Hammam


He was almost at the end of his trip to Istanbul, but hadn’t yet visited the ‘Turkish bath’ or Hammam. His colleagues were going but he was hesitant to go with them. He had the physique of a Greek God, you see! He didn’t want to make his colleagues envious! Could the urge to experience Hammam be stronger than any feeling of ignominy? Idea. Call in sick. Do a stealth check. Call a cab. Head to Hammam.


He was a little scared though – the prospect of being hosed down by a stranger can be disconcerting. As soon as he entered, he understood the REAL MEANING of the Hindi saying: Hammam mein sab nange hai!

He lay on the hot marble, taking deep labored breaths and concentrating on the architecture. His breathing seemed to echo throughout the impressive marble dome. There was this middle-aged European man smiling at him. ‘I hope he is not too liberal with his choices!’ Yet, he smiled back. He couldn’t think straight anymore.

He was sweating. ‘Turkish bath doesn’t stand for bathe in your own sweat, does it,’ he thought. He couldn’t even complete the thought when cold water splashed. The bath started. The masseur began his routine. Bliss. He almost felt asleep before he heard his back crack at multiple places. He was scrubbed cleaner than he had ever been, and then again. It was so relaxing!

It is moments like these that addict him to travel.

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