Yesterday I went for an ayurvedic massage – ayurvedic massage is big with tourists to India, and involves a full-body massage using herb-infused oils. A few of us went to a small parlour in Thekkady. The massage lasted for about forty minutes… when I say full body massage I mean it was pants off, and the smallest loin cloth known to man to protect my modesty. The massage was disappointingly not performed by a nubile maiden with bejewelled feet, but a strapping young lad. It started with oil being poured on my head, and my head being massaged – hair follicles being twisted and teased, nostrils pummelled, eyelids nudged, and ears knocked. All quite pleasant enough. Then we moved on to the full body massage, which necessitated climbing onto a bench. I was covered in liberal amounts of oil, and then beaten up bit by bit. Some of it was very enjoyable, and I had time to reflect on things so far and contemplate life… then the backs of my thighs got a thrashing and I yelped a bit. I don’t remember feeling very relaxed, in fact I think my butt cheeks were clenched for the whole thing.
This was all finished off with a very pleasant steam bath, sat in a giant pink box that made Ian and I look a bit like what Daleks would look like if they were even more primative. And gay. We were then towelled down, but still covered in a thin film of oil that made me feel like either a freshly oiled cricket bat or a marinaded steak. In conclusion, my first massage experience was a mixed one, which did sort my sore legs out, but I’ll wait until I get a Thai massage until I form a firm opinion.
Today, we head back to Tamil Nadu for the last week of the Aidcamp, where we’ll be finishing off the garden and the murals.
The Aidcamp is the reason I came to Tamil Nadu, and has been the most incredible introduction to India that I could possibly imagine having – I’d recommend it to anyone. I’ve been lucky enough to be put together with a fantastic group of people, doing worthwhile work for a truly amazing NGO, SCAD – Social Change and Development. I have to get on the bus back to SCAD shortly, so will explain more about them later. More photos soon as well.