The Chair
By Rafiq Ebrahim

If you have a sentimental attachment to an object and if you see it after a lapse of time, you just freeze where you are and travel down the memory lane. I saw a chair after about a decade in the loft of my daughter’s home. It was an easy chair with foam cushions wrapped in a mauve colored covering stained at places. When I sprawled on it I got the same comfortable feeling as of yesteryear. How the chair came to my daughter’s place is a bit of a story….
Years back, at the age of fifty-one I had caught chicken pox, very dangerous at this age, from my teenage son, who recovered very quickly. It took me quite a while to come out of the itchy spots, eruptions, nausea and fever. Even after I  had got well, some nasty spots on my face didn’t allow me to resume my work, as I was in the client service department of a retail store. I had to remain at home. My daughter, unmarried at that time, was in high school and doing a part-time job. She bought a chair for me to sit comfortably, watch TV or read. It was a surprise which increased my love for her manifold. It was during that phase that I was able to read the many books I had intended to read many, many years back.
Time rolled on. My daughter got married and moved to her husband’s place. My son, a straight A plus student, joined college to pursue a degree in Computer Science, and at the same time had two part-time jobs. Soon he graduated and got a lucrative job in his field. Pretty soon he began to earn much more than what I brought home. The graph of his progress began to soar. My wife and I were very happy about his progress, for nothing is more fulfilling to a parent than the achievements of the children.
There are many similarities in the nature of my son and me, yet he is more progressive while I always loved peace and preferred to remain in the comfort zone. Very often progress and peace don’t go together. A peaceful person would love to maintain his status quo, and as such hardly dare to venture ahead in today’s fast-paced, high-tech age; whereas progress demands continuous change and rapid strides for t betterment. Maybe that’s why, I being what I am, was not able to ascend greater heights in spite of coming quite close to the highest position in my career.
My son, I am sure, must have unconsciously learnt a lesson from my attitude towards life. He didn’t make the mistakes I did; though he loved peace, he never let it hinder his progress. It was evident that changes would be a continuing feature in our lives corresponding to his advancement. As ours is a closely- knit family and all of us love each other very much, I had to go with the flow, realizing that pretty soon I would have to retire and the head of the household would change.
From a small rented apartment, we moved to a condo, then to a large house of our own when my son got married. All the old items in the house were being gradually replaced. New and costly furniture was bought, and soon my chair began to appear as an eyesore. To please my family, including my wife, I had to agree willingly to remove the chair to the basement. From there it went to the garage on its way out. It would certainly have gone out, had not an unexpected twist in fate happened. My daughter was looking for a comfortable easy chair to be put in her loft for her ten-year old son who wanted a chair in his playing area in the loft. I suggested to her to take this chair, as it would fulfill the need as well as make me a little contended that at least the chair would be at my daughter’s place. She agreed.
Presently, I was enjoying the feeling of the chair, when my wife called from downstairs and asked me to come down to return home. When I came down, my daughter pointed out, “Dad, that chair is really very comfortable, isn’t it? But it will have to go now as my son wants a new chair.”

Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
2004 . All Rights Reserved.