Monday, January 24, 2011

Life Without Tick . . . Tick . . . Tick!

by Saalik Siddikki

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

When I was about 6 and, being the only child of my parents, also was all alone in the house to play with my toys, I was not allowed to go out to play with the street kids for longer periods.  So, I fell victim to indulging in my own world of fantasies.

And most probably that was the only reason that I got into the habit of deep thinking, creative visualization and self-talking.  I read about these subjects in the fourth decade of my life that, quite interestingly, became my favourite subjects for study and practice.

To be very fair, these three subconsciously developed habits have always played a vital role in saving me from mental collapse on numerous occasions.

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

I had created characters of my own choice; both friends and rivals except the clock.  It never occurred to me to tag it with some name like the toys.  It remained as something very special, beyond fabricated relations that I had with my army of toys.

I remember that my mother would say ‘Look at the clock, when it strikes the hour, your play-time, outdoor, would end.’  I still recall subconsciously visualizing the clock's hands moving to the set time and surprisingly I mostly returned home without inquiring about time from anyone passing by us.  Most of my street-mates were flabbergasted at my accurate perception of the moments when I had to go back home, sometimes even in the middle of the game that I was playing.

We had two pendulum clocks encased in very beautiful wooden frames that were sent to my father, as a special gift, by a friend who resided in England in those days.  My father always expressed his pride in having those valuable clocks sent by his friend.

When I had nothing to do, I used to gaze at the huge clock in our living room.  Its tick . . . tick . . .  tick mesmerized me.  I would move my eyes with the swaying movements 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.

I assume that many people would have had this type of experience at some stage of their life.

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 would yell at me to say something or a clock’s hourly striking sound would break my deep absorption.

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, enjoying weekend gatherings with friends and, lethargic thinking, relaxing or inducing sleep and of course in all weathers.

There was no escape from those perfectly and mechanically set stubborn tick . . . ticks and chimes 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 passing 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 also has 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 badly miss those tick ticks.

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