Remember Enid Blyton’s magic flying chair, which grew little wings on the sides if you rubbed it with ointment, and then took you to the Land of Chocolates or Do as You Please? Well, that was nothing compared to the one I spent five blissful minutes in today - a massage chair imported from Singapore and belonging to the same family as the one that was designated an Invention of the Year by Time magazine in 2003. When this gentleman who I’d just finished interviewing (and whose company retails these things in India) showed me the chair and told me what it was, I looked at it condescendingly before agreeing to try it out. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn’t a customised spine rub that would put any flesh-and-blood masseuse to shame. This chair is incredible! It’s human! Much better than human! (It squeezed my calves in a friendly-yet-firm, familiar-yet-unintrusive way.) But it costs at least Rs 2 lakh which means I might have to sell all my books, except the Blytons.
When computers and robots(?) and things came in, there was much weeping that they would take jobs away from people. Now that chairs are threatening to do the same, I think even those of us who aren’t masseuses should quit our jobs and settle down for a good back rub.