Delhiwale: Time keeps passing


Time trods through the worst of times. It moves ahead, sometimes with the pace of a rabbit, sometimes of a turtle. In time, time alters lives.

And yet things stay the same.

This is Durga Dev’s conclusion. In his 60s, he has a close relationship with the technical aspects of time. The watchmaker’s establishment at this street spot in Gurugram’s Sadar Bazar has been running like a faithful dependable clock for more than 40 years. It comprises of a counter and a chair. The counter’s glass cabinet is filled with clocks and watches.

Nothing has changed for Durga Dev all these years, he says. Time has stilled for him, he murmurs, as he executes a delicate surgery into the innards of a wristwatch with his assortment of dainty tools. Not even the pandemic made a difference. “The world shook, not me.” His voice betrays no pride at his resilience. He however concedes of receiving fewer customers these days— “dhanda manda hain.” Looking around, he says, “I keep sitting, time keeps passing.”

It is evening and electric lights have sparkled up this part of the market, making it appear more interesting than it is. To a passerby, the workshop does not trigger the awe caused by similar enterprises in Old Delhi. A repair shop in the Walled City’s Galli Chooriwallan has its walls covered from top to bottom with old pendulum wall clocks. All look like they were originally hanging at London’s King’s Cross station when the queen was still a princess.

Durga Dev opens a box. It is filled with bits and pieces of old watches. He uses these parts to repair the watches that customers bring for repair.

As he prepares to wind down for the day, the mild-mannered man takes out an old newspaper clipping from inside the glass case. It has his photo. The paper has yellowed, but the clipping is well-preserved and is laminated for longevity. Durga Dev solemnly returns the precious object to its place. He will now walk back to his home in Baldev Nagar. “I shall come back tomorrow morning at 9.”


Close Story

Delhiwale: Time keeps passing

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

Delhiwale: Time keeps passing

  • Representational image

    Was principal appointed in sync with UGC rules? Teacher in letter

    Nandita Narain, who teaches mathematics at St Stephen’s College and is also a member of the institution’s governing body, has raised questions on the procedures that were adopted for the appointment and the re-appointment of John Varghese as the principal of the college. HT has seen an email that Narain wrote to the college’s governing body, seeking clarity on the procedures adopted by the body to appoint Varghese.

  • A beneficiary receiving a dose of Covid-19 vaccine from a healthworker. (FILE PHOTO)

    Delhi govt reviews booster doses given across city districts

    The Delhi health department on Tuesday reviewed the administration of booster doses of the Covid-19 vaccine across the districts in the city with officials pointing out that north and east districts had the lowest coverage while west and New Delhi districts gave the maximum shots. According to the Delhi government data, 81,055 precautionary doses have been administered in north Delhi and 123,589 people were given the booster shots in east Delhi.

  • Manish Sisodia. (Twitter/@AAPDelhi)

    ‘Over 5K students given free CUET prep classes’

    More than 5,000 students in Delhi government schools have been provided free preparatory classes for the Common Universtiy Entrance Test (CUET), deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said on Tuesday. Individual mock tests were designed for each stream- arts, science and commerce, he said. As part of entrance preparation support, the Delhi government created special centres for the preparation of commerce and science subjects. For humanities, preparation was provided in the schools.

  • Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.

    Delhi asks top court to form 5-member panel to hear tussle over services

    The Delhi government on Tuesday requested Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana to constitute a five-judge bench to decide whether the Centre or Delhi’s elected government has the power to transfer and appoint bureaucrats in the Capital. Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the Aam Aadmi Party government, made the request before the CJI, saying the issue required an urgent hearing. Justice Ramana, however, did not specify any date of hearing.

  • Sharjeel Imam.

    Sharjeel resisted search by convicts, jailors at Tihar last month: Officials

    A jailor and several convicts in the Tihar prison complex entered inmate Sharjeel Imam’s cell to conduct a search on June 30 during which Imam and others resisted the inspection, but were not assaulted, said officials aware of an internal inquiry. Wardens and convicts assaulted Imam on June 30, his lawyer said in court on July 4.