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Watching how the time changes

All the wrist watches in the watch case, have run out of batteries. They have been like that for a couple of months now. I want to revive them back into life, wear them, and watch the time tick away. Yet, I have not done much for that to happen. Last evening, as I was getting ready for a party, I opened my wardrobe. I found the beautiful silver box, inside which I have lined up my watches, jutting out from an over-crowded drawer. As I nudged it in and pushed back the drawer, I realised for the first time, that I don’t miss wearing a watch! I had declared that I was ready to wear a wrist watch the day I learnt how to tell time. Of course, my parents thought otherwise. Naturally, whenever I got an opportunity, I would sneak up to the cupboard where mom kept her watch and try it on. It was a small watch with a black strap and a round white dial. It was hard to hook up the strap. So, I would simply place it on my wrist, admire it for a few minutes by holding both ends of the strap and then, put it back. When I was ten, a new girl came to my class. The girl, Anitha, wore beautiful dresses and carried a shoulder bag with pretty prints. Most of the things that she had amazed us — like the pencil pouch with magnets or the pencil with an eraser on the other end or even the full length scale.
I took care of the watch — wiping it with a neat cloth every now and then and making sure the dial had no scratches. I wore it, the first thing in the morning and took it off, last thing in the night Sudha Subramanian But, the best part was — she wore a watch to school! “Imagine knowing the time when we are at school”, we all whispered to each other. The watch she wore had us all enamoured. It was a small watch with a golden strap that had little chain dangling about. “It is gold”, the other girls told me one evening. “It is bright and shiny alright”, I agreed. I imagined myself wearing one such watch and looking at it during school hours. I dreamt about wearing it on Sundays and other holidays. It felt good but I never gathered enough courage to ask my parents for one because, I knew in my heart, that, watches were expensive and were simply not bought for kids. My parents probably read my mind, because, one day, when I was thirteen, my father decided to get me one. Although, it hardly resembled Anitha’s watch, it felt perfect. It had a brown dial with a bright yellow strap. I was thrilled. I took care of the watch — wiping it with a neat cloth every now and then and making sure the dial had no scratches. I wore it, the first thing in the morning and took it off, last thing in the night. Some days, I even wore it to bed and took it off only when I had to shower. I wore that watch, every single day, for the next decade. Two years, after I got married, I wore that watch on a hiking trip. The path was rugged with many streams criss-crossing. It was a beautiful sight — lots of oxygen, fresh green trees and cool air. As I hiked pausing every now and then to take in the sight, I slipped and fell. That was the last I saw of the watch. No amount of searching yielded any result. I sat on a nearby rock and mourned the loss. Today, as I count, I have nearly eight watches. All of them beautiful, some of them from Swiss factories. Yet, I don’t really miss them. But, something about that watch allures me still. I may have lost that watch in that hiking track but I have not lost the feel of that little dial on my skin. That watch lingers on in my heart and I will continue to miss it — till the end of time. — Sudha Subramanian is an author and freelance writer based in Dubai. Twitter: @sudhasubraman More by the writer What is your safety net? Breast cancer and my hellish rollercoaster ride

All the wrist watches in the watch case, have run out of batteries. They have been like that for a couple of months now. I want to revive them back into life, wear them, and watch the time tick away. Yet, I have not done much for that to happen. Last evening, as I was getting ready for a party, I opened my wardrobe.

I found the beautiful silver box, inside which I have lined up my watches, jutting out from an over-crowded drawer. As I nudged it in and pushed back the drawer, I realised for the first time, that I don’t miss wearing a watch!

I had declared that I was ready to wear a wrist watch the day I learnt how to tell time. Of course, my parents thought otherwise. Naturally, whenever I got an opportunity, I would sneak up to the cupboard where mom kept her watch and try it on.

It was a small watch with a black strap and a round white dial. It was hard to hook up the strap. So, I would simply place it on my wrist, admire it for a few minutes by holding both ends of the strap and then, put it back.

When I was ten, a new girl came to my class. The girl, Anitha, wore beautiful dresses and carried a shoulder bag with pretty prints. Most of the things that she had amazed us — like the pencil pouch with magnets or the pencil with an eraser on the other end or even the full length scale.

I took care of the watch — wiping it with a neat cloth every now and then and making sure the dial had no scratches. I wore it, the first thing in the morning and took it off, last thing in the night

Sudha Subramanian

But, the best part was — she wore a watch to school! “Imagine knowing the time when we are at school”, we all whispered to each other. The watch she wore had us all enamoured. It was a small watch with a golden strap that had little chain dangling about.

“It is gold”, the other girls told me one evening. “It is bright and shiny alright”, I agreed. I imagined myself wearing one such watch and looking at it during school hours. I dreamt about wearing it on Sundays and other holidays. It felt good but I never gathered enough courage to ask my parents for one because, I knew in my heart, that, watches were expensive and were simply not bought for kids.

My parents probably read my mind, because, one day, when I was thirteen, my father decided to get me one. Although, it hardly resembled Anitha’s watch, it felt perfect. It had a brown dial with a bright yellow strap. I was thrilled.

I took care of the watch — wiping it with a neat cloth every now and then and making sure the dial had no scratches. I wore it, the first thing in the morning and took it off, last thing in the night. Some days, I even wore it to bed and took it off only when I had to shower.

I wore that watch, every single day, for the next decade.

Two years, after I got married, I wore that watch on a hiking trip. The path was rugged with many streams criss-crossing. It was a beautiful sight — lots of oxygen, fresh green trees and cool air. As I hiked pausing every now and then to take in the sight, I slipped and fell.

That was the last I saw of the watch. No amount of searching yielded any result. I sat on a nearby rock and mourned the loss.

Today, as I count, I have nearly eight watches. All of them beautiful, some of them from Swiss factories. Yet, I don’t really miss them. But, something about that watch allures me still.

I may have lost that watch in that hiking track but I have not lost the feel of that little dial on my skin. That watch lingers on in my heart and I will continue to miss it — till the end of time.

— Sudha Subramanian is an author and freelance writer based in Dubai. Twitter: @sudhasubraman

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