I wake up for a glass of water at night. My eyes strain to read the clock. After some squinting and straining, I finally know the time – it is 2.00 a.m.
I go back to bed, but sleep eludes me. Until recently, our faithful cuckoo clock called out the hours, throughout the day. One morning, however, one of the heavy pinecone weights came crashing down, and that was that!
The pendulum stopped, the cuckoo stopped. The clock stopped working, and there’s no way now to lie down and know the time.
We bought it on one of our trips to Europe, and we’ve been in love with it ever since – not only for its beauty and elegance, but also for the workmanship, and the genius behind putting something like this together!
All these years, the cuckoo clock has been a source of entertainment to kids, who have visited our home. They stare open-mouthed, as the cuckoo comes out of its little door to announce the hour!
In addition to the cuckoo, there’s a whole lot of activity going on in the clock. A woodcutter chops wood in tandem with the cuckoo. He is one busy man, working right through the day, his concentration absolute and his focus, unwavering. Then again, we have these beautiful couples, who dance right after the cuckoo has announced the time. They dance to merry music.
It is a perfect day in the cuckoo world. People are busy, people are enjoying life and also aware of the passage of time, and the importance of hardwork. The whole cuckoo clock is designed like a beautiful chalet in the mountains. There are tiny windows on the clock, and every time I look at them, I think of all the little folk inside, and what they are doing – allowing my imagination to create my own stories.
The weekend after the cuckoo clock gave up, my husband decided to open it up to see if he could fix it. And we were awestruck! So many tiny little parts, so many gears, so many music boxes…all working seamlessly together.
Our little cuckoo lay there, awaiting instructions. The dancing couples stood frozen. The woodcutter looked frustrated with all the pending work.
And we then saw two small pipes that were attached to two bellows, and realized that those pipes and bellows were what made the ‘cuckoo’ sound! Such tiny parts, such perfection!
My husband tried his best, but the clock did not wake up!
We have to try getting it serviced by a specialist! Maybe it will work, maybe it will not, but for now it is back on our wall, a mute spectator to the goings-on in our home.
As I type this post, I also think about other treasured possessions which we have all had, and then had to give up or lose, or leave behind – toys, bicycles, pens, books, clothes, furniture, kitchen utensils.
These objects weave themselves into our lives unobtrusively. Some have more significance than others, some have fallen prey to our fragile memories and faded into oblivion.
And suddenly, one fine day, we see a photograph or something similar and the memories come rushing back…and for a brief period we are transported and nostalgia takes over.