I was supposed to have been in Tuticorin today, to sign papers for a loan. Tickets were booked, documents were ready. I got a call literally 10 minutes before I boarded the bus. The Finance company proposed to postpone the signing by a day. Why? Because today is Ashtami and it is inauspicious to sign papers on Ashtami.
I wanted to scream like Vivek asks in a Tamil movie, "Buggers, you take so many guarantees from me and make me sign in tons of papers, still you want me to sign on an auspicious day?". Ofcourse I didn't. I said politely, "No Problem. I will postpone my trip by a day". After all they are the lenders.
This is an important factor in doing business in India. Auspicious time is chosen by favorite astrologer (if you can afford one) or by consulting the panchangam. No documents are signed during Rahu Kalam or Yamagandam or on Ashtami days or Kari Naal (I don't know what this means). Probably the availability of fewer days to do business is hampering the productivity of India. Here is Madman's similar experience in Bangalore.
A relative of mine takes it to the extreme. He leaves home for a 6.30 train to Tuticorin at 6.00 PM, which puts enormous pressure on the driver. The reason is on Sundays Rahu Kalam is from 4.30 to 6.00 PM and he wants to leave after that. I asked him smartly, "What would you do if the train left at 5.30 PM". He came back with "I will leave home earlier than 4.30 and wait at the station" .