The hot topic of buzz in Maharasthra in the last few days is no longer its weather or iconic vada-pav, but an iron chair. A chair with a Marathi name and village etched was found outside a restaurant in Manchester. A video of this chair has since had gone viral on social media – with many wondering how it got there. The chair would have had to travelled about 7,500 kilometres from the Sangli district of Maharashtra to a restaurant in Manchester, England. Senior sports analyst Sunandan Lele shared a video on social media, that while walking in the Atrium area of Manchester, he saw an iron chair in the vicinity of a restaurant. The name ‘Balu Lokhande, Savlaj’ is written on the back of this chair. Sunandan Lele posted this video of the iron chair written on social media as “Balu Lokhande Savlaj”. Within hours the video went viral on social media.
But how did a chair owned by Balu Lokhande, a Mandap decorator from Savlaj, travel 7,627 km to reach a hotel in Manchester, England? News18 visited Savlaj village in Tasgaon taluka to know the whereabouts of this chair – and how it made the almost 7,700 km journey.
News18 found that Balu Lokhande had sold this chair for scrap — 15 years ago. He told News18 that the chair weighed about 13 kg. Due to the introduction of plastic chairs, the demand for such chairs was over. He had sold it for 10 rupees a kg as part of scrap and bought plastic chairs. These scrap chairs were then sold to Mumbai – and later, bought as an antique chair by a foreign businessman.
Balu Lokhande had too seen the viral video, and been contacted by Sunandan Lele. ‘I told Lele, too, that it was our chair.’ Even today they Lokhande’s company still owns some similar chairs. “The grapes of our Savlaj already reached overseas, but who knows how “London Saheb’ fell in love with our chair,” Balu Lokhande tells News18 proudly.