I suggest to hold on tightly to your seat as you read this hilarious account....
I was traveling in Kerala from villages to cities, crossing mountain and rivers to backwaters and thick jungles to spice plantations we were learning various aspects of Kerala.
Every now and then somebody will talk about the benefits of Kerala massage and how it can rejuvenate everything from the lost luster of your skin, to hair, to lost appetite and a few more things, that are better are unsaid, I was wondering when my chance of experiencing the divine magic of the aromatic oils on my callused skin will come.
Finally we were in Kumarakom where I was informed that our hotel is one of the best places in Kerala to experience the magical Kairali message. I immediately agreed for the same, but was told that before experiencing the message I need to meet a physician and answer a few questions so that he can suggest the appropriate therapy.
Well the physician looked at me from top to bottom just like a butcher looks happily at an overweight “ Bakra” and smiled, which meant only one thing that I was about to be assassinated and I will not even get choice if it will be halal or Jhatka.
Statutory warning: The Vegetarian types can stop reading here
After analyzing my health the physician recommended a rejuvenating message that will open my pores and let my skin breathe. I was not sure what all this breathing business by skin meant, as in my class VI biology, Miss Malhotra has taught us that we breathe from nose. Any ways after giving a pat on my back for remembering not only Miss Malhotra from class VI biology class , but also the lessons in biology besides the chapter that she asked us to read on our own I proceeded towards the therapy room. Remember that “message “looks so cheap, just like our heroines like Katrina and Karishma, never do “ITEM” number, they only do special appearances, in Kerala you don’t get message you undergo Therapy. No wonder more than 90 percent of the guests in the hotel were Americans.
Once I entered the haloed chambers, with a central altar just like the operation tables of 5 star hospitals, I was instructed to remove my clothes, only the guy (YES He was a guy L ) forgot to mention what is his definition of clothes. Hence I removed my clothes except for the last line of defense, trying to be as modest as possible, but the therapist wanted me to remove that also, and I flatly refused.
To which the therapist said ok, if you want I can give you our special therapy clothes.
I was a bit relieved on the offer, though my relief lasted only for a few seconds, as the therapy cloth was a piece of langot (loin cloth) that must have been designed by the same designer who designs clothes for Poonam Pandey G.
What do you mean Poonam Pandey G hardly wears any clothes? Well you get the point then. And if you are wondering what is this G in the Poonam Pandey so let me tell you “under kee baat”.
Ever since Poonam Pandey joined showbiz, more than money and fame she wanted to gain a lot of respect and wished one day people will call here with respect like Sonia G, Modi G, Rahul G, GjaG, 2G, and 3G etc. but no matter what she did it back fired. Whether she tried item numbers in movies, or offered a striptease for the Indian Cricket team no body called her Poonam G. Finally she got an idea and she decided to adapt G strings as the main item in her wardrobe. So what is supposed to be “ under wear” for most of us, soon became only wear for Poonam and as her G strings became more well known her fans started calling her Poonam G. Mission accomplished, today Poonam Pandey G is a well respected G string Girl and people give here example to imported “goris” likes Sunny Leone
Anyway, those of you stopped reading the post to search for pictures of Poonam G and Sunny without G remember even if your company’s IT department will not find about it your wife or girlfriend sure will find out about your search. Once they find out then no amount of Kerala therapy or any other massage will be able to restore your health.
Oh, that brings me back to the topic of Kerala massage I mean therapy with which we started this post.
So where was I? Ah yes the Poonam Pandey G inspired therapy clothes!
I flatly refused to wear those, and challenged the therapist” Under wear change karne se kya massage hotee hai, if you are really skilled, massage me in my VIP undies only.”
The therapist accepted the challenge and said ” Sir it does not matter to me if you are in VIP underwear of Rupa’s underwear, I will do as you say, but if you are not rejuvenated completely please do not blame me.”
By now I just wanted to get over the same and agreed for half rejuvenation, with full underwear on my body
As the issue of underwear was wrapped and dumped under the table I looked around the therapy room of the Ayruveda Center. I have passed through a serene garden to reach this exclusive enclave in the resort. I could see the central courtyard like an Old Kerala Home with therapy rooms around it.
The room was decorated like a meditation room in some holy Ashram (real one not the Aasram type type)
The altar i.e. the therapy table was decorated with flowers and incense sticks; I looked at the flowers neatly arranged on the therapy table and wondered if this is an exfoliation session for dead skin or preparation of a Honeymoon night in A Bollywood movie.
The therapist patiently explained me about the treatment to be followed step wise and what benefit I would derive from the same.
After invoking the Ayrurveda gods with a prayer and burning the incense sticks he started the treatment.
As the first drops of lukewarm aromatic oils made from rejuvenating herbs touched my back, I shivered for a moment, wondering what I have got myself into. But the drops of oil grew into a flow and the therapist started spreading it on my back. As the callused skin absorbed the warm oils like parched desert sand soaks the first showers of monsoon, leaving no trace of the liquid but a lingering earthy smell that no perfume in the world can match. I was finally understanding what Kerala massage is all about.
More oil followed, and the therapist who was gaining my respect with every stroke of his hand on my back dextrally spread the oil around making more pores quench their thirst for the soothing elixir. As the session progressed the therapist started a tap dance of fingers on my back that was keeping pace with jugalbandi of Pandit Hariprasad Churasia and Balamuralikrishan on raga Yaman and Malkauns.
Soon the waves emerging from the Ragas and the tapping on my back merged and formed a bigger unified, stronger wave taking me to a different plane. I was no longer a middle age guy getting Kerala style Ayruveda massage, but my body was the playground of ragas, and I a mere instrument to the sounds of music that the universe was playing around me. The waves soon took over and I was lying hypnotized on the table, just reacting to the instructions of the therapist.
“Sir Please turn around”
“Sir please tell if the pressure is too much”
“Sir, raise your hand if the oil is too warm; please don’t open your eyes”
Then the sounds too became distant as if emerging from outside the cocoon, I was so helplessly yet comfortably encased, waiting for the ugly caterpillar to turn into a butterfly ( male one mind you!)
I am not sure when the oil was removed with help of herbal powders and my skin was dusted off, as I was in massage induced coma most of the time. I only remember the therapist whispering in my ear
“Sir please get up your therapy is over, you can take a hot shower in the attached bath”
Out of my comfort, I looked at the watch on the wall of the therapy room, one hour and thirty minutes have passed without me realizing it. I took one of the best showers of my life the open to sky bathroom of the Ayrurveda spa, by the time I came out the therapist was preparing the room for the next guest.
With spunk in my walk, I walked towards the wholesome breakfast waiting for me, I never knew just lying on a table, embalmed in all kind of oils and powders could make you so hungry.
Would I go for it again? You bet it.
I got my Kerala Style therapy at Kumarakom Lake Resort as part of a group of travel writers from around the world on invitation from Kerala Tourism. A detailed post about my review on Kumarakom Lake resort will follow in a few days. Do watch this space or subscribe by email.