November 02, 2009

Perfection

Three years back, I lost my watch. It was a watch I had chosen and had for a very long time. I loved it; it seemed just right on my hand. But over the years, I got used to its simple beauty, and began to take it for granted. I even wished I would lose it or something so that I could buy a new watch. Of course, I did have a second (and a third) watch gifted by my family, but I wore this one as a matter of choice.

And one day I lost it. It just fell off from my bag into which I used to carelessly stuff it. Very bad...I know. But to be honest, I was a little happy that it was gone. This too is very bad, I know.

And then began my search for the perfect watch. Titan was my first choice. I looked closely at what they had to offer...the heritage collection interested me. But I was disappointed. Nothing seemed good enough. Then I looked at FastTrack. I liked just one among those, but I had bought that for my daughter two years back, and she loved it and wore it everyday. I couldn't buy the same thing. This search soon turned into an obsession...I couldn't pass by a watch shop without going into it; every mall I went into, I headed towards the watch section, and looked for one that I might spontaneously like. They were good...but there was something lacking. If they had the right look, one couldn't read the time. If the readability was okay, the look wasn't right for me. Too much gold, too much steel, too black, too messy; if the dial was good the strap was steel or gold, and I wanted leather; if the starp was good, the dial wasn't.

I then looked at Citizen, XLS, Omega, Christian Dior---at one point I thought expense was not the criterion; I must find a watch that was just right for me.

It was only then that I began to understand what my old watch had meant to me. I did not even have a photograph...I went back and described it to the Titan showroom guy and asked him if that model was still available. He said no, the old models didn't come any more.

In the meantime, my brother Gautham gifted me a new eco-drive watch, that had no battery...it charged automatically with light! I liked new technology and I liked the watch too...but somehow it didn't seem like my watch. My wrist was still unhappy.

Last month I went to a watch shop in Warangal to buy a watch for my sister-in-law Deepthi. I looked at all the models to pick one she might like. And as my ever-searching eyes looked, my eye fell on one model...it seemed soothing to the eye; there was something delicate and special about it...it seemed just right. I asked them to show it to me. And...believe it or not...it was the very same model as my lost watch, whose value I had realised over and over again during this time. I could not believe my luck! With great happiness, I bought it for Rs 750, wore it in the shop itself, and was on cloud nine the whole day...just floating happily, looking at my just right! Here it is, photographed for posterity...and no, I will never lose it again.

This watch, I think, illustrates a quotation from one of our printer friend's emails:
Small small things make perfection
But perfection is not a small thing.

6 comments:

Manoj Tadepalli said...

So - was it the feel of this particular watch or its look or the guilt that you had lost that watch? Just wondering as an old watch hand!

Sadhana Ramchander said...

This should be valuable feedback to you, Manoj! No, it was not the guilt. This whole episode taught me something about design...a good design doesn't come about easily. It takes creativity to come up with something simple and artistic, that is also practical. Look at this watch...it is very readable, the colour of the dial is easy on the eye (not too white, not too beige), the gold ring is really slim and adds a touch of class; and the deep red 'XII' somehow makes it look trendy (to me!). It suits my no-nonsense, professional yet fun-loving personality!

Vasudeva Siruguri said...

This makes interesting reading. It reminded me of the time I got my latest watch a couple of years ago. Till 1997, I was wearing an HMT passed on to me by Vijju. I liked the steel case and strap and was quite used to it. It was the old winding type and didn't even have the date option. Then I got married in 1997 and my in-laws probably felt that the watch made me look too old and gifted me a gold plated Titan with a g-plated strap. I could not offend neither my in-laws nor my wife and endured it for about ten years. Then I had enough of it and wanted the steel feel back. So my mom-in-law, the gracious lady, said she would gift me a new one. So off we went to various watch shops searching for a square dial steel cased watch. It turned out to be quite a search. I learnt that this model has now become passe and not available any more. Finally we could locate one watch, probably the last specimen, in a shop at Vashi. I grabbed it immediately and am happy to have the steel feel back again!

Old biases die hard!

Sadhana Ramchander said...

Welcome to the gang, Vasudev! Happy for you, that you found what you were looking for.

Rajendra Prasad said...

Moral: If you wish to have permanent happiness in life, never stuff your watch in a bag!

Sadhana Ramchander said...

But to realise this happiness, I had to lose the watch, so the stuffing-watch-in-bag was important! :)