15 Mar 2016

The Beginning of Time



We were sitting in a cafĂ© talking; gossiping may be. It was more than two hours since we were there, but since we all three enjoying the conversation nobody bothered about the time. Words were flowing just like rivers, continuously. After all it was a reunion after three years. After about an hour or so one of my friend asked what’s the time. It was four hours since we were there and nobody was aware of time. I guess that’s magic of time, sometimes it is very hard to pass, and sometimes we don’t even remember how much time we spent. “Its 5:30.” “No way! It looks like 3:30 out there”, she pointed at the window. “It’s because of summer you Dumbo.” My friend corrected her.
This particular conversation kept me thinking, today we know what time it is? But how do our ancestor used to know what was the time at any given moment?  Because days are shorter in winter as compare to summer. So after coming home when I was bit relaxed, I googled it, how do people used to know the correct time. And google provided me couple of options about some of the time mapping techniques. One of which was, water technique which was developed by Egyptians, it was same like a hour glass, but instead of sand they used water, the other technique was An Obelisk from ancient Greek, a  pointed pillar, tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument which ends in a pyramid-like shape or pyramidion at the top. These were originally called "Tekhenu" by the builders, the Ancient Egyptians. The Greeks who saw them in the Egypt, used the Greek word 'Obeliskos' to describe them, and this word passed into Latin and then English, the shadow of obelisk created because of sun was measured from sunrise to sunset and time was determined. Another interesting method was ‘Sundial’ method the base behind this particular concept was somewhat same as that of Obelisk. But what about the night, well this problem was solved by the very clever Indians. If you happen to visit the Sun Temple at Konark, you will get to know that there is something called ‘Moondial’ along with the Sundial which tells time in the night also. So while setting the standard time for any country people must have taken the help of these techniques. And this is how the first watch they must have standardized.
So today whenever we look at the watch to check the time just be thankful to our ancestor about the techniques they developed to map the time. Because it is not we who invented the time mapping, by discovering the watch, we just improvised the technique of time mapping what our ancestors have invented.
And This is how the Time Began!