That, my friends is a clock radio. Yes those still exist. In the simplest of formats. One that seems to have an unknown part of the universe painted on it. It’s a quirky but it inspires laughter and wonder. Turns out, so does the story behind it.
One of my teachers (in life, outside of school) acquired this piece of art through pure coincidence. Or divine intervention. Or maybe because my mother had been right all along, the hindu god “Laxmi” was sitting on the tip of K’s (the teacher) tongue when she made the wish. In that case she should have wished for a billion dollars . In that case, we should all constantly wish for world peace. Laxmi would eventually visit someone and we would have saved the world as a community. But I find that my mother isn’t always right. However it came to be, this piece of art now sits on K’s desk at work.
As it turns out, K has a radio clock at home too. That is where the story begins. She listens to the radio on this contraption when she gets ready for work every morning. It reminds me of when I used to do the same. The tiny silver clock radio I have lost track of was my companion as I welcomed the sunrise every morning, while the rest of the world seemed asleep around me. I was very fond of my clock radio. I have recently adopted silence as a companion instead. We are having a whirlwind romance.
Getting back to K, she was telling two of her friends, a couple, about how her clock radio was giving her trouble. She would be moving back and forth to grab things around her room and somehow due to her unavoidable movements she was interfering with the radio signal which often danced between static and music. This was causing K considerable grief and her friends confusion. They could not understand why she wouldn’t just get rid of the clock radio and instead switch to using her phone or laptop to listen to music.
Yes, you can play music on your laptop and skip the ads. At this point you can even use apps to tune into your favourite radio stations if you really wanted to listen to people between songs. In a world of unlimited Wi Fi access, using a laptop or phone to serenade yourself every morning seems more reasonable than using a clock radio.
But its about the experience of it all. The magic of the silent dawn disturbed only the noises the clock radio makes. I know I sound crazy but using a radio clock is an experience in its own right. Getting the station right is a journey and the feeling of tuning in to a channel accurately enough that you hear absolutely no static feels like an unparalleled achievement and the simplest of life’s joys. I must explain, my little silver box did not display anything but time. Finding my favourite station was an experience in patience.
So I understood K’s grief. Her friends however found it entertaining. They joked about it for a bit last Friday and then returned to their respective desks in the pursuit of productivity. During the weekend that followed, K’s friend’s boyfriend, who we shall name Max, was at a bachelor party in New York. Max took part in a contest at a bar and ended up winning the piece of art you see above. The clock radio reminded him of the conversation he had with K and he decided it would be a great present for her.
Monday morning, K’s friends, the couple decided to come by her desk bearing the gift. She was thrilled with her present and the three had a good laugh over the series of events that had brought the clock radio to her. K described it (rather loudly, I may add, since I could hear her over the dance music playing through my ear buds) as “You put it out into the universe and it is bound to come back to you”. (She later said that the painting on the clock radio looked like a beautiful universe in itself).
I smiled, as her words inspired a thought in my head. I had the opportunity to tell K what I had thought of when she told me the story of how the clock radio on her desk came to be.
“You should have just wished for a billion dollars”