Loving Machines

November 3, 2010 at 9:15 AMNov (Cinema, Friends, Media, Musings, Slice Of Life, Soliloquy)

“These are all mechanical clocks” he said. I was staring at all those clocks which were taller than me. The carvings on the frames of the clock and the designs on the pendulum and the dial captured my eyes. All the clocks run either by winding or by weight and drop mechanism.

Taking me through the entire exhibition Rakesh said “We are trying to rediscover the mechanic technique” and added to it saying “See, when you have to give key to the clock you tend to build a relationship with the clock which does not happen with the clock which is battery-run. You will love the clock when you are constantly in touch with it and it happens with these mechanical clocks”. I was touched and moved by what Rakesh, manager of the exhibition, told me.

The constant interaction with machines develops some emotional attachment with the machine also. Slowly, due to technological advancement are we moving away from all kind of attachment? This is what Ritwik Ghatak tried to say in his Ajantrik where he shows how people loving machine are called insane by the society. In one scene the protagonist, who loves his broken car, takes to a lonely place and says “People say i am a machine because i am attached to you, but why can’t they see you as a human being”. Ghatak who made such a film was also called insane by the society!

In the exhibition there was also the long forgotten pocket clocks or what is known as Gandhi watch. I was thrilled to see it. As i saw it with a preoccupation about building a relationship with clocks, i was reminded of A.V. Jacob.

He is undountedly one of the most interesting persons i have met. And i must admit that he has been instrumental in shaping my mind. He never used to wear a wrist watch. His favourite student my good friend Abid Misbah one day told me why Jacob Sir doesnt wear a wrist watch.

When Jacob Sir was a student in a college, all his classmates had a wrist watch except for him. The financial condition at his house wasnt so good that he could buy a wrist watch. But looking at other classmates he wished that he had a wrist watch. Once when he topped an exam in college his lecturer who was highly impressed by his paper asked him “Jacob ask for anything that you want and i will get it for you” and jacob asked for a wrist watch and he got it the next day. Then onwards Jacob Sir was so much in love with his watch that he used to keep looking at it all the time and not listen to the classes. This resulted in him getting low marks in the next exam. Realizing the reason behind the poor performance Jacob Sir threw away the watch that day. Since then he has never worn a wrist watch.

Jacob Sir threw away his watch because of the love he had for it. One has to see the fact that he did love it. Do we love our watches so much? Forget watched more than watches we are more associating with our mobile phones these days. Do we love our mobile phones? One day a friend of mine lost her mobile phone. Being a bit careless is in her blood, i know. but the fact that losing a mobile phone which is quite expensive was a bit too much for me to take. But what i could not take was what she said after losing her phone. She had said “Its ok, it was some nokia shit. I have already lost six phones. This is the seventh one”. I walked off without saying a word.

Like a gutarist loves his guitar, like a sculptor loves his chisel and hammer we have to love every machine that we use, i feel. For that we need to interact with it. Probably, Ghatak would say “We need to see it as a human being”.

22 December 2008

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