Very rarely have I written a review of something other than a movie so soon after having an experience. This experience which continues to overwhelm me even now is the reason why I felt like putting this in my notes just now.
After a day full of meetings, when I returned to my hotel room, I was feeling exhausted and felt that a massage would do me good. Thankfully, when I came down to the Health Club, the massage room was free and I signed up for a one hour relaxing massage with the masseuse, Urmila. Urmila was dressed in a clinical uniform, which meant that she was dressed in white, looked like a nurse and had a charming smile, which by itself can soothen the tired state of any person. And most unlike, any other masseuse, she broke out in gentle conversation while her gentle hands massaged the sandal oil. She used her hands and her tough elbows alternately and the elbows seemed to squeeze out the tiredness from my muscles quickly reverting to the usage of her soft hands whenever I let out a sigh because of the high pressure exerted by her elbows. With the background of the soft music and the distinctive aroma of the oil being used, I would have gone off to sleep, but for the burning feeling in my eyes caused by her intentionally massaging the eyes with the oil. But she was quick to sense my discomfort and told me that this was good for my eyes and that once I had my shower, I would feel better. I did not realize how the one hour passed off so quickly and after sitting in the steam room for ten minutes and a hot shower, felt absolutely relaxed. I do not know as to whether she has been trained to make pollte conversation when the massage is on, but she talked fluently about her home town in Bhutan, her first employment with The Taj Hotel there, about the people there and I am absolutely certain that while she was absolutely clinical in her massage, her soft conversation is what caused a different experience.
Not only did I feel relaxed after the massage experience, I felt hungry and when I went to the coffee shop and was greeted by an Oriental Buffet spread with an array of desserts not of the Oriental kind. It took me considerable strength to move away from that spread and was fascinated by an item in the menu card which was called The Multi Grain Dosa. The description was that it was a Dosa made with nine types of lentils and grains and flavoured with red and green chutney with tomato and bell pepper fragranced with olive oil and basil. It also claimed to be rich in anti-oxidants and phytonutrients and had a low glycemic index. It had all the ingredients to allow me to enjoy that feast without feeling guilty and when the Dosa arrived after a fifteen minute wait, it was outstandingly delicious. And once again like the massage experience, it was the conversation elements which added to the total experience. And I had the charming Swaha Patnaik, the restaurant manager who conversed with me about her home state Orissa and how her name Swaha is also the name of the female consort of Agni, the Fire God. And when we were in the midst of our conversation, the chef Salin Kumar came on the scene with a recipe of the Dosa which I was eating (I will happily send the recipe to any of my readers if they want it); I learnt from that recipe that the ingredients consisted of Raw Rice, Boiled Rice, Two Types of Lentils (Urad and Green Moong), Barley, Broken wheat, Oats and Ragi Flour. Just when I thought it was time for me to get up, the steward, Senthil, brought in some Curd Rice, which I had hesitatingly asked for (since it was not in the menu) and had almost forgotten about. When the Curd Rice was over, Senthil, who perhaps had observed my sights lingering on the dessert spread as soon as I entered the restaurant, temptingly suggested to me that I should try out the Pal Payasam (Milk Pudding) and caught me off-guard. I answered in the affirmative even before he had a chance to complete the sentence and as if to lessen my burden of guilt at having consumed the sweet, offered to get me Green Tea as well. At that stage, I was in no position to refuse and when the bill came, I was delighted that I was charged only for what I had ordered clearly; the Multi Grain Gateway Dosa.
And yesterday, I had another multi-grain preparation; The Multi-Grain Khichidi made of brown rice, broken wheat, barley and lentils cooked with broccoli florets and spices. It was certainly better than the normal bland Khichidi and more importantly made one feel less guilty because of its healthy ingredients association.
The Taj Gateway in Bangalore has a renovation work going on, the main lobby is closed, the lifts are onerously slow; but the outstanding service more than compensates for the infrastructural deficiencies!

About Vijay from Muscat

A cheerful person who loves watching and reviewing movies and indulges in random writings!
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