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A clock’s timeless tales

A clock’s timeless tales

I didn’t want to know history at the cost of its mystery.

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Last Updated : 08 July 2024, 21:26 IST
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There is an old grandfather clock in my home, with a black outer case and a silver pendulum that ticks every second. It also features two bulls ramming their heads together on the glass. I am unsure how it came to adorn our wall. It's likely been passed down to us through a few generations, or maybe it was actually just my grandfather's clock. I’m no expert when it comes to clocks, and being extremely busy, as teenage girls tend to be, I never bothered to ask. So, I don’t really know. That doesn’t matter. While I don't know how it has come to hang on our wall, I know it’s definitely older than me. And no matter how many times it has stopped showing time, my mother most stubbornly refuses to give it away. We’ve taken it to the repair shop numerous times — forty times, to be precise.

People usually hold sentiments towards things that have special memories with a special person attached to them, but this clock has no such thing. Despite having no special memories associated with it, I have developed a sentimental attachment to the clock. Why would I even want to mark it as important? I’ve perpetually wondered about this and still have not found a definitive answer. What could it be? I could always just go ahead and ask, sure. But would it still hold that mysterious aura if I knew? 

I spend my time quite often (especially when I sit down to study...) mulling over the places and situations in which this clock might have been present, even if only in the background, throughout its existence, and how much it would tell me if only it could speak. I knit endless stories around it that elevate the clock to even greater grandeur in my eyes. I even imagined once that this clock had been owned by a survivor of the Titanic! I imagined that it might have been a muse for a portrait made by a great artist and hung on the walls of the Louvre. I wouldn’t ever want to sell it.

It shows the wrong time every day, either 10 minutes early or 10 minutes late. It’s still a unique, almost functional, and treasured instrument in our house that we have all grown quite fond of now. Most importantly, it encourages my young mind to hone its imaginative skills and inspires me to create many new stories to tell the world.

This grandfather clock that hangs on the wall in our hall simply refuses to show the correct time, but it once did show the correct time to its precise second, and its presence continues to captivate me.

(The writer is a Class X student)

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