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January 09, 2017

Chasing Time Volume 3: What Makes You Tick

Text by Vikram Ramchandani

A man chronicles his adventures in the hunt for that most elusive of companions — the perfect wristwatch

Who knew that buttons could make a person incredibly happy? The Casio was to me what Candy Crush is to today’s youth. It was my very own two-minute escape into a world of concentrated fantasy. And fantasia was now always by my side, on the way to school and on the way back, in-between recess breaks and walks to the principal’s office. It was the perfect pet, always ready to play without the hassle of cleaning its rubbish and feeding its appetite. But after achieving the highest possible score and flaunting it to every googly-eyed kid on the street, tragedy struck through a new avatar.

Boredom! My time with this watch had run its course and like a tired piece of chewing gum, it was time to move on to fresher flavours.

Fortunately for me, other children who owned a variety of curious wrist pieces shared similar views. And so in our ambitious spirit we set up a rotational watch library. The concept was not just novel it was brilliant. The price of entry into our club would be the ownership of a unique digital wristwatch, and to remain a member, one would have to put their watches into weekly rotation.

With a handsome membership of four, our library was a roaring success for three weeks, until an uncouth member dropped a watch in his toilet. Besides the ghastly earful of obscenities that we had to endure from the owner’s parent, I got an opportunity to spend much time with a watch that could calculate, one that could operate televisions, and another that could race cars. Talk about complications.

Yet, this phase of my journey into the fairytale-like world of gadgetry watches lasted only a year or so. Brought about mainly due to my awkward conversion into becoming a teenager, I now focused energies to add colour in my life so as to distract people away from my Rocky-Horror-like mouth braces.

And in came a new type of watch, one that was different like me; unusual shapes, dials, straps. My moods were swinging and I was busy staging my life of rebellion and nothing common would stop me from conquering the plebian in me. I wanted to express my self primarily through my varied choice of fake Fila shirts and real LA Gear sneakers, but I also wanted my wrist to display the real pirate that I was. This led me through a whole host of watches whose names or identity I can hardly recollect but I do know that it is what the fashionable 15 year-olds would wear. I was on the cusp of building my identity but little did I know how.

Read Volume 2, here.

Read Volume 4, here.

Vikram Ramchandani is father to a beautiful girl and husband to an even more beautiful girl. Canadian but really Indian. Left university and home at 21 and became an investment banker for many unhappy people and is now an entrepreneur who employs many happy people. Is full katti with the current education system for mutating children into adults.

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