Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Life without tick ticks

The digitalized era has deprived us of many small and simple fascinations that we used to enjoy till four five decades ago.  One of these enthrallments was a rhythmic tick … tick … tick of pendulum clocks.

At the age of six, and being the only child of my parents, I was all alone in the house to rule my world of toys and not allowed to go out to play with the street kids for longer times. So, I fell victim to indulging in my own wishful fantasies and pendulum clocks were my chums and buddies of total solitude.

Sometimes I wanted to take down a clock to place it among my characterized toys to watch them closely.  I never expressed this kiddish desire to my mother for fear of admonition. 

I had created characters of my own choice; both friends and rivals except the clocks.  It never occurred to me to tag them with some names like toys.  

My mother would say "Look at the clock, when it strikes the hour, your play-time would end".  We had two Howard Miller pendulum clocks encased in very beautiful wooden frames that were sent to my father, as a special gift, by a friend who resided in the U.S.

The magnetic appeal would frequently take me to a class-fellow’s house mostly to sneak a close peek at a beautiful German chiming clock hanging in the majestically decorated drawing room.  His parents were rather more fascinated at my watching their clock and termed it “so romantic”.

When I had nothing to do, I used to gaze at the huge dark brown clock in our living room. Its tick ... tick ... tick mesmerized me.  I would move my eyes with the movement of the pendulum in a very soothing, tranquilizing and spiritual rhythm.  And, after a few moments of that hypnotic phase, a kind of very strong energy wave would start radiating in my body moving in a circular motion from head to toe and vice versa.

The hourly striking sound of these clocks also caused a little scare in the mid of cold frosty nights breaking the reign of silence and suddenly disrupting the peaceful sleep in the warmth of silky quilts.

Being the ring master of my very own circus, I always got myself engaged in my universe of toys, each of which was labeled as a special character, to such an extent that my mom had to yell at me to say something or a clock’s hourly striking would break my deep absorption.  The sound always detached me from the rest of the surroundings for a while.

In later years, these clocks kept reminding me of their lively presence in the house.  Every moment of 365(6) days of the year recorded, sometimes low and sometimes loud, tick-ticking during home-studies, listening to radio programmes, lethargic thinking, relaxing or inducing sleep and of course in all weathers and seasons.  There was no escape from those perfectly and mechanically set stubborn sighs of exquisitely designed clocks.

Now while writing this, I feel that those pendulum clocks, part of every urban household in those days, made us feel the flow of time and let the echo of life play a soft but awakening tune for us.

The digitalized era has definitely made some chores of life exceptionally easy, convenient and comfortable for us, but then it has also devoured the mesmerizing tick … tick … tick of pendulum clocks that were a constant source of reminding us of passage of time and evolution of life.

Besides memorable happy moments of childhood, I also miss those tick ticks.

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