It was the day when Travel Desk was waiting for an hour while I swam in the hotel swimming pool in front of the driver. For more than an hour I have been asking them to wait. This was the day when I had requested all hotel staff about my trip all across the island.
We started late for the whole day date with Bali. The driver was an old man and he reiterated the itinerary with me. We had the waterfall. We has silver art museums and the art galleries. We had Kuta and also the coffee plantations in our itinerary.
When we reached the highway he insisted we go first to the coffee plantation. I had a different idea because of the scorching sun and the time of the day. I was against his plans of visiting coffee plantations first. I wanted to see the silver and art galleries first and then have coffee. My plan was well according to my needs, time and weather conditions.
I don’t know why he was reluctant. But he kept on insisting coffee plantation first. After long debates and somewhat authoritarian commands we argued over my itinerary. I was to follow his route because it would have been logical and speedier. Following a circle either way I couldn’t have imagined to be shorter or speedier either way.
He took me to some monuments. We visited power centers of political and commercial significance in Bali. Like old parliament building, reserve bank of Indonesia and royal palace of Denpasar. He get me inside the security ring and the way he managed to get the car with me inside the cordon, I was impressed. His hospitality and sense of duty made me change his mind towards him. He used to get me inside the cordon and I did the rest.
So we went to the coffee plantation in Bali popular for Luwak coffee. I kept thinking that Bali Coffee would be an elixir. Infamous Luwak variety must have have been coffee-de-grande. I was deep into thoughts in the car how coffee in this hot rainforest would be world renowned. I wasn’t using internet to research Bali before visiting a place. Knowing the things before kills the excitement. So I was not looking up and life happened.
My Bali experience should be first hand free from technology and impromptu. I wanted to seep into the local culture not from any other author’s point of view but mine.
This was my way of rebelling against the world and its atrocities. This was my personal adventure and journey to renew my life. My life was not dull before. It was almost exciting enough but it drained all the emotional energy from me.
I wanted to fall in love again. With myself and the nature and the beauty.
The women a lot of them were weaving palm leaves and stuff under the shed. It was a scene from industrious rural factory cranking out some value in capitalism. The driver parked the car. I was being welcome by the staff as royal tourist.
Cool but wait the worker with a hose was watering the parking lot. I went straight to him. The other staff bemused, what I had, in my mind. I knelt in front of my hose, kept my glasses aside in a bamboo hut over a bed made of bamboo.
I splashed all my face hair neck and temples with cold water gushing from the hose. The way I was cleaning my sweat every body looked along waiting for an actual bath to follow.
At this point I jumped in swift. Across small water puddles, avoiding them like landmines. I kept my shoes in all dry patches in short swift succession, that the women at entrance gasped.
I shrugged excessive water from my face. Certain hand swipes to dry off the clinging cold water. Sudden brush across my hair to straighten them. I wore my sunglasses before taking out my handkerchief from the pocket.
i was ready. The bemused hosts were all smiles. Been in long car journey in Sun . My face transformed from weary, to eternal fragrant fresh flower. Shining in Sun.
There were cascade of staff, well dressed in their attire. Greeting the tourists at each step in the relay race. A bunch of staff hosts were handing me to another bunch in quick succession. The greetings and the new faces were like rapid fire. So I kept my gaze away most of the times from their smiling faces answering my wikipedia questions.
I was more focussed and inclined in taking nuance photographs en route until I reach the huge swing. There were a series of hut. Fellow travelers were, seated in the bench, tasting colored liquid in small glass cups. Each one of them had a lady guide charming them into a paradise coffee experience of their lifetimes.
For me a middle aged plump lady emerged from the coffee house which was at the end of the journey. I began wondering where the coffees trees were.
Now was the time of barrage of flora and fauna questions and camera shots. My guide was not expecting me to avoid her. She insisted me to taste the coffee and get seated. And I was like jumping around as Jack for each plant or animal there with a nameplate.
She began laughing. Her eyes squandering with their colleagues, about putting a raccoon, to sit at command. And I was like please God another next batch comes and she takes over them instead of me.
She was like running woman after a small toddler running around to let him eat something. You can understand the ritual when you have a growing child or have seen somewhere. Isn’t it interesting. So much running and energy. Crying babies and still these little devils grow so fast year after year into a teenage boy or girl.
My attention was never in taking the seat which my old host was trying to appease me into. All of a sudden a group of boys and girls took into the mountain swings. In bungee jumps, you hear receding screeches from a distance. But here we felt like spectators on the river over two or three diving bungee jumpers.
I just fled towards them to see a creak and small hills and lots of trees on the other side. I jumped downhill.
After half an hour of selfies and sights alone in the wilderness I came back to have a treat of tasting. The host sighed at last and asked if I was ready for taste. I said “Yes Please”.
I began fiddling with paper towels holder and sugar sachets tray made of bamboo. They were near perfect pieces of art but rural. Few more shots from my camera in all positions across the wooden table.
A young cute spectacled lady was sitting across watching me with intent. Doing weird photo shoot. Her gaze caused me to notice her and turn around. I gave her a smile and said sweet, “hello”, softly.
I turned back and carried on with bamboo playthings. I saw the old lady middle aged, of course coming out from the coffee house with a tray full of colored tea and coffee. As she walked closer to the table I realized that she was plump but not old. I looked at her and the way she carried herself all looked good except she didn’t caught my fancy earlier.
She placed the tray and cups before me and started serving beverages. Each cup and I fired her questions to answer before I took a sip. She had to convince me with the answers as a guide before I gulped or sipped a sample.
She was sitting across the table. I tried to nudge her fingers each time she handed me over a cup. Sometimes I succeeded. Most of the times she won, because of her acute awareness. Realizing my intentions and deflecting my naughty behavior.
Bemusingly, I was so carried away that I overturned a cup of Lombok coffee all over my white trousers. The girl sitting behind noticed. Immediately ran beside me offering me tissue or paper towels. I hadn’t reacted enough of getting the pants stained with coffee. Here I was seeing the cute spectacled Balinese girl. Offering me paper towels, to clean up, in an instant.
I was feeling awkward after doing such a foolish and childish blunder scenic fail. The whole energy and vibe was all gone because none of the staff smiled now. I felt like a poor baby in all the grown ups.
I was almost depressed at the thought of carrying forward in this tour. The mind switched, a new train of thought kicked in and I closed my eyes to take long deep breaths.
As I closed my eyes the world darkened and the events disappeared into eternal void. One breath, two longer and the longer and deep breath. I didn’t open my eyes until my heart calmed to a degree of utter silence. I could sense the people standing and sitting across looking at me waiting me see my eyes open. They were patient.
I opened my eyes in a slow serendipitous manner. What felt inside like an hour was just thirty seconds. I looked at the eyes of the young spectacled lady deeply. She was still offering me the paper towels to clean my trousers. I picked it from her hands.
She took another bunch of tissue paper and started wiping off the table. The other lady had handled the overturned coffee cup and rest of the tray.
I looked at the young lady from toe to head and back from head to toe. I started to rise over my seat to clean my trousers but I didn’t leave her personal bubble space. I mean I was close enough, her bent, cleaning the table. I was overlooking her figure and admiring her beautiful generosity and hospitality.
I did not feel awkward anymore at all. The events just vanished. My epoch flipped over.
I cleaned my trousers over my thighs and soaked the coffee with the tissues.
I said this is not going to dry and clean, how hard I try.
She asked excuse me are you saying something to me? Do you want me to bring some water and soap. I said never mind, it’s already stained and I can’t be, helped. Let the sun dry my stained trousers and I will be OK. Inside me said douchebag this is a new white trouser.
I also picked paper towels and helped her clean the already clean table. We started a little conversation as I thanked her for the help, I said you are cute. She shied away and sat on her bench again.
I saw a black thread wound on her left toe. I asked her what is that you are wearing on your leg. She looked down and adjusted her sarong in an avoid staring and be careful manner. I again pointed my finger and said look in a loud voice to involve the the other host into it.
She lifted her sarong a bit and I saw her white nice ankles wearing a plain sandals and smooth uncut heels. I judged she didn’t needed pedicure and still she kept her feet beautiful in the sand without any shoes. Good sign.
She replied “Oh this is because I have a lingering stomachache”. I began teasing her and said what the heck you single, you have pain in abdomen, how many months?
The plump girl shouted with an authoritative tone, to keep my flirty joke, off her colleague. She has a normal ache a kind of stomachache everyone can happen to have sometimes. I contradicted why don’t you serve her a cup of your herbal Luwak coffee and it will remedy her stomachache. That completely shut her up.
Now it was time for a charm offensive. I asked the cute young spectacled girl host to stand up and come towards me. I gave her my hand to take and rise from her seat. In a moment, she lifted her hands to take mine but her reaction faded quick. She stood avoiding my hand and I redacted my hand while she rose.
She shied. No this is nothing to worry about a small stomachache. She sat down again. I moved myself in front of her, caught both her hands and looked deep into her eyes. Yuck why those rims?
She was exerting force against my hands pulling her up to rise in vain. At least the girl tried against my strength but it was a gentleman way of pulling. Not a tug of war between a creep and a lady. I began my words to charm her.
I said believe in me. I can cure your stomachache forever. I am a oriental yogi. I showed a full hand pose common to them in Bali. I am a healer. I can let your pain vanish within minutes of my magical healing. She stared at my eyes in disbelief. She read my face with her lady spider sense for truth or flirt. I gave her a serious confident no nonsense glance of a mystified yogi. I used vocabulary like Jesus, oriental, healing, yoga, touch pain authority, practice, powers. In one power packed sentence.
All her inhibitions were gone. By the time I placed my one palm behind her upper back, another taking, her one hand, driving her toward, the bench, I was sitting at. Like a doctor, serenely calming her racing thoughts, by a soothing deep voice. I let her sit down. I asked her to raise her legs over the bench and lie down comfortably. She said no way I am going to lie on this bench.
I asked her if she can give me permission to touch head or back. I was mentally preparing her to relax with my advances. I had her already picked her up and put on bench and now was asking permission to touch her for healing.
I looked around. All the other hosts and ladies, were bemused, with my words and deeds. No one was aware that I may not be able to heal any pain or faking it all together. Still after a quick read of all faces I knew they were magician’s audience.
She sat on the bench. She adjusted her sarong a bit. I was waiting for her to begin my sorcery. Sarong seemed fine, as it snugged her from waist to ankles. One of the slit, near the ankle, upturned. She turned it back. I notice these subtle details. Fair sex does, these nuanced subtle things, with hairs, clothes, collars, postures. These make them very decent.
She was leaning forward and her back hunched. I asked her permission can I touch you. She said OK. But I meant it. I said hope you are single. Still let me splash my fingers with water. I quickly saw a reservoir near the animal cage. I flocked there and washed my hands, face and ears. I quickly came back and stood beside her. I patted her back with my left hand. I patted her forehead with my right hand. She was clueless what I was doing. I patted once again with a slap noise. This time both hands slapped her back and forehead at the same time. As soon as I patted I reconciled my hands away. No one understood that. As I looked at all the faces. They were clueless too.
I commanded why are you hunching. Keep your spine straight and pull up your chin. Like a master I voiced these words sternly. She straightened her back quickly. I looked at the angle her legs made with the upper body from sides. I commanded keep your head higher. Like a tall tree keep it as high as you can but straight.
You are not a body. You are a fish floating in the sky. I said in a loud and demeaning voice. Their jaws dropped as they thought it to be weird. I said like a master you won’t understand but believe me for now. She agreed again. Now take three long deep breath from your lungs. Not the lungs take it deep from the bottom of the lungs diaphragm. No no take it from the stomach. She began breathing closed her eyes and didn’t exhale.
I said you have to exhale the air abruptly. Open your eyes do it again three times. She began the breathing exercise still not exhaling completely. I said open your mouth while exhaling and remove all the air you breathe completely. Make a noise while you exhale. She closed her eyes and did once more. I noticed she hunched slightly. I said no no no. Open your eyes. Why asked why can’t i hear the sound of your exhale. I demonstrated her breathing and exhaling in an animated way.
She made small sound while exhale. I said louder. Completely breathe out all the air. Close your eyes and I patted her back and forehead keeping my hands glued this time. I said breathe and imagine. You are breathing prana from outside. Letting the negative energy and the pain exhaled. She understood this time and followed. I began doing the breathing exercise but i was louder. She noticed and I can see clearly that her attention came towards me. Her right iris was popping out from the corner of her closed eyes.
I said focus your attention towards your tip of the nose and forget that there is world around you. With your closed eyes What can you see. Can you see the darkness. She said No. I was astonished. I realized she was messing with me. I said you have to believe in you and do with complete attention and focus if you need to cure your stomachache.
Ok remember your lord in your mind and chant. She began breathing again but I saw her closed eyes flittering eye balls. I stopped her. Stop stop stop. Look at me. She opened her eyes slowly and looked at me standing beside her. She stained her neck to look at my face. I moved back suddenly and did a yoga pose with my hands. Can you recognize this. I moved my hands away from me and closer to her. I said do you recognize who is this with a wink. Smiling in a mysterious secret I was telling her with the pose. I said believe in me now.
I said do it again. She closed her eyes and started breathing. I caressed her back from the nape to the base of the spine. I rotated three fingers clockwise and counterclockwise at the end. I said Stop and open your eyes. Do this exercise every time you are free. Even you are not attending to guests you can start practicing this simple exercise. Believe in me and your pain will go in a week.
They thanked me. I went straight to the coffee house after shaking hands off with the cute young spectacled girl.