Before you all run away with the idea that this is about Vidya Charan Shukla (who famously told Vidya Sinha – tu Vidya, main Vidya), let me disabuse you of that notion. This is about a chair at home but the title was too good to let go.
I first saw this chair on a rubbish tip near Krishnappa Naicken Tank when I did a Devadasi walk in that area in 2008. It was sitting on top of piled up garbage and was perhaps being used a paperweight to prevent the rubbish from flying about. I did not spare it more than a passing glance and a thought that it was a handsome piece.
Cut to 2011, when walking about once again in that area, in the company of Karthik Bhatt, this time to plan for the Mint Street walk, I found the chair at the same place. It was just the same, the three intervening years had not affected it much. Two weeks later, I went alone, to plan some further details and this time my mind was made up. The only likely owner appeared to be the family that lived next to the tip. They were not its owners they said, it having been left there by someone. But they were willing to sell it, considering several years of proximity to be sufficient grounds for ownership. Some haggling later, we settled a price. The chair was dusted, loaded into the car and brought home. It did not get a rousing welcome. Frosty would be a better term.
It was cleaned, polished and varnished. It then struck me that its legs were of the same design as a console table that had been with my family for years. I placed it by the table’s side. Today it is assumed by visitors that the two have always been a pair.
I am happy that the chair found a home. But imagine leaving a rosewood chair on a rubbish heap!