Friday, January 11, 2008

Doc, Lock and Peacock

One of the very unique and special experiences in this trip to Ahmadabad, India was meeting a truly renaissance couple named Dr. Hiren shah and his wife Dr. Namita shah.

Dr. Hiren Shah is a practicing successful pediatrician running his own hospital. He has many rare and demanding hobbies. One of them is to collect the locks ( along with , clocks and peacocks). Dr Hiren Shah was the first Indian Guest ever invited to International Puzzlers Party in Australia last year. He has been attending several international conferences for the mechanical locks and puzzle solvers symposiums such as one at Velbert, Germany 2003. He is amazingly passionate about his hobby. His wife Dr. Namita Shah is also a practicing physician ( OBG-GYN) and full time mother of the couple’s three kids. Her support and dedication to her husband’s hobby is even more impressive !

Together the couple has made their house a live-in Museum. The house is built with old-styled wooden tick doors with the carvings, Zarokhas (balcony), pillars, verandah, chowk, with unique and antique artifacts, Indian decorative vessels, decorative collectibles, souvenirs collected from their trips around the world along with the masterpieces of extensive lock collection. Dr. Hiren shah has several other serious hobbies like traveling, photography, presentations, creative word-plays. These additional hobbies impressively supplement their principal hobby of collecting the locks, puzzles, clocks. Being busy professional, parents the time management is a challenge as well. The couple stretches the day and manages to find the time in the “25th hour” Heat and dust of Ahmedabad also introduces extra challenge in the maintenance of the House + Museuem = “housem”

I was originally introduced to the couple by an e-mail from my sister who visited the couple's house and I heard their radio talk at Sydney, Australlia in Gujarati. The strong fascination after hearing this made me write a small rhyme out of my excitement. (below). Meeting this renaissance couple in person, I found myself even more stunned and spell bound.

Many bright individuals lock a part of themselves away. It's a bit sacred. Here is the couple for whom the locked up part is the lock it self. ! In their busy lives they have tuned their clock to generate the precious 25th hour . This 25th hour is dedicated for their cultivated passions for the locks .

More amazing thing is the fact as precious is this passion nurtured in the 25th hour, they have not locked up their passion for the locks in hiding that no one can find it . They shared their passion with us with full enthusiasm and energy. Their passion and dedication for their hobby, reiterated the fact that combination of attitude, dedication, perseverance can make the key that fits the lock of everybody’s heart and lead to higher pleasures of success.

You may take a partial virtual tour of the “Houseum” at

Here is my early response after hearing about the “houseum” on Sept 30 2007.

Doc, Lock and Peacock

Fascinated by the enchanting radio talk

the unique story of Doc, Lock and Peacock

twist and torque, poke and provoke

solves any puzzle by the keystroke

this is not a game for ordinary folk

It takes one with the "25 hour" clock

The "housem' with a chock

has no match on the block

is bound to invite a tourist flock

but dealing with the dust is no joke

The trickiest lock is the wedlock

secrets are locked in this padlock

like movie mystery of Hitchcok

ask the key who found his lock

the solvers is the real 'Sherlock'



ali said...

Dear Hiren shah,
I am zeeshan Zaidi I have seen ur photo and collection in lokmat times newspaper it is wonderful collection its a passion.
I am Adv.Zeeshan Zaidi form Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India. I want to add one more lock to your collection which i got from my paternal Grand Father which belongs Salarjung of Hyderabad Whos meusium is situated in Hyderabad it will add one more jwel in your collection .
my email address is
cell no. is 9325557772.

Unknown said...

Wow Tushar, I know you write a lot (have 25th hour every day) but I did not know you write so well.
I have caonnected with Hirenbhai and look forward to visit his Houseum some day! Thanks.