May 15, 2008


Every day I am reminded of the curtains that have come down forever on many things. The first thing that comes to my mind is the death of the alarm clock. Since cell-phones became an extension of our existence many have stopped wearing a wristwatch. I used to love wearing them. As a matter of fact I had a tidy lil collection going but now I have just discarded them. It helps that I read somewhere that the presence of wearing a wristwatch signifies that your life is so structured that you constantly need to know what time it is.

Does that mean life has taken a turn in the wrong direction?

No matter how far we come with entertaining the idea of locking up clocks one thing won’t change and that is waking up to some kind of alarm. This human practice just doesn’t go away. Try as hard as it might, the cell-phone can’t come close to the unbridled genius of the alarm clock. You can put the cell on snooze or better still you can switch it off. But with the alarm comes a strange sense of respect. You can’t turn it off. You can but you know that it’s not the same thing. You can strategically place the alarm at some distance thus ensuring you get up to put it off. The cell-phone, ladies and gents, is but an extension of your body. There is a sense of urgency attached to the alarm clock.
For centuries the concept of time hung over our heads like the proverbial sword of Damocles. The new age thinking forces us to make maximum utilization of time and yet not be bound by the tyranny of the clock. Some things just don’t change. They don a new mantle with the passage of time. The cell-phone has readily replaced the wrist watch for many of us. Just the other day a friend was sitting next to the computer and I asked him the time. Can you believe that even though his gaze was fixated on the computer screen, which incidentally has the time on it, he struggled to finally retrieve his cell-phone from his pocket before he revealed the time!

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