Thursday, September 15, 2022

An encounter with a three legged chair : A short story written by Sebastian TV


An encounter with a three-legged chair: A short story 
Sebastian TV

The moment I entered the room, it began to glance at me. A gaze so penetrating, it perforated deep into my soul. Before I could gather myself its fierce but alluring and seductive charm had caught my much-awaited attention.

Standing on three legs, with the magnetic balancing of a gymnast, the three-legged chair assumed the personality of an enlightened ‘guru’.

“Oh! What a piece for an object meditation!” I thought. But I was wrong. It opened up as if choked and suffocated for years, startling me a little.

“It’s you”, he said.

“What?” I exploded mentally?

“It’s you who broke my leg.”

“Yes, I know. But Shut up now. Others will hear your mongering. Can’t you speak a little slower? Now look…… Hide somewhere…Hide behind that walkie …talkie, chewing and chattering words like a Banaras panwala. Nobody is watching. Everybody is talking. Do it now, please…..”

“You are afraid of people,” said he.

“It is ridiculous that you be the center of attraction today. Look ……You just turn around….Everyone is ready to perform meditation while looking at your impeccable balancing act. Why do you want to do it?”

“You must be in a circus,” I continued. Your wonderful balancing act will animate the bored onlookers for want of animals in it.”

“You are kidding.” He said laughing heartily. Can’t you imagine how difficult is it to do this job? Do you think I enjoy it?

“I am told to do it. Their comfort is my joy. Their contentment is my fulfillment. Sitting on me by someone is an adrenal for my amenity. Their leisure on me is my pleasure.”

“Moreover, how long can I keep this balance intact? Can you do a favor?”

“What?” I asked.

“Can you relocate me elsewhere?” he pursued.

I did not know what to say. Puzzled and completely confused I closed my eyes. Delving deep into the depth of my soul I sought frantically an answer. However best I tried, I failed to hear my own voice from within. Whatever little I managed to hear was drowned in the noisy waves of the crowd.

I could see the monstrous manly waves curling to devour me into their heinous embrace of death. Lashing against the rocky wall of my mind they invited me to join the sinister mob.

Join the mob………That is the last thing I wish to do.

“Do not be a part of a crowd. A crowd has no reason. Be an individual. Be different.”

I reminiscence the wise saying of my teacher whose magnetic presence in the classroom repulsed every evil and attracted everything well. I longed to be with him, with the spectacled old man.

“You did not answer my plea. Is my supplication beyond your potency to be fulfilled? Can’t you find a solution to get me out of this mess?”

The questions astonished me. As I woke up from my mental sojourn, I heard the humble protest of the chair.

“You consider them a burden and look for every means to get rid of them as surreptitiously as possible.”

“What…What do you mean?” I protested.

“You pulled and pushed me. You dragged and dumped me. But I made no remorse. My duty was to make your life more palatable and palpable.”

He took a long sigh. Then he added: “Haven’t you heard many “Kissa khursi ka?” With a mild hearty laugh, he said: “Without me, there will be no musical chairs.”

“I never realized that you are such an important person”, I countered.

“Isn’t it contradictory that we feel the presence of the dear ones more acutely in their absence?”

The chair seemed to me a bit of a philosopher. The more I talked to him the better the revelation became. I wished to hear more.

I have sat on many chairs, but I never heard them speaking this way. The cheerful chary words of wisdom unfolded into wonderful creative pursuits on the canvas of my anxiety. The skillfully woven mesmeric words were like the golden eyes of the peacock's tail delighting my soul.

“Weary! ……Yes, at times like this. But I love my work.”

“ It has been a wonderful journey carrying the load of people of weight and consequence. I call it a pilgrimage. Rulers and the ruled, most famous and the little known all rested their arms on my arms. Arm in arm we sat together for eternity. And some of them even clothed me with the most expensive gems. Being in the corridors of power was a feeling to be cherished.”

“That indeed a long journey. Don’t you feel so bored and intimidated at times?” I asked.

“Intimidated...By what?” he asked.

“You should work like a master and not like a slave. Lowering his voice a little as if grieved by the fact he continued:

Listening to him was like a ‘sermon on the mount.’ Words fell like cool drops of rain heralding the arrival of monsoon on a hot and soporific afternoon.

Thus I egged him to continue.

“What do you do for a living?”

“Well…I teach,” said I.

“What is great in it?” I said.

You must be a selected few in this role. Cultivate a positive mind and things will change for you. What you need is wings of imagination.” He said.

I did not answer him. As if sensing my mind he said:

“It is an exhilarating experience to be a teacher’s chair.”

“Do you really think so?” I asked.

“Why not?” He explained.

There was a moment of lapse. It was like an hour for me. I stealthily cast my eyes on his face and doubted that the glow of his countenance was slightly shaded. I could hear the tick-tick sound of my heart with a clinical precision of a clock waiting to strike an alarm.

“The respect is gone or the method of exhibiting respect has changed. I am dragged and pulled. And with no permanent place, I have moved around in the class. Some of them who came in pursuit of wisdom dishonored me by placing themselves above the teachers. But I long for the teacher’s arrival. Their graceful gestures and powerful moving words created ripples in my heart. Hearing the teacher's directions to the students to improve the quality of their lives, seeing the teachers making the students pick up morsels of food and other pieces from the floors creating awareness in their minds were enlivening experiences.”

“Believe me ….teachers seldom used my service. But when used, I went through joy unspeakable.”

“I can’t completely agree with you. Why does erosion take place in nature? It is because you cut trees, cultivate unscientifically and allow the cattle to overgraze. As you take steps to prevent erosion in nature, implement certain steps in education also.” He elaborated.

“Yes, I have heard that truth will make us free. Hope we are free.”

“Before I go away from you let me ask you the last question. In what way can I be of some help to you?”

“When you use me acknowledge my service. But right now get rid of me from here. Teach well. And in an emergency call 108.”

Sebastian TV

Hello, I am ​Sebastian Thyparambil, M.A (History, Economics, English, and Public Administration) and Bachelor of Education (B. Ed)from IGNOU. Former Adanian from Adani Public School. Worked as a head of the Department of Social Science as well as CCA in-charge. Now I am a Xavierian. Love to teach, read and watch nature.

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