It all started in December 2008. My father had just moved in with us and prior to his arrival, we had arranged for a brand new bed for him, and placed the most comfortable arm chair in the house in his to be room. After the initial eupohria of the new surroundings, after a few days, he wanted to change the chair in his room. He tried every chair in the house and was not satisfied. We took him shopping to more than a dozen furniture shops and also to an exhibition of furniture that was going on then, and he would not be satisfied.
Ranjan’s friend Mel thought that perhaps a chair that she had at home which she was looking to discard would suit him and got it relocated to our place. He decided that he would be comfortable on it if some alterations could be made and some cushions were added. I promptly arranged for a carpenter to come over and make the alterations and an upholsterer to take measurements and make the necessary cushions. He settled down finally to using that chair, which he claimed was a compromise, as exactly what he wanted, he had abandoned at his previous place of residence. I offered to get that shipped if he would speak to the people currently in possession of that, but he demurred.
After his recent illness, he again started off complaining about the discomfort in the chair, and the whole process started all over again. Ranjan went so far as to go over to a friend’s furniture shop and mail photographs of what he thought would be perfect and after seeing the photographs, my father agreed that he would be comfortable in the one that Ranjan had chosen.
It was lugged and installed in his room, and the old converted chair shifted to the drawing room by replacing my favourite chair about which I had written earlier. Since that chair is foldable, I simply folded it down and shoved it below my bed till such time as when it can reappear in my favourite place. In the meanwhile, I shall make do with the chair removed from my father’s room for my reading.
It took exactly one day for my father to decide that the brand new chair brought for him was not comfortable and the process started all over again. But this time, we asked him what will satisfy him and he gave some specifications, which suddenly reminded me of old time office chairs. We went looking for it all over, including the internet, and three people including one in the interior decoration business started the hunt. It was however Ranjan who finally decided to go to what we call the Juna Bazaar, the equivalent to a flea market. Since one has to be a good bargainer to succeed there, he wisely took Manjiri with him and found one old specimen and bargained hard for a reasonable price and got it home. Some worthy bottom which had used it in the past had cushioned the seat, and the first thing I did was to remove the cushion. I then got to refit the seat, wash the whole chair and disinfect it with a whole bottle of antiseptic lotion and with great fanfare produced it before my father. He was thrilled to see that relic and settled down for a while. Finally this is what it looked like.
After about an hour, he wanted some alterations made to increase the height a little more and to raise the front portion of the seat so that he would not keep slipping forward. I fortunately have my good friend Abbas, an inspired handyman with a workshop, who took the chair with him to his garage, installed rubber bushes at the bottom to increase the height and by a simple but effective innovation, raised the front portion of the seat to about an inch. That was delivered on Saturday afternoon and as I write this, there has been no further complaint.
Just see how fortunate I have been with so many people helping me to resolve a simple issue.