Thursday Tidbits

Posted on March 30, 2017 under Thursday Tidbits with 5 comments


“ Misty, water colored mem’ries, of the way we were.”

The Way We Were . Barbra Streisand

Memories accumulate over the years and one hopes when all is said and done, that the good outweigh the bad. The brain seems to have an infinite number of gigabytes and from time to time, will instantly recall events from 50 years ago. For me, hearing an old tune will evoke vivid memories. “ Hey Jude” or “Whiter Shade of Pale” instantly takes me back to high school dances at the Parish Center…. waiting for the last waltz.

So what, pray tell, does this have to do with my second ayurvedic massage? Those of you who read this column regularly will recall that my first massage in India ended up in bloodshed.

The Bed and Breakfast at Stella Maris now offers massages as a value added proposition. A man with 13 years of experience has joined the staff to provide comfort for weary travelers. The B@B is owned by the Daughters of Mary and virtually everything they do, is centered around spirituality. So it was no surprise that Sister Archana volunteered me (!) to be the recipient of the first massage, accompanied by a prayer offering, to officially open the massage room.

The ceremony took place just after dusk and before supper was served. I expected a blessing followed by a photo op of me ( partially clothed ! ) lying on the massage table. I reckoned that 15 minutes should do it nicely. I arrived a few minutes early to chat with Shaji. The room had a few religious symbols and candles… and incense. I looked at the massage table and my jaw dropped slightly as I saw a cotton loincloth.

At 7:00, four Sisters arrived plus a handful of the staff, who all crowded in to a small space. It was 29 degrees. No air conditioning. I immediately started to perspire and it wasn’t because of the oppressive heat. I was wondering about the photo op… and the loincloth.

Prayers commenced. “The First Sorrowful Mystery.” Everyone dropped to their knees. And just like that, I was transported back in time to 39 Hillcrest Street fifty or more years ago when the ten of us hit the hardwoods every noon hour to say a decade or two of the rosary. Because of our proximity to Morrison School and Antigonish High, we were able to go home for a full dinner at midday. Once the meal was dispatched, we would gather in the living room and grab prayer beads.

At 7:40 prayers ended. Beads of sweat took on a whole new meaning. My stomach was rumbling and I was anxious to get the photo done so that I could eat supper. I soon found out that there would be no photo taken but that I would have the first “ ceremonial massage” to officially mark the opening of the massage center. To my enormous relief, the Sisters and the rest of the entourage left the small “ easy bake oven.” It was more like Dante’s “Inferno.”

At 8:45 it was over. “ You need to let the oil sink in for another hour “ said Shaji. He told me to get dressed ( shorts and a t-shirt ) and to go and eat my supper…lathered in oil. I entered the small dining area and the four Sisters were just finishing their dinner. I looked like some zombie from a horror movie. “ Sorrowful Mystery” took on a whole new meaning.

I am happy to report that the massage was excellent and that I didn’t receive any injuries to my body!

Have a great day.

P.S. Help build an indoor washroom for 25 orphan boys. We need $700 more to start the work. To donate go to

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5 Responses to Thursday Tidbits

  1. Greg Albert says:

    Very interesting and I am sure you are going to miss all this when you get home.Here it is almost the end of March and we are still getting snow.Not a very nice spring yet.Take care and have a good day.

  2. Beth Hodder says:

    Another enjoyable story and my family said the rosary after supper every evening.”Those were the days my friend we thought would never end”

  3. Mary Hopkins. What a great tune.

  4. You know I love this photo Len! It is just stunning – it stirs strong emotions in me that I cannot explain!! It is easily my favourite from ALL the photos taken in India by either of us.

  5. Week 45 says:

    A picture IS worth a thousand words… in English or in Tamil, Carol!

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