14 March 2013


This is an Indian expression I love which is unique to India.

Timepass is ‘passing the time’. Or it can refer to an activity that’s used to ‘pass the time’.

A few months ago, I was on the train in Andhra Pradesh travelling from Visakhapatnam to the Araku Valley. A newspaper vendor was passing through the car. Instead of calling out ‘newspaper’ to attract potential buyers, he said: ‘Timepass!’.

Reading the newspaper is an example of ‘timepass’. Other popular timepass activities are watching TV, eating or sleeping.

Timepass can also be used to refer to a hobby, one which helps pass the time.

Samosapedia defines timepass like this:

“Wasting or whiling away time. Transliteration possibly of Kannada phrase "Kaala kaleyavudu" meaning "losing time," which has the same meaning. Also means doing something for leisure but with no intention of accomplishing anything.”

Timepass seems to be a fine art!


Indian Bazaars said...

I remember that groundnut vendors walking through the train compartments also called 'groundnuts' timepass...It was i guess quite eligible in the category!
Enjoyed reading your post!!

Unknown said...

I still wonder whether all the people sitting on the roadside, just watching cars passing by ever heard of boredom. It really doesn't seem like it. Timepass doesn't have that negative connotation that boredom has, right? I think Indians are a lot less stingy with their time :)