November 21, 2008

The Massager and the Masseuse

Most Indian men’s fascination with the erotic begins with the dream of the Sandwich Massage in Bangkok. Taking the form of an urban legend, the exact details of what happens in such massages depends on who is telling you the story. Having only access to untrusted massage parlours and the Kerala clinics, men in India had to be content with knowing Phoebe Buffay as the most famous Masseuse in India but then she killed the fantasy out of the story. Anyway, what Indian youth, especially men, consider a massage to be has been brilliantly portrayed in The Inscrutable Americans so let me not dwell on that.

The best massage I have got has always been from my old barber. After pounding on the skulls of my grandfather and father, he loved to get my young tender head. I am sure that the reason behind my lack of intelligence can be attributed to those massages that must have shifted the Nobel Prize winning sections of my head. I still remember my last massage from him. When I came back from my second year in college looking like a well fed Lennon with an Elvis sideburn, my mom refused to allow me into the house. Dumping my bags, I moved out to search for my good old barber. Tears of joy rolled down his cheeks when he grabbed hold of my ‘mane’ and reduced me to a new recruit at the Army and played a Zakir Hussain number on my skull.

The often mentioned thing about CEOs is that they have a full understanding of the value chain. No one knows it better than me when it comes to football. I started by shouting my lungs out for Mohun Bagan and Germany when I was a kid. Then by virtue of my position as the class monitor I used to kick off the ball and be the striker in the matches at lunch break. That was Class 2 I guess. Good sense prevailed soon and I handled the mid field. By around Class 7 I was defending. Lothar Matthheus inspired a short Libero stint before I was a full back. Ultimately, just before the basketball bug bit me, I was happily guarding the goal. At this point, while working for the school team, I also handled the first aid box and because most school kids miss the ball and hit on the legs, I slowly learnt to give an awesome massage to hurt shins, thighs and calf muscles. Value chain can’t get better than this.

Anyway, so while I was at the Radisson, I had an option of choosing between a Balinese massage and the Sports Massage. My school days came back and I actually wanted to know how the real one goes. So, yes as illogical as it might sound I opted for the Sports Massage. As I entered the room and looked for the lady whose name I saw on my card, in came a man smiling profusely. It was not going to be a masseuse but a massager. I believe he gets similar looks like the one on my face. So he gives me a cherubic smile and leads me to the sacrificial table. If you have seen the Seinfeld episode where George finds his massage therapist is a man, you will get what I am talking about.

But, he was good. Real good. Sports Massage rocks and hurts a bit too.


Soumya Sen said...

"Mohun Bagan and Germany"- yeah, you know how to bring two extremes close with just a conjunction!
Although I am a Plassey-Gour-Calcutta, a pure 'ghoti' Bong, I can't cheer for MB, because I think both MB and EB suck.

dhiv said...

Too good! Bow my tutor will wonder why am smiling at the laptop

Addy said...


Madhurjya (Banjo) said...

@ Soumya - Being a pure Ghoti I think it is my responsibility to cheer for MB.

@ Dhiv - :)

@ Addy - yeah it hurts.