Musical chair with easy chair

“A table, a chair, a fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?” said Subbu, quoting Albert Einstein. We two were sipping piping hot, frothy, filter coffee in our club, on that windy, wintry evening.

“Einstein did not specify the type of chair he fancied,” reminisced Subbu. “But mine was made of quality bamboo, painted turquoise green, sprawling and sturdy, set in a reclining pose, the back slanted at a convenient angle. The seat dipped to give the not-so-fleshy bottom the crying need of comfort. The two arms that elliptically jutted out on either side were broad. A thin mattress in bright Tartan checks snaked from the top to the curved edge of the seat. The two hand-rests were similarly padded. An ideal thing an aching post-operative body would long for!”

He took another sip and continued. “After the coronary artery bypass surgery, the chair gave me relief from the pain in the thorax which was more due to the surgeon’s induced fracture of the rib cage to reach the heart and the subsequent seamless splicing of the bones. The heart, as an organ, feels no pain.”

“A bed is alright to rest, but if prolonged, gives the feeling of seemingly interminable sickness. A straight-backed chair is unwelcome, as it imparts the vexatious feeling of working in the office even after retirement, with a paper clutter
on the table. But a reclining chair blends the goodness of both. One can sit up if need be, recline or twist and turn left, right or centre as per the dictates of the body. No wonder its moniker is ‘easy-chair’.”

“My family physician, who had piloted the surgery, looked with concern at the reclining chair. ‘Will you be able to get up from its depths?’ he asked. Since action will speak volumes, I deposited myself into that vigilantly, and after a short cooling period of 30 seconds scrambled gingerly up and stood, without doddering like a passenger on the deck when a ship passes through heavy turbulence. He was impressed.”

“Before long, my preference for the chair came to an end. My grandpa, who lived up to 99, used to call it a ‘sick-chair’. I had never seen him wallowing in one. My cardiologist told me a bypass is done only to roll the calendar back by years, after circumventing the recalcitrant blocks, for the patient to feel younger. Nowadays, it is even termed as cosmetic. Soon, I dispensed with the easy chair ungrudgingly and used a straight-back chair. I stood instead of sitting, walked instead of standing. But no. I did not jog, instead of walking. Jogging would be treacherous, even suicidal.”

“What happened to your cosy easy-chair?” I asked. “I donated it to my cousin, Eswar, with my wishes. His heart will go for surgical repair next week. Hope the easy chair will be of transitional usage only to convalesce. And soon make him walk briskly, like this donor.”

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Musical chair with easy chair

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