One day has passed since my visit to Jami Masjid. Yesterday I had a headache, today I am adding body aches. The accumulated lactic acid in my muscles from scaling the Mosque Minaret yesterday is hardly allowing me to walk properly. I am a wreck and still terribly jet lagged. Moreover, I need a suntan and I honestly could do with a break from the hectic urban city traffic, holy cows, and dust.
I decide to have a look at the garden and check out the pool. Who knows, perhaps I'll dive into one of the many treatments available. Amit, the pool attendant, follows me with a pretty wooden tray while he asks if I would like my reclining chair facing the sun or in a shaded spot. Curious as usual, I don't answer him immediately...I am intrigued by the different cute things he carries on top of the tray.
Two small bottles of SPF 20 protective lotions on either side of a cold, white, small towel on a ceramic plate; an aromatized rose water spray re- freshener; a small Himalayan bottled water from the Tata Group promising the "Elixir of Life"; a funny square wood panel with buttons and words such as "call for menu", "call for drink" and "call for help".
After picking my place in the sun I decide to call for help. "Amit, please could you please bring me the menu of Spa treatments?"
"Of course Ma'm," he replies, quickly running inside. The temperature is perfect, the sun is mild, and a light breeze gently caresses my very white, not-anymore-Brazilian skin.
"Take your body on a journey of transformation as soon as you enter the serene and soothing spa and fitness center."
Wow, I like this introduction! While I read, I am checking my most recent E-mails on my Blackberry from New York, Sao Paulo and Brussels. Soon my clients and the ones I love are going to immerse themselves into a deep night's sleep because of the 10 hour difference, and I feel my liberation into this journey will soon be initiated almost furtively and happily, without guilt.
My desire at this very moment is to be pampered in holistic treatments based on Aromatherapy and Ayurveda. I am definitely sure that my body and spirit will at last be revitalized, rejuvenated and re-freshened.
In the spa menu I read about Ayurveda. Ayurveda is a holistic system of healing which evolved among the sages of ancient India over 5000 years ago. This ancient science focuses on establishing and maintaining the balance of energy within us, promoting harmony between the individual and nature.
It is important to know that in Ayurveda, each person is viewed as a unique individual governed by one or more of the universal forces of nature. Good health is promoted by balancing these energies.
Among the many treatments: Banana Oatmeal, Cucumber Yogurt, Honey Softening Mask, luxury back treatment, Chakra head shoulder and Ayurvedic massage, Rain Mist splendor experience, Orange and Oat, Lemon Yogurt scrubs, and Honey Almond Cleanser. Hawaiian, Balinese Aromatic and Stone Massage are supposed to be very popular too. I try to pick the most suitable for my muscles' injuries and my state of mind.
Shirodhara, is a rhythmic precision of trickling oil for two whole hours onto the forehead. It is believed to awaken the third eye, which in turn triggers healing and restores good health, apparently good for calming the mind and soothing the senses. I think I am going to pick the Marma Massage therapy.
At the bright reception desk Shelly, with a sign of Namaste, registers my room number and name. Her third eye is adorned with a pretty round Tikal between her eyes. She introduces me to a small, smiley young Indonesian girl named Pook. After crossing a long corridor whose walls are made of Italian Travertino marble slabs facing the magic dark blue pool, Pook invites me into a fresh and welcoming room.
Pook asks me to undress while she closes her eyes, ready to leave the room. At the same time she handles a nice tray with a variety of room incense. I am supposed to pick my favorite. "It's about your mood Madam," she affirms. Without noticing her departure, I realize she's not in the room anymore.
In front of me lies the responsibility of my mood choice. Bergamot: refreshing and uplifting. Eucalyptus: invigorating, clarifying, energizing. Jasmine induces euphoria and relieves nervous exhaustion. Lemongrass: purifies the emotions and relaxes anxieties.
I must admit in India I am never anxious, and my emotions are at their purest. Don't ask me why, but this is a fact. What I really need is energy and soothing my muscles. Eucalyptus will be perfect. Pook is back. She lights the aromatizer with a tea light candle and the Eucalyptus essential oil. She explains that it's the same essence we are going to use on my skin during the massage therapy and on the soles of my feet.
Without any more words Pook shows me with a Namaste sign to a large container with multicolored rose petals floating in warm water. Gently my feet are transported into this blessed Eucalyptus immersion. After this I am invited to lie on a bed embellished with an Indonesian blue and white block printed cotton throw and very pure white sheets, where I am asked to rest my forehead downwards in a hole where a dendrobium orchid is waiting silently to be replaced.
With a specialized pressure point technique on my energy gateways, my palms, soles, upper and lower limbs, Pook concentrates on my reflex points, promoting within my senses a feeling of complete physical and mental well-being. She then asks me to turn onto my back.
Adapted to the traditional Indian system of natural healing, for 45 more minutes Pook applies a facial that apparently will stimulate my "Marma", which are the vital energy points on the head, face and ears.On my way out to the sauna and hot steam bath, wrapped in a very comfortable bathrobe, I thank Pook for her great touch. Like in a song of appreciation in her pronounciation, she thanks me back.
I am now fully energized and purified, ready to once again face the intricate beauty of this chaotic but yet organized metropolis called Delhi. But most important at this moment is that I am definitely blessed with that touch of serenity.