Friday, June 11, 2010

Tick Tock

Have you looked at your charming alarm clock decorating your study table?

Oh!! Don't you have them anymore? Can understand, obvious, your cell phone is a multipurpose device with alarms, wake-ups, reminders et all. Or even if you had them, its the digital one which quietly counts the seconds, minutes and hours in Arabic numerals, easy to read and operate and wakes you up with a music or radio. You could also snooze them so that it wakes you up after a while.

But the wind-up spring driven ones have their own charm. Do you remember having seen them at your grandpa's bed side? No music, no radio, no funky wake-up tones, but a shrill jarring noise to wake you up with a shock. Well, that's the job of an alarm clock.

ALARM is the state of fear or anxiety and it comes from Italian all arme - all arm - a call to arms. This simple instrument just does that, shrieks and yells to wake us up :-) Just as nature does. Nature makes wide use of alarm signals - dog barks, monkey jabbers, bird shrieks......When were they pleasing to the ears? Alarm clocks just do that :-)

They have been around for decades, they neither need a battery nor electric power. They don't blackout nor do they lose energy. Its a charm to see the arms go round and round and the clock going tick tock tick tock all day long is soothing. When the world rests, when the birds and the animals sleep, the constant tick tock soothes you.

Found one at mum's today. Have been asking her to preserve it for me. The glass is broken, the button worn out, the keys rusted.....yet it fascinates, unperturbed by the times gone by, having been a silent witness to the changes. Having been around even before we were born, seen us grow, go to school, and then college.....It goes tick-tock....tick-tock.....tick-tock....without a glitch.

And when you have to wake up, its there at your service; lively and timely; monotonous, discordant yet somewhat welcoming wake-up call :-)

Here's my treasure.


  1. i have one too - years old..will send you the pic..but yeah, they do irritate you, they do not snooze, they keep going tick tock all the time, they shine in the dark, you need to service them from time to time; but they are treasures - as you have put up appropriately :)

  2. i got few
    still using them.
    but i prefer mobile it has everything .

  3. nice post .you made me remember my alar m ,my dads raleigh cycle.breakthrogh in technolgy after computers has changed life.nice post again.

  4. Oh, I remember my alarm clock on my study table. Thank you for reminding me about it yaar. Such good memories of manual snoozing. Ha ha. They were so solid, heavy, shiny with that trademark design na. And those radium glowing hands of the clock. That was when I started wondering about Madam Curie and her discovery, I think. :-) Always tried to make the best use of the clock but I guess I never did. I would manually snooze the alarm clock and would not let my dad sleep for at least a couple of hours. My dad had to go through so much torture. LOL!

  5. How innovative was that...
    Alarm clocks...
    I have an even older piece.
    The gear and pinion arrangement clock about 120 years old.
    Thats my grandpa's and the alarm is just awesome.
    It can wake the whole colony up any time of the day.
    They sure are treasures but these cell phones..
    Will bring it back with me now.



  6. We have one at home, but it needs to be sent to graveyard.
    I did not know about the Italian connection in it.
    Tell me, where do you get the ideas of the subjects you choose to write about?

  7. Neha,

    Preserve it. All you said is right, but thats what makes them special :-)

  8. sm,

    Thats nice. Use them!! use them!! they are amazing. I have a high end swanky mobile, but yet!! alarms are alarms :-)

  9. Velu,

    Thank you. Glad you got reminded of your alarm clock, the bicycle and all. I can realize how much you should be missing them :-)

    But we do have one alarm now :-)

  10. Gautam,

    Glad!! Yes yes!! solid, stainless steel, radium hands :-)

    Glad you got reminded of it all Gautam

  11. Nipun,

    Thanks a lot :-) Wow!! I envy you. Preserve it, its a treasure.

  12. Wonderful post!!
    And this post made me think... we don't have a single such alarm clock! :(
    It's just the alarms in the mobiles that we use. And the default alarm tone in my hubby's mobile is so sweet/subtle that one can never wake up with that!! :D

  13. Chowla sir,

    No! dont sent it to graveyard. Let it RIP in your living room showcase please. Yeah, the Italian connection to it is just with the name. Wind-up clock was invented by Seth E Thomas of USA.

    Oh!! This question of yours is a huge compliment. Thanks a ton. I do end up writing about things I observe and give a thought. We do come across so many things in our daily life, we dont give it a thought. I end up taking a couple of minutes of, think about it, like the alarm clock, the weighing machine and then the words flow :-)

    Thanks a lot sir :-)

  14. Shilpa,

    Thank you. Awww thats hard luck. We also had 2. Only 1 remains now. Hahahaha, so true, mobile phones alarm options comes with such melodious subtle tones that could encourage you to sleep more :-)

  15. That pink blog is to make her smile.
    Samjha karo...:)

  16. oh ur post made me miss my alarm. ur true. i use my phone now. and the one on my table is a digital one which runs on battery. and the one on my shelf is just a show piece n i hardly use it for alarm. i miss the winding one with two bells on top of it and goes grrrr at dawn.. had it in my 12th standard. regularly used it then. got exploited after i went to med school i guess ;) got used to the snooze button ;0

  17. Compliments to you for reminding about Tick Tock pieces which current generation mostly may not be using.

    I too had two/three pieces made in China (folding type brass piece) and made in India the regular type. Of-course, not using them now-a-days. My parents used to have a very nice model of stainless steel alarm clock which has multiple choices of alarm. Very excellent piece. Still I remember the model even after 40 years gap because I used it personally during my college days.

    Now, once the mobiles are introduced, every one is having their own timings of alarm according to their programs.

    Though, mobile is a nice revolution, we should make use of those old techniques also.

  18. the ones from the grandpa's time were really of great value..tick tock is the sound those clocks used to make the whole day and just to wake you up, all they used to do is shout in shrill voice Triiiiiiiiiiinnnn :D wonderfully dedicated post to the alarm clocks

  19. believe it o not...I still use the grand old alarm clock..;.my dad hs forced me use it as he knows that it can't be put on snooze :P

  20. Hey i too remember an alarm from my grandmother's cabinet.. wonder all the alarm clocks look the same.. :)

    I also remember a pendulum clock the one which normally adorns the various bhoot banglas of bollywood.. The pendulum wud swing back and forth and I used to marvel at its efficiency..:)

    Wonderful post..:)

  21. Chandana,

    Glad. Revive your alarm clock :-)

  22. Naidu sir,

    Oh yes, most of the present generation dont use them. And yes, nowadays its all mobile phone. Glad you got reminded of your clocks :-)

  23. Shesha,

    Yes, you rightly said. :-) Thanks, glad you liked the post.

  24. Gayathri,

    Wow!!! thats awesome. Continue using it :-)

  25. Sushobhan,

    Thank you. Glad you got reminded of it all. Nice ones, they were!!

  26. Times they are a changing. But some things seem to have been made forever. Nice's got a ring to it :)

  27. i dread this.... cos oru naal i instead of snoozing my alarm, I switched it off :(.... i got mokai in my exam as i went only last 20 mins to exam....after that i had to correct prof to get marks :)... anyways unga post just reminded me!

  28. I had one before but it got smashed into pieces when it fell. I miss it. But kinda glad sometimes i dont hv to hear it go tick tock and sleep but sometimes i do miss that sound :P.

  29. I love clocks, watches and wrist watches. I got many and this type too. I specifically went to buy one. But no nostaligia attached for me.

    I like the post and especially liked reiterating the history of word 'alarm'

  30. alarm clocks are fun...but arent they those good ol pieces..I use my cell in vibration mode to wake me up..Oh yeah,my friends who get back after the night shift wake me up...:)

    *sigh* good old clocks

  31. RGB,

    Thank you. I am glad you liked it. Changes are inevitable and we need to adapt, but few things like these brings a smile :-)

  32. Hary,

    Whoooaaa thats sad. But you got marks ultimately by hook or by crook :-P

  33. Harini,

    Goodness gracious!! Thats terrible. Its irritating at times but fun too!! :-)

  34. A,

    I did seem alarm clocks available even now but not the types we had. Those heavy stainless steel ones, radium hands...oh those are real treasures.

    Glad you liked the post. :-)

  35. Madhu,

    Oh yes! they are fun. Hmm nowadays its all mobile phone :-)

  36. Oh but I need snooze in my alarm clock. :)
    *Amazing Pic* :)

  37. I threw away the last original alarm i had when it stopped ticking :-/
    Oh and you're again into cellfone bashing =D

  38. Pratik, away with the snooze :-P

    The pic? Oh thanks!! Its actually amazing clock :-D

  39. et,

    Awwww why did you throw it away??

    Hehehehe I just bash on the blog. dont believe it. I myself own a super heavy smart phone :-P

  40. Even we had one just like the one in the pic...God knows what happened to it! I used to feel like flinging that thing right across the room every time it went trrrrrrrring...ugh! Well...these days I throw away the phone ;)

  41. Destiny's Child,

    Hahahaha. Poor clock and now the phone :-P

  42. yet to buy a watch.mostly will

  43. soin,

    Buy fast!! Now that you will start working, its more of an accessory than a necessity :-P


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