Saturday, 15 October 2016

Another Imperfect Musing

Why do I love watches?
There is a small and seemingly lame fact to this.
Before I tell you the fact, let me tell you a small incident from my past.
My grandfather, Mr. W. Thomas Victor loved watches too. I may easily say that this trait runs in our family(maybe it does!) but it is not just a hereditary thing.
It is certainly not an irony that my grandfather had a "Grandfather clock" at his place - A big free standing, weight driven pendulum clock with the pendulum held inside the tower of the case. Every half an hour it would do a ding-dong and every hour it would strike as many ding-dongs as the time it showed.
I have such beautiful memories of me waking up at 12 in the night just to count the number of ding-dongs.

My grandfather used to share certain things that would put an encyclopedia to shame.

There was this time when I was about to start the usual brother-sister argument(for fun) and my grandfather stepped in.
It all started with my sister using the phrase "wait a second" and me immediately starting a lame argument by saying- "One(Indicating that 1 sec is over)! Your time is up!" My grandfather immediately corrected me and said, "Have you ever wondered why people use the phrase 'tik-tok' to emphasize that time is running?". He then took both of us to that pendulum clock and said, "One second is not actually over when you simply say One." - He pointed us to the pendulum and said, "One second is over only after this pendulum - starting its swing from its highest position - returns to the exact same position. In short, if it starts from the left hand side's highest position, it actually takes half a second to reach the right hand side's highest position - 'Tik'. Then it takes the same half a second to come back to it's original place - 'Tok'."
To make his point clearer, he traced his hand with the motion of the pendulum and said,
"So one second is over with a Tik and then with a Tok"
My sister was obviously grinning from ear to ear that she did not lose the argument. And I was sulking.
But this special memory with my grandfather taught me to always keep wondering and ask questions.

I digress. A lot.

Why do I love watches?
Let me now share the "seemingly lame" fact I mentioned at first.
Like I told, my grandfather and I used to have really long discussions on different matters. In one such discussion (with respect to clocks and watches obviously)  he shared this fact regarding quartz crystals that are used in quartz watches. Since the 1980s quartz timekeepers have become the world's most widely used timekeeping technology, used in most clocks and watches, as well as computers and other appliances that keep time.
The reason being the frequency at which the crystal resonates is the most accurate.
Okay. Sorry.
In simple terms, the accuracy of a quartz watch is unmatched.
My grandfather went on to share the actual accuracy.
He told that the accuracy of a quartz watch is plus minus (+-) 15 seconds over a period of one month.
That is, it may either lag or lead the time it is showing by 15 seconds, in a month.

Years later, literally, I looked it up on Google and guess what? This fact was exactly how my Grandfather mentioned!!

Source: Wikipedia

I know it appears bizarre and outlandish - me sharing such a thing.
In a world where smartwatches are now "The in thing",  forget about accuracy, they do a lot of other stuff than just tell time. And it is more than Awesome.

But for me, I relate to the conventional quartz watches more. Not because they are elegant (for me, yes) and hold an antique value but because of the fact that they too are vulnerable to error. The plus minus(+-) sign used for denoting their accuracy is exactly what we humans are. I am prone to error just as my watch is. This fact is what reminds me that it is okay to be imperfect and still be of value. And that gives me a reason. 

My vulnerability and imperfection is what makes me Truly Human :)

My little family :)