While busy at work one day, I happened to receive a curious message from the people at Fairmont Jaipur. Their Ruhab Spa had begun signature treatments based on one’s horoscope and the dominant doshas that dictate one’s actions and demeanour. Here’s a little crash course for the uninitiated: according to Ayurvedic principles, there are three doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Those whose Vata dosha (air) is dominant tend to be flighty, creative individuals who are prone to worrying. Those with the Pitta dosha (fire) are fiery, headstrong and quick to get angry. Kaphas (water) are generally lazy, grounded and calm. I had had a tryst with Ayurvedic massages once before; now it was time for me to find out how the Ruhab Spa stacked up.
I arrived in Kukas, Jaipur, and was immediately left flabbergasted—not only does this stunner of a hotel look like a palace (boasting a mix of Mughal and Rajputana architecture), the guests are treated like royalty. I was welcomed with the sound of nagadas and was showered with rose petals; a musician with a glorious moustache, playing the ravanhatha serenaded me with his rendition of ‘Padharo Mhare Desh’—all this before I had even checked in.
Rejecting the cookie-cutter approach, Fairmont has done its fair share of work to remind you of the glorious setting you are in, incredible Rajasthan. From the hand-drawn miniature paintings on the walls and furniture inlaid with camel bone or mother-of-pearl to an actual ancient door that the hotel had procured from an old haveli in Jodhpur, the place has it all. And apart from the exquisite décor, the famous Rajasthani hospitality was also available in multitudes.
By afternoon, I made my way to the Ruhab Spa. After the mandatory form-filling (dealing with allergies and health problems) was done and dusted, I excitedly made my way to the changing room. A 10-minute steam session later, I lay down on the massage table. My very helpful masseuse, Rina Bharati, had already enquired after my zodiac sign over the phone. She explained that since I was a Virgo, she would be conducting something called Dhrutvaani—a massage that would help attune my sense of hearing and speech. A combination of a facial and a neck massage would target my lymph nodes, ultimately leading to an improved immune system. Using a heady blend of eucalyptus and black pepper essential oils, she went on to massage the rest of my body as well. 60 minutes of pure bliss, and Rina woke me from my reverie. Dejectedly, I headed to the sauna.
I honestly don’t know if my doshas were balanced, but the massage was the most soothing experience I had ever had—so it did indeed seem tailor-made for me. The mysticism of astrology adds a veneer of intrigue and allure to what is already an excellent treatment on its own. But whether or not you believe in the fault in your stars, this massage is seminal and must be sampled by anyone looking for some R&R garbed in fine Rajputana regalia.