Dhakaiya Profession

Clock and Watch Repairer- A Case study

Posted in Watch repairman by rrasheeka on April 17, 2009

Photography: Salman Saeed

Md. Atikullah looked at me with eyes that were filled with sadness. He has been a clock and watch repairer for the last 50 years. His shop was a very small cubic room just large enough to place a table and two chairs inside it. Clocks of many shapes and sizes were hanging from the walls of the shop. At the first glance the shop looked like an antique shop where old clocks were the choice of collection. But actually it was a shop were clocks and watches were repaired.

He started this work when he was around 20 years old. His uncle had taught him how to repair clocks. He loved repairing clocks and watches and he always wanted to take this up as a profession. But today, he feels sorry that he didn’t join some other profession which would give him a better income. He lives with his wife nearby his shop. Their children have grown-up, gotten married and started their own families. Day in and day out, Md. Atikullah sits in his shops waiting for people to come and ask him to repair their clocks or watches. But that rarely happens. Almost everyday, he opens his shop and sits their alone watching people go by doing their work. The nearby shopkeepers come and sit with him in his shop for a short time some of the days. This has become his everyday routine. The sad tale of this old man made me think how difficult life can become. This is no age for a man to worry about how to feed himself and his wife. But this man has to. Everyday is a struggle for him. A struggle for survival.

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Clock and Watch Repairer

Posted in Watch repairman by rrasheeka on April 14, 2009

Photography: Salman Saeed

To be able to repair anything is to be able to master an art. Repairing,to me, is an art which requires a lot of patience and dedication. At one time, one of the major sources of income of the people living in Old Dhaka was by repairing things. Clock and Watch repairing was one such profession.

Although repairing clock and watches did not generate a large income, yet the income that was earned from it was enough to enable the repairer to feed his family properly. Life was not easy, but it wasn’t so difficult. Clocks and watches were expensive accessories then and so difficult to purchase. So the people brought their clocks and watches to be repaired if it gave them any trouble. But now, clocks and watches are available as well as affordable for most people. They hardly need to repair a watch or a clock if it doesn’t work properly. They can just buy a new one. Moreover, at one time, only Old Dhaka had watch repairers. Now there are watch repairers throughout the city. So, only the people who live in Old Dhaka get their watches repaired by the repairers of Old Dhaka. All these have resulted in the fall in demand for such people. With the very small income that they earn, their survival