realisation of the same is that, just like me, there are thousands of other people who feel similarly comforted by knowing that there’s a Laundry available. This, of course, means that time and machines are at a premium here and there’s a virtual fight being fought to get to a washing machine.

So here I am and I am waiting for a machine to empty out so that I can put my clothes in and let the magic begin. The machine for which I am waiting is going to take about 17 minutes to finish the current wash cycle and then only will the owner of those clothes come and save me from dirty laundry. But what is this? There is another machine in the vicinity and that’s going to take 16 minutes to finish the cycle! What’s even more amazing is that no one has noticed this and there is no queue for that machine. Immediately, the calculations in my mind bring me to the conclusion that 1 minute save is 1 minute invested and I quickly rush to claim this gold mine before anyone else does. Now I sit here primly, waiting for this machine to finish in 16 minutes and lead me to salvation.

They say that the Grass is always greener on the other side. They don’t tell you that on the other side they use paint to make the grass look greener. They say a bird in hand in worth two in the bush. They don’t tell you that the one in hand is tastier than the two in the bush. They tell you that the machine will finish the wash in 16 minutes, while it takes 25 minutes to do the task!

As you may have guessed, as the minutes passed by, I realised that the ‘new’ machine I had invested my time in is taking longer to complete the cycle than the one I left. The time now is 9 minutes on my machine and 4 on the other. It seems, almost, that the machine I will soon be using has ‘more seconds per second’, that is, it is spending more than a second to do a second’s task. Impossible isn’t it?? After all, they’re both the same machines and run on the same power! Then how can two machines be in any way different when they simply are not?!

I guess there really is no explanation for this. I guess my machine was indeed taking more ‘seconds per second’ than any other in the Landry. The final truth is that I spent more time doing laundry that day than I usually do. That indeed, was a very strange tragedy of time!