Thursday, May 8, 2014

My first Kerala Massage



N.Prasad, of Desi Traveler ,one of the most popular travel blogs on blogosphere, was in God's own Country when he decided to take a massage-therapy recommended by God himself. Needless to say he had a heavenly experience and is now dying to share it with the readers of A-Musing. 


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.




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91 comments:

  1. Rejuvenated reading the post.

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    1. Good to know that.. :) thanks

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  2. Reminded me of my own Kerala Massage experience at Ayurgram in Bangalore. The damn thing is overhyped for I remember that instead of being rejuvenated, I was crying in pain after the massage and the compulsory sauna. This was a hilarious read Mr Prasad esp the bit about the last line of defense.

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    1. It is definitely much better in Kerala then... but an sure an acquired taste...

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  3. AH I already feel rejuvenated! I went in for a massage at Ayush in Bangalore. It was really good and I felt heavenly.

    I nod to everything written by Mr. Prasad here. :)

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  4. They do this to you at big properties, don't they! They decorate the room with incense sticks, flowers and what not just like a 'Honeymoon suite in a Bollywood Movie' and treat you like a king. And when they whisper the 'therapy' is over, all you want to do is ask for more!

    The post reminded me of my one and only wow experience! Rejuvenating indeed.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Nisha : Indeed the decor and the aura is part of the package, that is why no massage in Kerala only "Therapy" :)

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  5. I want to experience this right now. Brilliant writing, it transported me.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot Ritu... glad you liked it...

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  6. This makes me want to get a massage now :( was in Kerala but never thot of it !
    nicely written and funny too
    U showed it all I mean the massage :D

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Afshan... you don't know what you missed, do try next time you are in Kerala...

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  7. Ah, Kerala style massages are bliss. And the diversion created by Poonam G's activities helped to rejuvenate the reader :) Wonderful, humorous post :)

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    1. See you are also calling her now Poonam G. ;) .. thanks for your appreciation... :)

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  8. 2 years back I ventured for body massage here in Bangalore and still carrying on with my freozen shoulder and believe me, it developed after thev message!!!

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    Replies
    1. Sorry to know that, I hope your shoulder is better now, ,,, or how about trying the real deal in Kerala..?

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  9. I can say that massage is the best thing the human kind has invented yet. That reminds me I need to make my next appointment with my masseur. Not the Kerala massage this one, but normal massage along with stones to release the tension which in the end leaves sausage marks on the backs which is more prominent on Caucasian skin than ours. Still heavenly.
    I remember the day I got my first massage very fondly indeed. It was on Valentine's day in 2007, a gift from my husband. He bought flowers, took me for lunch and then small walk around the city. I was very shy person (only slightly better now). I never was given a Valentines gift before and this was real surprise for me.
    Then he said there was a last surprise still waiting for me. I was apprehensive as I had different opinion about his surprises I had got for my previous year's birthday. Then he took me to a building. I somehow guessed (probably my 6th sense :-)) that it might be a massage, I went berserk of the thought of 'somebody else' touching my body. However it was a women and the massage was heavenly. From then onward I have never looked back.
    Everyone should get one once in a while.
    :-)

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    Replies
    1. Must say I need to hide your comments from my wife...husbands like yours make life miserable for us lesser mortals... thanks a lot though :)

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  10. :) well well well :) now what can i say to this one.. other than next india trip has to be to this very resort.. :)

    Bikram

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  11. Good, will wait to hear your account of the same.. enjoy

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  12. first time visiting your blog :)
    wonderful reflection post,

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  13. Welcome, keep coming back..

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  14. Definitely looks like God himself recommended that massage! !

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    Replies
    1. Now that I look back it sure was

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  15. "Would I go for it again? You bet it." is a fitting conclusion to your blog on Kerala type massage. A truly ancient Indian healing system is now commercialized everywhere. You need to ask some typical South Indians who have their weekly oil bath and how they feel about it after they have had it. We only consciously notice our external body responding to healing, but not several internal organs when one practices like yoga, meditation or even oil massaging. The whole body needs rejuvenation and healing. By some yet to be discovered truths, Ayurveda works for many.

    T N Neelakantan
    www.neel48.blogspot.com
    www.tnneelakantan.com
    Author: Short Stories for Young Readers – Book 1
    Short Stories for Success for Young Readers: A New Lexicon Unfolded
    What If Our Dreams Come True! An Uncommon Meeting with Lord Siva

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    1. Hey Neelkantan: You bring another aspect to the discussion that the massage is good for internal organs also. thanks

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  16. Such a delightful account. My own experience was not so good. I found the smell of the aromatic oils overpowering anf slathering of all those oils gave me the creeps. Thank you Purba for hosting Desi Traveler. I Discovered another great travel blog !

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    1. Hi Ruch: As these oils are not mixed with artificial scents they do come as a bit strong to anybody trying for the first time.. Thanks for your nice comment about dT.

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  17. hahaha I had tried one at Wayanad. Good heavens, they pestered me about the last line of defense. Ended up feeling overwhelmed by the heavy oils. Don't know why but I could not enjoy the massage. Yes, the final bath was good. And perhaps the massage works well later because I did sleep very well. Hilarious account, desi traveler. Good to see you on Purba's blog!

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    1. Thanks Rachna...I think every body here agrees that post massage bath is the high point of the experience... it did feel good..

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  18. I had an ayurvedic massage some years back at Uday Samudra, Kovalam, Kerala. It was definitely not as soothing as you have described. Infact i was a bit disappointed. Head massage at my nearby barber shop gives me more pleasure. Though i definitely agree that post massage bath feels awesome :)

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    1. Ah the bath appears once again as the best part... :)

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  19. Now I want a massage and I want ragas to be played on my shoulders and back.
    AH!
    This was rejuvenating! And guess what, I am in Kerala :D

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    Replies
    1. You must go ahead and try it...

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  20. HAHA :D Real gems guestpost on your blog, Ma'm :P

    The first half had me in splits :D
    And a massage really does sound like heaven to my tired ears now..

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    Replies
    1. This gem landed in my mailbox and I still can't stop smiling!

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  21. An experience well described! I too went through this on recent trip to Thekkady:) Its worth it!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Rahul...and good to know about your experience was good..

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  22. For the 3/4th of the post, I was trying to control laughter ferociously (I am in office). Sunny Leone and Poonam Pandey G...Hahahahahaha..

    The last para did make me crave for a massage. Very beautifully written. Even reading a massage experience was hilarious and interesting.

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    1. thanks Tushar... I guess 3/4 is good for me.. will try to get 4/4 next time :)

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  23. What an art you have got....from the beginning till end I was just laughing and that too in a way which cannot be controlled....you have got that art which definately bind readers and keep them intact till the end.
    I'm a fan of your blogs!!

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    1. Thanks rapra...appreciate you stopping by and liking the post.

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  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  25. NIce sense of humour. liked the additional respect to Poonam, Sunny……poonam G , sunny G. Maybe Bakraa G would also have added some spice to the humour.

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    Replies
    1. G Gannu G, u have a good point G... :)

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  26. Talk of censorship, he just clipped the most interesting part by claiming he was in coma. Shucks! :P
    It seems that Thai massage has its able competitor right here in the Ayurvedic halls of Kerala. Amusing post!

    Cheers,
    Blasphemous Aesthete

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  27. Hahaha, this was really different than anything that I have read from desi traveler till now! His writing is as interesting and brilliant as his photography. Great to see two wonderful blogs join hands together, thank you Purba and Prasad. :)

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    1. Thanks a lot Arti...appreciate your kind words...

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  28. It seems I will try it too someday :)

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  29. will try it some day after reading your story

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  30. I have got massages but not the Kerala massage...You made me want to go for it now!!

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    Replies
    1. I am sure it will be worth it... :)

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  31. Truely the most Heroic moment of my life was getting this Kerala Ayurvedic Massage , dont know how you went into coma , i was awake all the time feeling his hands above me and praying , just hoping and praying that he has liking for girls and only girls ...

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    1. You Sir... have a wild imagination.... ;)

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  32. I couldn't help laughing...a hilarious read.. Not like your other posts, Mr. Prasad. How I want a massage now...a kerala one at that...oh god..when will I get a chance to visit your country? You made it sound so exotic.. :)

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    1. Well laughing is good.. here is wishing you a India trip ASAP :)

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  33. Too hilarious a post...and the use of the 'G' was the best...:D

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  34. Wow this was funny and rejuvenating...a complete spa treatment in itself ! :D

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    1. Thanks Anita...glad you liked it...

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  35. ...graphic account by a brilliant photographer!
    Mesmerized:)

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  36. I feel rejuvenated, alive and kicking. What I wouldn't do to feel rejuvenated and book ma tickets to Kerala? At my own risk of course. Kerala curry for the soul:)

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  37. Go for it Vishal...it is worth it...

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  38. Hilarious! Glad you enjoyed as much as you did!

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  39. wow!!.. Great account.. I am tempted to try out.. I loved the Swedish massage that I have taken so far.. Hoping over to Prasad's blog..

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  40. Thanks Simple girl....good to know you visited desi Traveler...

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