A dash of Pepper…

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Archive for September 26th, 2012

Entertainment

Posted by Pepper on September 26, 2012

One of the advantages of moving back to India is that I can now afford things I couldn’t even dream of affording in the US. Take for example, a good massage. A few places around our home in the Bay Area charged $50 for a 15 minute foot massage. As a result, in all the time I spent in the US, I went for a massage just one single time, that too, when LivingSocial threw up a good deal.

In this regard, moving back to India has been a real treat. A few months ago, my neck and shoulder pain returned with a vengeance. I still haven’t identified the cause, but the pain is nasty. It surfaces and subsides at its own whim. One evening, I thought the pain was causing me a lot of discomfort. I could do with a massage. Since I couldn’t think of anything else, I went to the salon (or local beauty parlour) below my house, and asked them if they could use some hot oil to massage my shoulders.

They agreed. The lady there got to work. She used her fingers skillfully, to straighten my aching muscles. She used organic SPA oil, and went on for a good 30 minutes, kneading, dissolving the strange knots at the base of my neck and releasing the muscles of all accumulated tension. It was magic. The soreness almost disappeared. I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders. Just when I thought it was over, she got a hot towel and pressed it against my shoulders. I could have moaned in pleasure.

When it was time to pay, I was a little apprehensive. How much would this indulgence cost me? When she told me, the total charge was Rs.100, I almost collapsed in shock. A measly 100 rupees for such luxury? The owner of the salon happens to be somebody my mom knows. So they are always giving us good deals, but despite that, this seemed too good to be true.  I realised I could get used to this. So it turned into a ritual. Every few days, I would take my achy shoulders to them for a quick fix.

A few days ago, I went to the salon for my usual massage. The girl who does it for me was not around, and I was a little disappointed. She does a splendid job. They asked me if I was okay going under the hands of a relatively new employee. Not having the heart to say no, I agreed. She got to work. After a few minutes..

She: Ma’am?
Me: Yes?
She: Are you okay?
Me: *Not knowing what this meant..* Yes, I am fine. Thank you.

After a few minutes..

She: Ma’am?
Me: Yes?
She: You don’t seem okay. You used to be such a funny girl at one time. Now you don’t even laugh.
Me: *Totally taken aback by that remark, I wondered what she meant. I used to be a funny girl? And she was saying that? Before this day, I had seen her a grand total of two times. I didn’t remember bouncing about like a clown on either of the two days. To prove to her that I was still very funny, I let out a small laugh*

After a few minutes..

She: Ma’am?
Me: Yes?
She: I think you have tension. See this pain here? It is because of stress. You can tell me what is wrong.
Me: *Really wondering where this is going..* I don’t know what is causing the pain. There is nothing wrong really.

After a few minutes..

She: Ma’am?
Me: Yes?
She: You should not be hiding things from everyone. You can talk to me.
Me: *Slightly exasperated* But there is nothing to talk about. I am okay. Why do you think something is wrong?

Silence.

After a few minutes..

She: Ma’am?
Me: Yes?
She: R told me you are staying with your parents since a few months, though you are married. Did you have a fight with your husband? Is that why you are stressed and getting pain in your neck and shoulder?
Me: WHAT? *Suddenly realising what this was all about* Err, I didn’t have a fight with my husband. I chose to live with my parents while he is doing his.. actually, never mind.

She was silent after that. Probably because she knew it wasn’t a good idea to mess with me at that time. And I couldn’t help wondering, what was going on? After a while, the whole incident started tickling me. I felt sorry for the girls who work at the salon. They need some gossip to keep them going right? I don’t mind, being their source of entertainment for a while. Now I am left wondering. Who else do I unknowingly entertain?

Posted in Life in India | 52 Comments »

 
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