Ishwar Das, Watchmaker, Patiala

I started this work fifty years ago. My parents used to make some random stuff at home and sell it, but the business wasn’t enough to keep things running smoothly. They put me in a school, while studying there I got interested in watchmaking.

I started this work fifty years ago. My parents used to make some random stuff at home and sell it, but the business wasn’t enough to keep things running smoothly. They put me in a school, while studying there I got interested in watchmaking. I apprenticed at Verma Watch Company here in Patiala, then moved on to my own shop. It used to be very busy. We had to think hard, even to step out of the shop. I used to have three people working under me and still no time to spare. But now, I just sit here for my contentment, I don’t come here to make money anymore. There’s no actual work, sitting at home makes me sad. There’s nothing wrong at home but here I get to meet new people every day or the old friends visit sometimes. Like you walked in today. All the other watchmakers have given up the work, like time has moved on to mobile phones, its caretakers have moved to other professions.

I took care of the education of my kids, helped them gain a skill because like education no one can take away your craft and creativity. They trained with a mechanic here. One of them is a fridge mechanic and the other one prints invitation cards for different events. They are happy and take care of me, what can be better than this? I don’t need to work at this age, it’s my decision to sit here at the shop. I’m a heart patient and have gone under surgery few times but I’m happy for whatever I have, because it’s all in that almighty’s hand. I’m here, doing my work.

Like it’s written in Gurbani by Kabir Ji

naamaa kahai tilochanaa mukh tay raam samHaal.

haath paa-o kar kaam sabh cheet niranjan naal. ||213||

I feel blessed that my parents introduced me to both Gita and Gurbani when I was young. They’ve always been the source of my inspiration. Never forget god because he’s always with you, and keep doing your work with these limbs he has provided you with and be happy in whatever he has given you.

Story by: Satdeep Gill

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