Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The King Of Good Times

Let's start with a question.

How long do you think  can you can manage without a watch?

A few hours ? A few days ?

How about three months and 4 days ?

Thats how long i have survived without a watch in this crazy world that often finds 24 hours to be too short for a whole days work.


Its not a fact i am very proud of, and thank God for keeping me from losing my job,but it surely is an achievement of some sort.

The reason for the radial white patch on my left wrist instead of a titan quartz watch was that my regular watch repair guy was out of station for a very long time, three months and 4 days to be precise.

"You could have gone somewhere else genius", You may wish to tell me, but wait till you finish reading this story.

 A few weeks ago i had written a post about Nadeem, a tyre repair specialist who deeply impressed me by his commitment and work ethic.

This post is about another expert, the best at the craft of watch repair.

Meet Girish ! The owner of a small watch repair shop close to Jalahalli cross in Bangalore.

Taking an Impromptu Autograph 
Ever since i can remember he has been our 'go to' person for any watch or clock related problem for the last 25 years.

To describe his shop in a couple of sentences - Its built on the same lines but only 2/3rd's the size of Harry Potters room at 4 privet drive in the Dursley mansion.

At one point of time half of his shop's space was taken up by the trunk of a large coconut tree that curved its way right through the middle of his chamber en route to the sky.

So, what makes this man so special?

Here's what.

Like Nadeem and puncture repair, Girish too is fastidious when it comes to repairing watches, and like most experts he follows a strict protocol to keep himself from missing anything important.

He starts by taking off removing the back panel.
Then he checks the watches battery with a specially designed LED bulb.

Most of the time pieces i give him have battery related issues, he promptly changes them and restores their function to full capacity, I refer to this as the battery transplant surgery.

Well that's the case with most watches, not all, not mine and especially not  on this day.

"This does not look good boss". He remarked after one glance at my watch.

It looked fine to me.

He changed the battery, but it didn't work. The LED bulb test revealed that the new battery was working fine, there was some other problem with my watch, something serious as he had observed earlier.

He opened a small tin box that he had hidden in the drawer below his desk.

"Whoa! Isn't that a toothed forceps"? I Exclaimed loudly.

He didn't react.
He removed the battery and in its place he kept the forceps and started rhythmically pressing down on the tiny panel behind my watch.

I know what you're thinking? CPR FOR THE WATCH !!!!
Well, that's exactly what it looked liked.

When CPR failed to revive the watch, I expected Girish to look up at me and say-
"Sorry Sir ! You're time is up".

But instead he opened his drawer again and took out what appeared to be a resistor or capacitor of some sort with large dials on it, he then placed the leads of that device on different positions in the watch and a minute later he looked up at me with a serious look on his face and said- "Sir, There's still hope".
No, Thats not my watch !

The forceps and the unknown device disappeared into the drawer.

He reached down below and drew out what could only have been the smallest vacuum cleaner in the world and carefully initiated the 'suctioning' of my poor old watch.
2 minutes of intense cleaning later he got up from his seat and fished out a small heating device which he promptly placed across the tiny electrical panel on my watch.

He then replaced the new battery in the empty socket behind and turned it around to see if it was working.

A smile spread across his face.

My watch was ticking again.

He wiped the small layer of sweat that had formed on his forehead and let out a heavy sigh.

A job well done.

We both smiled, it was after all just a watch, but the sheer ecstasy of saving something that is apparently beyond saving is something words cannot describe.

What I learn from every such experience is that its is possible to excel in any walk of life, it doesn't matter if you are crammed up in a small room on a busy street repairing watches or working in a large operation theater with complicated medical equipment saving lives, with a little effort and ingenuity you can out rival any competition and shine.

One more thing,like all masters of their crafts, Girish adds the final touch to all his work by the most important step of all - Setting the the time on the watch !!!

Wishing you the best in whichever line of work you are involved in-

As Always, Yours Truly
TGV