Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Don't Recoil - It's Only Oil

Oil is passé.  Or so the doctors say.  For some reason, all the allopathic doctors shake their heads when you tell them about oil massages.  It's almost as if something that feels so good can't possibly be doing you any good.  "It has no benefits," they say before handing you that (very expensive) bottle of medicated or fortified cream or shampoo.

Millions of Indians have been massaging oil onto their heads and bodies for what seems like aeons - for nothing (you ask)?  They shake their heads dismissively or give a small superior smile.  They don't say it, but they imply "We know better."

But, ah!  A bit of oil rubbed into your head feels so good, especially during a headache (as today) or on a very hot and dry day.  And nothing can beat that good old mustard oil massage (which we hated as children because the oil would sting)- the wonders it does for circulation and winter dryness.

Last year, I sincerely followed the "no oil" plan and I can't say that the creams and shampoos made a whole lot of difference.  And once you stop using them, you're back to square one.  So this year, I return to what's familiar and comfortable - herb infused oil for the hair, mustard or sesame oil for the body, apricot or almond oil for the face.  It feels good and, much of the time, smells good too.

And before me floats the unforgettable image of Johnny Walker, from the 1957 black and white film Pyaasa - singing a whole song dedicated to a street head-massager...

"If your head reels
Or your heart sinks
Come to me, dearest
Why worry?  Why worry??"

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