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Time running out for Charminar clocks

Time running out for Charminar clocks
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Times have not changed for the father-son duo, who have been keeping the Charminar clocks ticking. The son, who has taken “over his father’s mantle”, is now the time keeper for the Old City. The four clocks on Charminar, which need winding every 48 hours, may stop if one of the two takes time off.

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Hyderabad: Times have not changed for the father-son duo, who have been keeping the Charminar clocks ticking. The son, who has taken “over his father’s mantle”, is now the time keeper for the Old City. The four clocks on Charminar, which need winding every 48 hours, may stop if one of the two takes time off. Dasrath Chary and Madhusudhan Chary, the father-son duo, has been maintaining the clocks for the last 40 years punctually.

With age catching up, the 86-year-old Dasrath Chary can no longer climb the stairs. “The last time he went up to wind the clocks was six months ago. Now health does not permit him,” says his son Madhusudhan Chary, who along with father works for Wahid Watch Co at Laad Bazaar renowned for maintaining antique clocks, including the cuckoo clock at Salar Jung Museum.

Of the four clocks, the one facing Gulzar Houz has two keys, one for striking the gong and the other for winding. Madhusudhan says, “The Gulzar Houz clock is unique as it has a gong attached to it, which strikes every half-an-hour.” When asked what if he got sick or had to go out of town who would keep the clocks ticking? Madhu seemed to have been caught off guard and said that he has no clue.

Dasrath Chary, time-keeper of Charminar clocks. Photo: Srinivas Setty

The fate of the clocks may well end up like the ones at Sultan Bazaar, Fateh Maidan and Nayapul. With no financial assistance from the Archaeological Survey of India or any other agency, Wahid Watch Co is continuing the tradition. There was a time when the children of Sikander Khan the owner of Wahid Watch Co would also take turns in winding the clocks but have stopped. Now it is up to Madhusudhan to keep the clock moving. But for how long can he do without any remuneration before the clocks frozen in time, is a question that only time can tell.

By:T P Venu

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