MASSAGE…in a bottle

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It took a threat, an expiring gift coupon and the power of ten horses to pull me to one of the best spa treatment in Mumbai . 

I recently discovered that I am a type A personality. (there are mainly two types A and B, c and d have recently been thrown in .)

After being perturbed for a bit, I realize that like most personal epiphanies, I am not alone in this one either.

So I have made peace with the fact that worrying, stressing, chasing goals and time lines is part of the game. Getting bored, upset and even frustrated with imperfections in others and myself, in non anticipated delays and uncertainties; non deliveries of promises and intangibles, all comes as a package deal for the ‘A people.’

The good news is that we are literally the ‘A Team.’ In our pursuit of success, we usually end up winning a challenge, a game, a deal or even an irrational argument, by hook or by crook.

My posh cousin Farida probably fed up of seeing me behave as if I am the Prime Minister’s personal advisor, found an opportunity to gift me an expensive gift voucher for a spa treatment at the Jiva -Taj Wellington Mews with an expiry date(very cleverly) just so that I would indulge myself to a day of pampering and relaxation, out of principle if nothing else.

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She had selected the Aroma signature therapy option for me, threatening me to not return to my roots without breathing the entire restorative experience- Jacuzzi, steam, massage, lounge, etc.

Still, I have to make sure all features, manuscripts; documents are not pending and have been sent to respective editors and agents before I chugged off irresponsibly to fairy spa land. (It takes a year!)

(Type A!)

Adding to that, this Paradise peak is an hour and half away from the Suburb where I tent, perched at the other end of town-Wellington Mews, Cuffe Parade is way outside my comfort zone. (This means not on my daily route, almost equivalent to long distance travel and could cost an entire day of productivity)

Come August 2018; it is a week over due but with some light grovelling they agree to extend my gift certificate for another fortnight.

So I over pack my haversack for the enforced but much needed day out.

I carry with me paraphernalia I might need for the next few hours and God forbid in an emergency – 1.Extra undergarments 2. Glasses in case steam room fogs up contact lenses. 3. Extra Lenses in case glasses end up misty. 4. Shorts 5. Bathing suit 6. Two novels (Art of letting go and how to stop obsessing about everything) 7. Two extra t shirts (in case heavy monsoon winds bring storms and unable to make it home) 8. Two combs 9. Two lipsticks (surprise coffee date- what if?) 10. Torch (Power cut in Mumbai due to heavy pour- What if?) 11. Deo stick 12.Selfie stick 13. Brainwave diary (inspiration could strike anywhere- en route/ under massage duvet/ in heated whirlpool.) 14. Two pens 15.Three carry bags (dry, wet, fresh clothes) 16. Face wash (can’t change it for the day) 17. Face cream 18. Mints 19.Phone charger 20. Toothbrush. 21.Perfume bottle 22. Bag of chips 23. Water bottle 24. Earplugs (can’t leave home without) 25. Paracetamols 26. Umbrella 27. Facial swipes 

(Type A – Quantity over quality. Being prepared)

Organised Chaos 

Since I have mixed up the words Aroma and Ayurveda, as I never read small prints, instruction manuals or guidelines, I am now an hour early for appointment and hence have been encouraged to scout around the Mews  and order from the Menu if hungry.

Not one to refuse any form of nutrition, in spite of having a heavy brunch a couple of hours earlier on, I place mine and ask it to be served at the spa lounge which is a floor above .

Now I have ample time to kill so I start exploring the topmost floor, a pool side where I charm two pool boys to click some photographs. He understands my command, making me hold my breath every few seconds prior to fifteen clicks.

Finally he is satisfied, ‘Insta- perfect,’ he assures me; kudos- he can read my mind!

I walk down to the spa lounge, termed as a quiet zone and sprawl out on one of the lounge chairs until my sandwich, fries and coffee arrive.

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Soon I start including pics of my food fest to various wats app groups and promptly receive well meaning advice on the ill effects of hogging and caffeine sipping, just before a deep tissue massage.

Almost forgetting the reason why I am here, I quickly make myself one storey below to original massage paradise five minutes off schedule. The attendant hands me a robe which I take rather reluctantly. Refusing to strip myself of decency, I insist on wearing shorts under the white dressing gown they provide. The attendant explains gently that it is spa protocol, to go almost Full Monty.

I am shy! I can’t do a Sunny Leone I’m sorry!!!!

Personal baggage has been stowed in the safe provided and now realising that my celly is not with me I press the panic buzzer – how will I show off my ta- da ambience on social media?

Then again having a click of me lying on a massage cot in bare necessities was a brilliant idea only if I craved to be attacked by stalkers, trollers and criminals.

Pinning and Posting plan has been cancelled.

The Moment Of Truth

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A sweet bespectacled sincere looking girl therapist waiting in a private den leads me to a tiny tub where I am requested to dip my feet in warm water. She chants something deep but I can’t catch it so I nod and say thank you. (Hope she hasn’t said anything regretful)

It’s all quiet and serene. I can hear my self breathing. Nirvana is around the corner. I can feel it.

I am now asked to put my face into a three quarter donut and lie flat on my tummy on the 10 by 10 flat bed.

I start my chain of directives, just as well, for there should not be any surprises for either of us later on….

Mostly it is about body points and zones that she should not press, tug, squeeze, pull, poke or manipulate. (Lower Spine, feet, stomach, chest, face…..)

She looks quite terrified but nods a quick yes.

And a last demand, to kindly turn off the birds- chirping score in the back ground. It is supposedly therapeutic, one with nature and beauty kind of thing but I don’t think I can handle an euphoric Aviary for a whole hour.

(Type A-  need for control)

That being said it is time for blissful resurrection.

I could feel her little hands hesitating, probably egg shelling on the parts which had been banned from treatment and touch.

‘Relax,’ I tell myself ….’enjoy it.’

‘Detach, recoil, space out…..’

Suddenly I am taken to flash back island where miserable ex boyfriend who had been detached, recoiled and had asked for space resides. He had recently started nasty texting me… the Slime ball!

Pressure is rising. He needs his neck massaged ever so forcefully.

Maybe will send him spa voucher and request such….

Gently, Miss Spectacles asks me to release any tension.

It makes me wonder how many women she must have witnessed trembling and plotting under her deft hands, devising plans to seek revenge at ex husbands, lovers and losers. Countless!massage 11

Rumble tumble, burp– the fries are taking over now, they were so right…. you can’t have a two course meal and a full fat cappuccino before a massage.

‘Let go, divert, think positive!’

I steer myself to a happy place –

Luscious garden, streams, tulips, meadows, trees, meandering brooks, picnic, picnic mat, picnic basket, sandwiches, fries……

Gosh this is clearly not working!

 I’m almost half way into this heavenly experience and I am still not feeling that complete disconnection and freedom.

I try again …I have to make my cousin’s thoughtful gift worth it!

Almost there …yes…. I am bathing under pristine waterfalls, twirling like an abandoned Sufi until I realize I have suddenly become ‘Vikram.’

Tiny Betal has now climbed over my back and kneading it strongly.

(Google – Vikram Betal old TV series)

Gosh why is she striding me? I’m not a horse or  an elephant.

How can I relax with a human being piggy -backing me?

Finally she is off, signalling me to turn over.

Panic buzzer. I start pulling every edge of the towel to cover the important stuff.

Aroma Spa done; the born freebie I am, I talk her into giving me a complimentary head massage.

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Chapter over and the first attendant guides me to the Jacuzzi and steam zone.

Jacuzzi is fun. For like five minutes, until my eyes dart toward the clock every few seconds. (Type A- Sense of urgency and impatience)

Traffic jam.Congestion. Bills to pay.Legal matter pending. Credit card verification. Reply to latest FB posts. Make trendy plan for current you tube channel. Call friend in trouble.

Darn, what’s happening in the outside world? Is it still 2018? What if I had missed a whole  or worse still an important insta update?

I leap up onto dry ground.

Last halt ‘Steam cubicle’ which the attendant refuses to let me miss.

She also looks a tad concerned.

Either I have never had a normal life or I’m slightly off my rockers… For there is no other reason in the world, anyone would inquire about good looking men in the steam room.

‘It’s a ladies section’ she whispers.

Perhaps one had sneaked in. An author’s brain is allowed to hope and imagine anything. It is the unwritten rule.

Middle Aged lady, a regular in bare minimum (or not) is sitting pranayam in the burning chamber.

Thirty seconds and I shoot out of that door, worried about being trapped in forever in an unflattering swimsuit and being excavated at my flabbiest best.

No this wasn’t going to happen in a million years by choice.

 Quick power shower to remove the oils, application of body lotion to make it all look complete, I change thrice unable to make up mind of which T befits the phrase ‘I am the new Diva in town’ .

Matching it with pink lip gloss and silver hoops, I step out into the world that awaits the Invigorated me!

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 55 unseen alerts in two hours.

So Mumbai had moved on without me ….my cousin had been right.

But only this much.

Back to my desk at home, I start creating this blog, checking my f b page, my personal yahoo account and work gmail all at once; stick  four To DO posts it on my wall for the next day, make a hair appointment for the day after, edit summary of a friend’s copy, simultaneously surfing for cures and remedies available for Type A personas…..

Apparently there is none. It is what it is.

We back to square one.

Bless us!!!

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Valentineship

So who said Valentine’s day is only about the other half? If that was the case then most of us would be roaming clueless for the rest of the year.
So today I think about the people around us who give us a reason to celebrate this ‘International Love Day’ all year through.
The Real heroes of the Show!
Friends, friends, and friends ….!
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A word that is grossly underestimated and slightly overly used.

 Without adding too much to the introduction, I would like to present to you the the kind of friendships that I have personally come across in my
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life that go beyond gender equations, romantic illusions and unnatural expectations.

And I am certain that you all will be able to draw parallels to your own lives, from it, in some way or the other.

(I have categorized them not cause I believe they can be put under ‘A’ specific column but it’s just easier to share.
Of course they are all entwined together and over lap each other, playing their unique roles in different phases of our lives)

 

The OLD TIMERS
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Oh they are the ones that you know forever.
The ones who have literally seen you in your nappies and climbed trees with you .e
They may lose touch with you over the years but they will never lose heart.

They know your family, your school embarrassments or your college goof ups.
They go beyond FB and Insta. They are your hooks when the world gives up on you.
Cause they still believe in who you were, before the world told you how you needed to be.

They gently remind you of those larger than life, youthful dreams, which you seem to have forgotten. They still bring a smile on your face long after the moment has faded away.

The SUPPORTERS

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They are by far the ones who stand with you through thick and thin.
They are the ones you can call up at 2 am (well that depends on who’s on their bed) but you get the gist.
They will buzz to check up on you often if needed or meet you for  a coffee, even if they are drop tired.
If long distance, they will send you regular messages, making sure you know they are around.
They are the ones who believe in your far reached goals, even more than you do and would root your cause when the time comes.
They are also your relationship pegs…when partners, things, careers, other pals around you let you down, they restore your faith that some bonds are made to last and don’t change with time or whim.
The SECRET KEEPERS
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These buds are the ones who keep your darkest secrets and don’t judge your indiscretions. Keep them close to you, cause they know too much. And of wwagawgtfcourse because they accept you the way you are..bag, baggage and all!
The FLATTERERS
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I adore this strange group I call friends; they may not be there on a 24 hr basis and that’s quite alright. But they will think the world of you. They will tell you that your lipstick is a lovely colour even if its smudged all over your face and praise your singing skills even if you croak.
Though some may argue that false flattery must be avoided, I think this group is very important for your self esteem. It is always nice to have some fans….even if it seems superficial; so long as it brings a smile to your face, what the hell!!!
Drink in the compliments….
The PARTY GOERS
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No, they may not end up being your besties forever but they are a social life saver.
These buddies are your de-stressers on a serious day and that missing fun element in your routine. They make plans to hang out, chill and groove.
They are what makes your FB page look glam and your life appear more exciting than it really is.
Their names may change with time but the memories you make with them, the crazy and outrageous escapades you have together… are stories you will be telling your grand kids someday.
They bring in a refreshing transformation even if temporary and come with their own formula of positivism.
 
The WIND BENEATH YOUR WINGS
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These pals are you silent hearts. Their contribution can seldom be measured, for they do it without any condition or fuss. They are happy to stay in the back ground, whilst you learn and grow. But when you look back on your life and think of the ones who genuinely stood by you when the chips were down, who gave you that extra love without you even asking for it, who made you fly when you couldn’t even see the sky…it’s them!
They are the tiny gifts around us whom we forget to give enough credit to, amidst our busy lives.

 

 

The CRITIQUES

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Aha! My least liked group, these energy drainers are the ones who only poke on your faults; they have nothing much to say that adds value and will make you feel like a loser, if you let them.
Personally I delete them immediately if they over stay their welcome.
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I wouldn’t even count them as friends if I didn’t see the silver lining.
Which is-They make you adamant to prove them wrong!
Their constant negativity makes you look at the brighter side and be grateful that you are nothing like them.
The SEASONALS
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 These are the beings who have literally fallen from the sky at the right place and the right time, into your lap! You two, really vibe on a different level and then mostly without warning one or both of you simply drift away.
But not before you fulfill some kind of purpose with each other- either a priceless lesson to be learnt or enriching one other with some timely advice, joy or hope.
These connections are not always meant to last a life time but ultimately they Fit into the grand scheme of things.
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The fact of the matter is that Valentine bunnies may come and go but good friends make the ride easier, happier and more meaningful.
Now….Don’t you think it’s time, you tell them that?

Mr Stingy bags


It’s not uncommon for us singletons to go on dates and return wondering if it were just a dream or in some cases a nightmare.

‘So there we are…back to square one. Another one bites the dust!’

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A Line I find myself telling my girlies very often on a night out, over Lemon Iced teas and jalapeno poppers.
By the way a rocking combination!
‘So what happened?’ Someone croaks.
I don’t recall who, I think my second in line bestie then.
Rewind to 2014,Managing editor, semi famous publishing house, broad shoulders, gym pressed arms and charming smile.
“Oh you are the earth and heaven all into one,” he flashes his Colgate whitened teeth at me.
I am smitten. What a clever line. Date one!
For that he deserves to be bought, a latte and a red velvet slice which is enticing us through the glass shelf at the coffee place we meet.
 (Thankfully the new generation live and love on emoticons,pings and pokes and are spared of corny,cheesy lines)
Back to intellectual biceps, date number 2 has a misplaced wallet as the curtain raiser.
Not mine, his.
“Sorry babe, seems like it got snatched on the way.”
Widened eyes I ask frantically, “You got robbed?”
“Naah I gave it to a beggar,” he brushes it off oh so casually.
My heart warms instantly at his over zealous generosity.
It was all going so well and I really didn’t mind spending on a fancy meal, after all who says Men have to pay for every date?(Uh ….they do??)
 I even offer to drop him home; his car is at the ‘mechanics.’
Date 3 : Wallet seemed to be replaced by new one, but the cards chewed by Ceazer.
‘Naught pup always after my stuff!’ I am told.
Cute story, my heart glows even more than it did with the last prince and pauper tale.
I swing my Gold Card at the patient steward at the Italian bistro.
He has a smirk on his face, I wonder why?
Hmmmm!
Date 4 : Washed the dishes, well not literally. Had to place emergency call to distant cousin to bail us out of cashless situation at a five course fine dining restro.
Date 5: Wazzat?
Instead, let hair down with the girl gang and resorted to some good old male bashing!
And there is tons more in this diary.
Keep up……
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