That Broken Chair And A Bowl Of Juicy Jamuns!

Sometimes we carry on to do the usual and we become the usual, we forget how an extraordinary feels...

Another very regular story of how an ‘it’ became a rather worthwhile possession for me. The hero here is just a broken old chair that accidentally mended a broken spirit.

The chair really was not able to yield much great (until recently), in contrast to the expectations of it, which sadly had been no less epically ambitious; still wonder why in the first place. What did I want out of the chair?

This was years back when I forced my husband to join me on my visit to an old furniture market. With no knowledge of old or antiques, and clearly no will, but being the good husband he could not have let me go alone to a place filled with rotting wood, smearing a depressing smog, one in shackles and ruins, and almost certainly by appearance about to collapse. There I spotted this beautiful chair and then and there decided on it. That chair (very much like the araam kursi). I had to work hard at convincing my husband of my choice, and the use of this gorgeous furniture piece beyond its basic function.

Hoping for some “me time”

Purchased with the serious idea envisioned by me, hoping it would allow me a relaxed personal time. Help me to achieve results off my creative itch. Engage me with fresh ideas, and soar ingenuity out of me whenever I sit in ‘The Chair’. The imagery in my mind was no less than that of a celebrated artist’s workplace. This piece of furniture was to become my ideal refuge, the gateway to my fancies. Sounds surreal and poetic. I imagined it, and believed in it too! Can’t really claim it has failed me, more or less I have failed it.

All that sits on the chair now forms its skin, sort of a permanent layer of dust; of ego, of disappointing failures, dampened rage, a purposeless soul and a stagnant hollow. I look at it every day, and in a day multiple times, un-attentively.

Jamuns and a bag-full of life lessons

The doorbell rings and my younger daughter cheerfully opens the door to her father. A tight hug welcomes him home. After the standard hellos with our daughters, he announces to me.

‘Hey! I got you Jamuns (Indian blackberries)’

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‘Again?’ I am startled and my reaction evidently very natural. ‘You just brought me those few days back.’

‘So? Now I get it a few days after.’ Casually responding to my concern, while he changes into house slippers.

‘Oh c’mon, but I don’t even like them’, me beginning to get hassled.

‘I know you do’ with absolute confidence.

‘Why would I like jamuns? Seriously jamuns! What’s wrong with you?’

‘What’s wrong with jamuns.’ And he continues.

‘Just everything. Who would like jamuns, they are dry, makes my mouth go leathery, and eating them takes so much time.’

‘Precisely!’ he at once bellows.

‘Precisely, what?’ I argue.

‘For you to take the time to eat them. And when you do wish to eat them, use that chair please.’ I could clearly sense the sarcasm.

‘It’s broken. Don’t you know?’

‘I know it, but you don’t see it?’ his voice is firm.

‘I’ll make you some tea. What’s with you anyways, a bad day in the office?’ my irritation further building up.

‘As a matter of fact a very good one!’ he replies confidently.

‘So why am I being a target out of the blue? I just told you the chair is broken and you say I don’t see it. What is that supposed to mean?

‘It means if you see it is broken, you mend it; don’t you? It has been dumped like this since we moved into this house, almost over a year.’ He is still very calm.

‘You fix that chair, and you eat those jamuns’, another time.

‘Jamuns again, and the chair? Stop beating about the bush. What are you aiming at, can you be clear?’ me furiously.

‘Hmmmm….’ Still calm, a short pause and he continues.

I have been noticing for a few weeks now that you don’t seem to be happy, you are busy in the kitchen or it’s the phone or the kids. And other times you are too tired to spend your time with me. And there is no talk, nothing to share, we don’t talk.’

‘Can’t blame me all the time, the day gets past too fast, the school, the tuition, the kids, what must I do really?’ I interrupt him.

‘Fix that chair and eat those jamuns’.

‘I am losing it now, let’s end this right away. I’ll get the dinner ready.’ Me wanting to wrap this up, avoiding any further arguments.

‘Not until you sit on that chair and eat those jamuns.’ he is adamant and without any deterrence.

‘I can’t sit on it…..it needs to be fixed first…..’

‘Exactly, at least now you got my point’ I can see his eyes open up wide, he looks pleased with my response.

You are getting that chair fixed tomorrow, and next, you are eating those jamuns. And when you sit on that chair sit for as long as you can, just sit on that chair with those jamuns in your hand. Just sit on that damn chair for the longest, sit until you know what needs to be done. It is okay if you don’t make us dinner or clean the house for a day, you just sit until you have eaten the last of the jamuns. Sit until you feel that itch, until you can mend yourself!

Now, this might sound totally unrelatable to you, a bit strange but nothing in my life has made more sense than this. And that’s what my husband intended, he triggered that change. And the chair did the rest for me. So yes, it started with small things: the very next day I did fix that chair, and I did eat those jamuns. They were juicy good, and I do like jamuns. LOL! I did fix other needed repairs, including mine.

An epiphany can change your life!

A ray of hope, a little push, a little discipline, a little neglecting of the housework and little engaging in anything good, positive and constructive. That’s what was missing. Sometimes we carry on to do the usual and we become the usual, we forget how an extraordinary feels. I needed to break that routine and breathe fresh air. Any relationship is prone to monotony and fallouts. My transformation by just sitting on that chair was unbelievable. Sometimes a little time alone to yourself can curate possibilities. It yielded my self-growth. All just a broken chair did to me is bring back the lost essence of life, fix my day, repair my spirit and renew our relationship!

It’s been months, all is wonderful in my household. When he returns home there is a smile, and it’s the sweet treats or my favourite tuberoses.

(A little voice pokes me, giggles inside my head, my eyes hide a guilty spark almost mischievously looking for that pack of jamuns when he returns home. And if those arrive, I would know just what to do.)

Image Source: Unsplash

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