I am a chair, plain and simple like several others of my clan – very very comfortable, with thick laid cushions on the seat and the back, but dears, somewhere within me is an inlaid layer of thorns which continue to prick the person sitting on my seat. The thorns keep reminding the occupier of the seat of his immense responsibilities and still more immense hurdles to fulfilling these very responsibilities.
I remember the day I was completed, and how I was being praised by all and sundry for my very good looks. It seemed that I was one of the most beautiful chairs manufactured in one single factory, in Delhi. That day two hundred of us were turned out of the factory, and believe that each one of us looked glamorous and just beautiful. All of us were placed outside the factory to be transported to our respective destinations. None of us knew where we would be taken but, I heard someone telling another that we were all to be taken to the Secretariat. This was a lot of excitement for all of us as at least I knew that the Secretariat was the office from where the Government functioned. This was the building where all the offices of the Government were housed. We were all puffed up with glee and felt very proud of ourselves as it was clear now that we would all be placed in sophisticated and plush offices of senior officers of the Government of India. This excitement was justified for we were very lucky and why not, we were all after all so beautiful and comfortable.
In the midst of all excitement we waited in the sun for quite a long time, keeping us all wondering what our luck had in store for us. At least that was my condition and I am sure my friends also felt the same. My heart felt pit a pat, pit a pat, when I heard someone’s footsteps coming towards us. Soon we all heard a person, someone senior coming towards us and announcing aloud to someone else that we had now to be transported to the Secretariat, and that, trucks were standing to take us away from this place. Now my heart came into my mouth as, I knew not where my fate would take me. I am very sure that my friends also felt the same way due to the uncertainty of luck hanging on our heads. We started saying adieu to each other knowing that we never see each other ever again.
Soon the loading started and perhapse about twenty of us were loaded together in one truck, and Lo! Just then were all of us loaded in the trucks looked alike. Now I think all of us started conjecturing that, all of us twenty were meant to be kept in the same office. Our journey started and, hardly had we settled in the truck that the truck stopped, and it was announced by the driver that the South Block had come, and the peons were waiting to remove us from the truck. Aha! It was so soon we reached our destination in so short a time. Now was the time for the final reckoning, and we would count in our final placements, and we would be allotted different locations depending on out looks. Now, one again our movement started and we were to be carried to our respective places of posting. I now lost track of all the others as I was deeply engrossed in my happiness as, I heard people saying that I had to be taken to the office of the Prime Minister in the South Block of the Secretariat. Aha, my pleasure no knew no bounds as, I will henceforth be seating the Prime Minister of India, or, will I just be put in his office to seat his guests? This doubt was soon cleared from my mind when I noticed that I was placed at the beautiful elegant work table. My heart pounded within me will I be able to give comfort, will I be able to serve, and many such other questions now troubled me. In the meantime I was set, dusted and was now ready to receive the Prime minister. Here I was not alone, as, a colleague of mine was also placed in one corner of the office, and was meant for the visitors who came to see my boss. I was the alone chosen one who would have the honour of seating the Prime Minister of India on me.
Now that I was settled, my heart also started behaving stable and waiting the P.M. to come and sit on me. Who was? I think he was Mr. Deve Gowda. Not for long did I have to wait when he entered the office, and lo! he was as though struck by my immaculate beauty and personality. He praised me to his staff members and sat on me, found me very cosy and comfortable. He started his work after settling on me, and remained there for very long to settle tasks set for him. Oh! how much of paper work, how many and how long the discussions and, how many long hours of work. Oh! I felt so tired bearing the weight of the P.M. for so many long hours. I did of course have the pleasure of seeing the innermost details of the functioning of the Government. I was at the same time sorry for my plight of not being able to understand anything of all that transpired. UF – I was tired bearing the weight for so long and all the time wondered how the P.M. could sit for so long.
This became my routine, and after sometime only, I started getting bored with the long drawn out programmes and lengthy discussions. When this was my plight of boredom, one day, I overheard some people saying that the P.M. is now likely to change. I had hardly taken the rumour in, one fine morning I saw a new P.M. entering the office. I did wonder what had happened to Mr. Deve Gowda, but what would I understand of it all. So, I only quietly welcomed the new P.M. This time I was thrilled, as, the P.M. was lighter, and I did not feel the pangs of his weight on my back.
The Prime Minister had changed. He was, perhapse Mr. I.K. Gujral, but, the routine of my life remained unchanged. The same long drawn out discussions, same debates and of course the same long working hours. I used to enjoy all this for sometime but, when it became a very long series of discussions, I would start getting bored. This boredom was because of two reasons, one, that I would get very tired as, I was very delicate and secondly, I would not understand anything of what was being discussed. In my moments of desperation, I would start thinking of my other friends who must surely be having less time of toil and labour, and even less weight on their backs. Then I thought to myself, yes, yes, they are having less work to do but where do they have the singular honour of being used by the P.M. of India? This thought gave me immense satisfaction and I decided to just neglect the smaller woes of life.
This zest kept me happy for sometime and, inspite of the boredom I was happy that I was among the few honoured from y community. Life went on as usual and I had nothing new to feel or do when soon enough one fine day I heard some murmur that, once again there was a talk of a change in the Prime Minister. This enthused me a little and I started wondering who the new P.M. would be. My life would remain the same though, yet there would be some ray of change I’m sure. Days passed on, and I used to hear that the elections were on and that now, my seat would be occupied by someone else. I bided for time and prayed that some one nice and loveable would now lend me the honour of being my master. God it seems heard my prayers and lo! And behold my favourite politician Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee was declared to have become the P.M. of India. Now I waited with some hope of a new era in my life, as I had heard a lot of good about this one person.
After some time I don’t know how much, the day came when he entered the P.M.’s office and came to sit on me and rest on my back. I was absolutely thrilled and prayed for his well being and long life, and a lasting premiership. In his turn also, he stood near me and for a moment admired my looks, Oh how happy that made me. Now he is the person who is using me and the honour of course is all mine. I just love to hear him talk, his voice is so soft and deep, he talks in such an affectionate tone to all, that I love to hear him talk, Now the discussions do not seen to bore me as, his sweet soft and loving voice reverberated in the room all the time. The routine is still the same but the P.M.’s sweet tone of discussions makes me forget all the woes of my life.
Now since I have such a good master, I only pray for myself that, on the pretext of being old, I am not thrown out of this office. I have maintained my gorgeous looks so, I see no reason why I should be discarded. It is now only that, I am fully enjoying my assignment in the P.M.’s office. He is never so sweet, soft spoken and affectionate that, my heart goes out to him. I pray to God that he continues in office for a very very long tenure and I remain here to get the honour and pleasure of his company. If I ever have to part from him, that would be a very bad day in my life.