I was badly in need of a massage after a recent 300 km round trip to Navi Mumbai. For those who do not know where that is, it is Marathi for New Bombay. A sprawling collection of towns on the mainland across from the island of Mumbai. I had to go there on a family matter.
There is one attached to a popular local hospital and I fixed an appointment with the masseur and with great excitement, landed up there.
The massage was all that it was hyped up to be and the trained masseur knew his trade well. I came out feeling completely relaxed and refreshed and will indeed go back often.
This post however is not about the massage. It is about the masseur asking me during the massage about my two scars on both upper thighs. They are the left over signs of four surgeries for hip joint replacement and revisions. I don’t even notice them, but for the masseur this must have been a frightening experience! He needed to know so that he would not do any harm while massaging me around that area. I explained the background and asked him to proceed.
He did. After a few minutes however, he sort of hemmed and hawed and asked me why I had to get my hips replaced. I said that I had fractured them. Further discussions went on like this, in Malayalam, a South Indian language:
Masseur: How did you fracture them? Car accident?
I: No, you do not want to know.
M: No, no, I do want to know. I am very curious. I have never seen such big surgical scars before.
I: Forget it. Just leave it alone.
M: No sir, please sir, I am very curious.
I: Okay, since you are so persistent, I jumped out of a second floor apartment.
M: Aiyyayyo! (That is an exclamation in Malayalam, somewhat like Dear! Dear!!) Why did you do that? Fire?
I: No, but again, I do not want to talk about it.
M: Please sir, don’t stop now. I am itching to know the reason.
I: Okay, you asked for it. Because the husband came.
Pin drop silence, no massaging and just the gentle noise of the fan above.
I: Go on, why have you stopped the massage.
Massage starts. No further discussions.
After the massage, the bath, steam etc, I came out feeling like a Million Rupees, to find our man waiting for me near the door.
M: Sir, seriously, did that happen?
I: But of course. I told you not to persist, but you did and now you do not believe me.
M: Sir, I believe you but, I just want to tell you that when you do bad things, bad things will happen to you. I hope that now you do not do bad things.
I: No, I do not do any bad things. I just find them on the ground floor.
I walked out.
I wonder what direction the discussion will take when I go back again for a massage.
For those of you skeptics, please find a Malayali anywhere and ask if such a discussion can take place between two Malayalam speaking people. I would appreciate any Malayalam reader of this blog vouching for the authenticity of that possibility.