Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A small repair shop

I got my first watch when I was 14. My mother got me a square  watch when she went to a Gulf country on her way back from England, via Rome and Paris and Switzerland, circa 1970. My father looked at  it, quite bemused, and hoped it would last on my wrist. He thought I was like Yuri Gelner, because watches usually stopped when I wore them. I had it for a while, and then, well, it stopped. And then I got one from Japan, in 1984, when Shiv made his first trip abroad, and I wore it for a while, but that too stopped. Then I wore the watch I  got from my father, which he had worn for forty years,  it had gold insides, which i never saw,  because it never lost time,and one year, 1994 perhaps, the white washers came to our house, and it was gone. When I got my first royalties for writing fiction in 2000,  for Something Barely Remembered, I bought a Titan for five thousand rupees, but I did a lot of housework with it, and had to take it  back to the shop, and they were aghast when they saw that the steel edges were kind of worn in such  a short time.  I got scolded for being so rough  with a valuable thing by the watch merchant assistant, who looked with one eye at me, while keeping his metal funnel on over his other eye..But, yes, they got it working...a thin watch which I had on for many years. When it stopped, I just put it away, and got an ordinary Titan, a very ordinary watch indeed and when that stopped working, I got the expensive one serviced, battery replaced and watch strap changed, and it's working very well. The local watch smith fixed it, because nothing was really wrong with it, it just needed the glass replaced, and the leather strap and the battery. Thank God for small shops where men sit with the ability to make old things work.

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