A photograph that was very popular among our friends and relatives was this:
This photograph was taken in 1985 just before I went in for my surgery for the first hip replacement. The photographer was my friend and brother in law, who alas is no more. The painting behind us is an Ajanta Cave copy, still with us. It is among the best made by Urmeela and many collectors tried to buy it off her, but she simply wanted it for her own satisfaction.
You will also see a vase of flowers behind Urmeela. This was her passion. She loved to have flowers in the house and would buy them whenever she ventured out till we moved to Pune where she set up her own garden. This particular photograph was taken when we were living in a large flat, apartment for my American friends, in Bombay, and though we had a common garden, flowers had to be bought regularly. Needlessly to say, after the garden came into her life, the vases dried up unless someone brought a bouquet of flowers as a peace offering!
In the photograph, I have a glass of rum and water in my hand. That was my favourite drink then. We had a lot of restrictions on imports and good whisky was hard to come by, though I would manage to get a local malt now and then. The photographer and friend cum brother in law, was my drinking buddy and gave me my nickname Rummy that has lasted for nearly forty eight years.
The Chair that I am sitting on is my favourite. It was made specially for me by a dear friend of mine, Kashi, who was at that time stationed in Kanpur. He had one exactly like this, and if my memory serves me right it was an inherited heirloom. The one that I got from him is just a copy. Without me on it, it looks like this:
This type of chair is generally called an easy chair here in India, and is favoured mostly by retired elderly persons. A variation of the design is with extendable arms that tuck under the top arm rests. When extended by a swivel movement, one can stretch one’s legs on top and it is total bliss! It has a canvass hammock slung between its frames and believe me, it is the most comfortable to sit on. By adjusting the rear frame’s tilt, the seat can either recline or be in an upright position and it is a boon when I want to sleep in the garden in the winter afternoons. It is light to carry and can be folded and stored away in an unobtrusive corner when not in use, but I keep it permanently near a lamp so that I can read whenever the mood takes me. The same lamp that you see on the top photograph continues to do service even today.
What triggered this post was a request after many years, for a copy of the photograph from a friend who had seen us like we appear on it here. I could not very well let the opportunity go without blogging about it, now that I can scan old photographs!
How about you? Any favourite chair or piece of furniture that has been with you for many years and continues to give great comfort even now?