To my dear watch,
When I first saw you, you were in a glass case, underwater! I thought you were the coolest, most sporty looking, practical watch ever! My friends said you looked like a grotesque, grey, deformed, fish. Never mind them. Within moments you were on my left wrist, and have rarely been off since. You were waterproof remember? For once the manufacturers claim was true, i could swim, shower, wash dishes, paint, even play holi with you. In fact getting colour off you was never a problem, considering you have lost most of your own over the years!
You lasted longer than all the others, the temporary, unreliable flings that broke off when I most needed them. YOU were meant for rough use. You never slipped away when i kept banging into desks and tables, sharp corners and walls, or even in overwhelming crowds pulling and pushing us in a thousand different directions. You never hid beneath the books and clothes, under bed sheets, behind cupboards, and the general mess that follows me around. You knew me well, always moulding yourself around my moods. On hot, irritating, sticky days, you never cut into me, needling and annoying. In cold, far of places, you warm pressure and familiarity on my wrist was comforting. (And you never left that horrid looking suntan band around my wrist!)
I remember the day a rappelling adventure went wrong, we hung together upside down, about four storeys high, by a single rope, clutching onto the rock with my feet for dear life. I scraped you hard, against the rough rocky wall,and burning rope, and you did not look any worse for the wear. I remember the salt deserts of Kutch, where the sun was beating over head, and dust and grit and mud flew into us in the strong winds. We walked on the rock, sorry, salt hard white ground. With the eerie feeling of being on snow. The whiteness blinding us. My hands were submerged in the frothy water, with sharp, cutting, salt crystals. You took it all in your stride, the froth sweetly dripping away from you, leaving you as untouched as before. I remember you in the verdant forests of Kerela, the rain pouring on us, brushing away twigs and branches, parting thick leaves. You survived the deluge and the onslaught of insects, beetles and other creepy crawlies.
The worst conditions were the discotheques/clubs. A million sweaty bodies, grinding against you to obnoxious music, drinks being spilled, cigarettes singeing, drunken friends clinging at you for support, you withstood it all. You held your own in the more quiet, sophisticated places we went to. Formal dinners, evening social do's, where the cool chicks, wannabe chicklets, and the sophisticated mother hens, with cruella expressions, looked at you in disdain. A big grey sports watch amongst slinky satin dresses and clickity, clackity shoes. You survived the incongruity, the roughest times you think? The nicest times were in the dark. In movie theatres, cabs and ricks. The black nights, the long, lonely, unlit roads. All I had to do was press a button, and you would glow a comforting green, the black digits winking up at me.
All this and more you saw me through. Looking fat and complacent, even when the grey turned to mouldy green and the date display mechanism went haywire. I stopped setting alarms on you when the 12 hour cycle messed up , and you started waking me up at 5 in the morning. But i could never stop using you, because your time keeping was, and still is impeachable, set two min ahead, you never wavered. Even now, you blink away merrily, 4:13 p.m and 15 sec, Wednesday. (if i take the trouble to press another button, it will tell me the month/date too!! ;) ) Inaccurate though. But yesterday, in a boring lecture, one of your clasps broke, just like that, without warning. And now you are strapped delicately, a little shaky. A watch that lived up to its rough use badge, in the roughest of times, is now under Intensive Care even while i turn in my sleep. I'll watch over your last days, maybe a new metal clasp will save you. But I just had to take out the time to write you this, while you were still alive, even if barely so.