Sunday, 13 February 2011

"Mr. Johnny and His Magic Fingers"

All week the husband has been giving me grief.

"When are we going to go to Mr. Johnny's and have dinner with him?"

Mr. Johnny, in case you didn't know, is the masseuse here on the beach who has been pummelling our flesh for several months now - usually on a weekly basis.  Well at least in the husband's case.  For me, it's been his meek wife Aruna who has timidly rubbed me into submission probably twice as often, whilst a random assortment of music has played on the their boombox.

The husband is to thank for this.  A while back he introduced Mr. Johnny to dub reggae and offered to burn him some cds.   While he was at it he must have also burnt some hardcore trance, because the other day during my massage (solo - the husband had opted out for some reason or another) Mr. Johnny proudly popped a disc in and pumping tunes suddenly started belting out of the little hut - totally disturbing my reverie and completely ruining my massage.  I didn't say anything, just smiled, trying to keep the towel modestly covering my upper region while Mr. Johnny and his wife nodded enthusiastically and exclaimed, "This your husbands music!"

Yep.  Sure wish they'd left it for my husband.

At any rate they've been insisting on making us a feast for a few weeks now - no doubt enamoured of us and feeling in debt to us simply because of all the business we've brought their way thanks to the constant stream of visitors we've had all season.

They've been waxing prolific about all the delicacies they want to make us ("lollipop chicken...chana masala...dal...") with such wistful conviction, that the husband has become convinced that to not take them up on their effusive offer would be akin to a slap in the face.  I on the other hand have argued that although I believe they really want to do it, it is an expense they do not need and can't we just have an extra few massages instead?

And so like 98% of our arguments, it has become a moot point anyway given that we've run out of time (like we knew we would) and cannot have a big epic dinner party with Mr. Johnny and his family as intended. Mr. Johnny is upset about this.

We had our last couples massage today and at the end he sighed and with a little groan said, "You know I am so very, very sad that I cannot cook for you and make you big dinner."

"We know Mr. Johnny, but next season okay?  Promise!"  (This from me as I hightail it out of there, frantic about the amount of packing still left to be done in the next 12 hours before we 80% of it)

I leave the husband in the midst of a moving song and dance about how much they value each other's friendship, how they're best friends, how until the day he dies Mr. Johnny and his wife will never forget Jay and I, etc. and as I turn onto the beach I overhear one last frantic plea of an offer to cook at home and then home deliver us a big tasty parcel tonight...

Aruna comes running after me with a wet plastic bag, and pressing it into my hands, smiles and says, "I give you gift.  You my good friend."

Once home I discover the contents to be an assortment of bright plastic hair clips - the likes of which my sister has never seen and can't resist decorating my head with.

(I'd like to see Neal's Yard dole those out to customers after a £50 Aromatherapy Massage...)

I'm going to miss India.  Equal parts hardship and comedy, beauty and decay.  There's no place like it...

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