Massage Part Deux

a.k.a. The feel good factor

Mostly misfit’s undying love of massages is well known to the few readers who’ve been so nice to read this blog. While the last massage was pure relaxation for an hour that managed to treacle down to sensual delights for several hours afterwards, today’s was a very different experience.

I found an ayurvedic treatment centre that is less than a kilometer away from home. I obviously had to try it with the anticipation of making this a regular hangout if the service was good. This treatment centre hardly looked promising, even shady to someone used to associating massages with swanky white furniture, some obscure oriental music, nicely placed flowers (orchids to be precise) and smiling masseuses dressed in uniform.  This was an old, inconspicuous building with an old man manning the the reception counter and able to answer your questions only in between bouts of coughing.  I was unsure of trying out this place but the price was so inexpensive that I booked an appointment for the next day.

A long story cut short, they didn’t have a shower room, their steam room didn’t function that day and the over all atmosphere looked rather depressing.  I would have expressed fierce rage under normal circumstances; but having to pay just 400 rupees for a 45 minute massage was too good a deal if it worked out, to unnecessarily create drama and have them refuse my entry the next time. So I was taken to a small room by a masseuse who looked no more than twenty and who wouldn’t have weighed over 45 kilos. My apathy about the whole experience started to fade away once she took charge. She spoke to me in Malayalam or Kannada, I don’t know; and reprimanded me for not understanding and said, “aiyyo, bag keep”. That’s when I realized that she wanted me to keep my bag on the table rather than the floor. The next step was obviously to strip, but this girl let me keep my own underwear on. Goody! This was a lot better than the negligible piece of g-string I was made to wear the last time and the whole time I kept feeling that it was a mockery of my over enthusiasm for all pursuits of sensual relaxation.

This massage was hardly soothing but it was something a lot better than just soothing. I normally like massages where every ounce of your body is kneaded with strength. This was precisely that. The little girl was not that little when it came to her profession. She had strong, firm hands. She didn’t utter a word throughout, even to tell me to move an inch here or there. She was strong enough to brusquely move my feet in the exact angle needed and she did it in the exact same way for both the feet. She vigorously rubbed my entire body in a way that I felt that vigour was actually being injected in every atom of my body. The force jolted every muscle that I didn’t even know I had into a sudden state of awareness and awakening. She didn’t ask me polite questions like, “is the pressure fine? is the music good? (there wasn’t any), is the oil temperature fine?” and the practiced questions. I wasn’t her client, I was a patient whom she had to treat in the way she knew best. There was no need to check what was fine for me. She knew what was fine for me and had no questions about her skills. And it was a great experience. I literally surrendered my body to this little therapist who knew her job and did it perfectly. She cracked ALL my knuckles, even the thumb; and all my toes, even the big one. That itself made me give her 100 percent rating. She massaged my belly with considerable force and strength that I felt as if my belly fat was melting inside and that I’d pee fat after I was done.  She didn’t waste a minute and didn’t have to fill up time with useless things like asking to sit back for 5 minutes after finishing one kind of stroke. She promised 45 minutes of massage and she gave full 45 minutes, not a second less.

I must say that I’ll be a regular here except for the times when I’d want the superficial pleasantries and swanky ambiance. This was some tough love my body got. Unlike the massages where your body is lightly oiled and handled as if you were as delicate as a feather, this was the polar opposite where your muscles were strengthened. No cajoling your body into relaxing to be renewed for a grueling schedule to come, but good old scolding and pulling up your spirit and knocking off your restlessness to just face what you cannot change. This is a perfect place for the kind of massage you’d take just like some vitamins which you know are good for your body, not necessarily leaving you with layers and layers of tickling sensation that would keep unfolding over the next few hours. But a rejuvenating shot of strength and a serious, healthy oiling of your body…just like Dhanwantari meant it to be.


Of beer and buddyhood

I went to Toit straight after work yesterday. I was in an abnormally uplifted mood the entire day yesterday with the thought of going to Toit with our first out-station guest…none other than our favourite person N—friend, family, confidant all rolled in one.

EM had his weekly off yesterday and N had already reached home by afternoon. The chaddi buddies went ahead to Toit and asked me to join them after work. It was quite fun. I actually don’t even like beer. I do love the idea of gulping down chilled beer on hot afternoons, watching sports. But I don’t like beer or Sports. Anyway, I had a Bloody Mary while EM tried 3 beers and made N try 2.

We chatted about stupid, idiot people—our pet topic in the entire world perhaps, then a little more about morally bankrupt douchebags, then a bit more about people who fit the category of ‘jerkdom all rounders’. But then when the beer had cooled our tempers we also talked about lighter stuff like food, recipes et al. I nagged the boys to finish their beers soon as I was excited about the package of baking supplies I got delivered at Toit and couldn’t wait to immediately put my new muffin tray to use.

Then we went home and watched random videos, chatting while I baked. The batch of cinnamon mini muffins turned out pretty well and EM and N pounced on them when all I meant to do was show how cute they looked. That’s success, right? Then we ate while we made fun of Nigella’s just-a-teeny tiny-bit-of-oil turning into a never ending stream and discussed how great her show is to watch but how neither of us would eat most of the stuff. And then I drifted off…no idea what the buddies did after that.

This morning on my way to work, I couldn’t help but wonder (I sound exactly like Carrie Bradshaw 😀 ), isn’t life what happens to you at the most unexpected of times? Isn’t it but a collection of moments of buddyhood, food, love, animals, laughter, torrent of tears? Simple moments like yesterday, of unassuming, uncomplicated friendships? All the time I keep thinking of life=doing things you love, but I felt that maybe it’s not what you do, but what happens to you. It’s probably what happens to you when you are not thinking about life and trying to philosophize about what it is and what it should be. It is that little dance you do in your head when the fruit vendor gives you an extra plum, it’s that glee when a dog that paid no attention to you before, suddenly acknowledges your presence and gives you a friendly lick, it’s the realization of how someone else thinks exactly like you, it’s what stirs you in the slightest of ways really. What do you think?