I have a plastic box in my wardrobe, which contains two wrist watches. The watches are old. Each of these watches has its own story.
The bigger watch of the two belonged to my Dad. After his death, my sisters and I chose a few items from my Dad’s belongings. I chose a shirt, his books of quotations and this watch. For quite a while after my Dad’s death, I teared up each time I saw these things.
” Can material things ever make-up for a person’s absence?” I asked myself. But over time, I realized that material things may not fill the void in your heart, but they can bring back wonderful memories. As the pain of separation wore away, in its place came fun memories that I shared with my Dad. The way he would take off his wrist watch the moment he came back from work, placing it on his cupboard at a specific place, along with his pen.
In the wee hours of the morning, when my sisters and I peeked at the world from inside our quilts, we would see our Dad humming to himself and winding his watch. I still remember how his hand felt, and how the watch was positioned on his hand.
He changed the leather strap twice, if I remember right. We gifted him watches when we each started working, but till the end, this watch was his favourite. The watch that marched with him, every second.
So many things in this simple watch.
The other smaller watch was my ‘first watch’. I was in high school, and I still remember I had gone out for extra classes to school. It was the Indian festival of ‘Sankranti‘ in January, and I walked in to the yummy smell of ‘sweet pongal‘ being cooked. I remember my parents calling me to the dining table. They asked me to close my eyes, and to stretch out my arm. I still remember my Dad wrapping the watch on my hand. A simple, elegant watch. They told me it was for my board exams, to help me manage time. It was a great surprise, and I remember how happy I was. I hugged both of them.
These two watches are so precious, for they connect me to my Dad, and to my parents for all the dreams they had for me, and believing in me always.
Love you Amma and Dad. Thank you for everything.