The weekend at Ayurgram held two interesting revelations for me: a) that boiled cumin seed (jeera) water can be really addictive and b) that being spoilt silly is something I’m enjoying way too much.
I must have guzzled a few litres of this amazingly refreshing drink that I have never tasted before. The day started with a satisfying breakfast of fruit, toast, omlette, jeera water, juice and tea. Compared to my paltry tea and a fruit breakfast back home, I was slowly realising the meaning of living life ‘kingsize’ (or ‘queensize’ as the case is here).
In the morning I discover pranayama (yogic breathing techniques). I had no idea there were so many ways to breathe in air! They never taught us all this in biology class.
The breakfast only seemed to whet my appetite. By lunchtime, I happily devoured everything served on my huge Kerala thali. Though I couldn’t really tell what I was eating, all I could taste was lots of black mustard, coconut and heaps of curry leaves. Yummy, none the less.
In the afternoon, there was a meditation session (harnessing cosmic energy and getting your mind and body into a balanced state). Ever wondered how some people tire so easily and some can keep going from morning to night? The answer, dear folks, is in how efficiently you can harness energy. We’re all given the same amount. Simple stuff actually, but I guess someone else telling you from a podium in soothing tones, in the serene silence of the afternoon, makes it all the more effective.
I gave myself over to the capable hands (of two very efficient women) in the afternoon for the customary oil massage. But not before a few preliminary fears. The scariest part is when the women say: ‘remove’ like they’re asking if you want sugar with your coffee. Then you realise they’re serious. Anyway, after a few worrisome minutes when I imagined all kinds of things, (were they talking about my fat layers as they generously applied oil all over?) I decided life is too short. They were probably whispering about their latest crushes (well, I hope).
I wandered around clicking pictures. The grounds of the resort are really well maintained. The restaurant is slightly elevated and overlooks the resort. I made it a point to have all my meals there because it was so breezy and peaceful.
The rooms are spacious. Clean. The cottages that are scattered at the rear of the property are all done up in traditional Kerala architecture and are extremely pretty. The food is vegetarian, but light and delicious (also means you eat more!). The staff is friendly and yet non-intrusive. There’s not much more you can ask for if you’re looking for a peaceful weekend break. The prices though are on the steep side. But then you probably deserve the royal treatment once in a while. Especially if you’ve been spending too much time burning the midnight oil and want to indulge in yourself.
In the evening there was a little bit of magic. In the form of a magician who performed tricks to keep us entertained for a while. Dinner was early. I decided to go for Chinese and then retired with William Dalrymple’s City of Djinns. An interesting account of the author’s year in Delhi. I like reading travel books when I’m on the road.
On this trip, I’ve gone through Butter Chicken in Ludhiana, Pankaj Mishra’s account of small towns in India and the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams and am hoping to finish two more books by the time I get back to Mumbai. I have yet to visit the bookstores here, which in a way is a good thing, because after all my meandering and rejuvenating, my wallet has gotten considerably lighter!
After an early morning yoga session, followed by another hearty breakfast, I am back in Bangalore city just in time to catch the morning traffic – noise, commotion and work. The weekend seems almost surreal.