A lot of things have changed in the years since Appa passed away. This house that he lived in for nearly a decade before he moved on from this world has turned on its head with the inevitable refurbishments and repairs that any household goes through in a given lifetime.
But one thing that still hasn’t changed and has withstood the ravages of time, much like I would describe Appa himself while he was still with us – is Appa’s easy chair.
It was commissioned as part of the new furniture that was made for the new house. It was also the first time my father had an easy chair to sink into and relax at the end of a work day.
With almost every responsibility towards his family complete, it should have been a time for him to relax and enjoy his well-earned retirement, sit back and watch the fruits of his labor grow and prosper.
I wonder sometimes what dreams he dreamt during the times this easy chair gave him a restful place to contemplate and plan the rest of his life.
I wonder how many unrequited plans were formed in those pensive moments spent in the company of the easy chair.
I have fond memories of a grown man of 65-70 years sitting in this chair, his legs outstretched on a foot stool, heartily laughing while watching re-runs of Tom and Jerry.
I recall how none of us dared sit on this chair while he was about the house. It seemed almost sacrilegious to even think the thought let alone act upon it.
I recall how I finished writing the book about Appa and the thing that finally defeated him sitting on this very easy chair a year after he had passed on. I couldn’t pick up the thread of my thoughts for a whole year after he was gone. As soon as I sat in his chair though, the words flowed again.
So did the tears.
I recall how, as his disease advanced, he could no longer sink into the chair that he loved and had to abandon it for a dining chair at first and then a hospital bed.
Over nine years have passed since the day he was taken away from us. But even today every time I return home, the chair is the first thing I see and my heart skips a beat.
If I close my eyes I can almost see and hear him. Sitting on that chair and laughing at the antics of a cat and mouse on the television.
I wait at the door hoping against hope. If I hold my breath a little longer, maybe the universe will sigh sensing my sorrow. And a miracle will happen.
And he will be back on that chair, watching over all of us.
Then the moment passes and reality comes crashing down yet again. Appa is gone. But he lives on in more ways than one. He lives on even in the furniture in his home.