Andar ka spring cleaning

Published: Sep 15, 2019, 05:36 IST | Meenakshi Shedde

All amidst beautiful gardens, a walking track along a serene lake with cheeping waterfowl, an orchard and farm, with peacocks pottering about

Illustration/Uday Mohite
Illustration/Uday Mohite

Meenakshi SheddeThere was this time I was fasting, when I was so ravaged by hunger, I could find nothing in the room—just a bed, table and TV— and I imagined myself eating the blanket. So I watched a film, and the hunger soon passed. Eventually, I had cheerfully fasted for a week—under supervision, with healthy juices through the day and soup and salad at meals—and when finally offered a regular meal, I found it impossible to finish. I learnt to listen to my body.

I was recently at the Jindal Naturecure Institute, Bengaluru, that cures by drugless therapy, by letting nature cure you. It was one of the most transformative life experiences I have had in recent years. Convinced that nature—and the body itself—are the best healers, industrialist Dr SR Jindal has created a seamless hospital-cum-spa concept, bringing varied and holistic expertise in naturopathy and nature cure under one roof, including yoga, Ayurveda, treatments including massages, colon hydro therapy and mud baths, as well as related fields like physiotherapy and acupuncture. All amidst beautiful gardens, a walking track along a serene lake with cheeping waterfowl, an orchard and farm, with peacocks pottering about.

I had a fairly busy schedule. For someone who is a late riser, I could barely believe I was up most days at 5am, doing two hours of yoga from 5.30 am to 7.30 am. Then, after a glass of sugarcane juice, I would go on a walk by the lakeside/orchard, followed by a 'green smoothie', then soup and salad for lunch, then an aloe vera juice, followed by a wholesome juice (of fruits and herbs) in the afternoon, and dinner was a papaya slice and another soup and salad served between—ha ha—5.45 pm-6.30 pm (half-day in Bombay). Lights out at 10 pm is encouraged.

The main treatments, prescribed by my kind naturopath Dr Prabhath R, were a glorious detox treat for the body, and included a herbal oil massage (done by two women simultaneously), underwater massage (by water jets in a large tub), Shirodhara (in which herbal oil drips on your forehead), Shirolepa (your head is packed with herbal paste and wrapped in banana leaves—I felt like a patra ni machchi); some sessions were followed by sitting in a steam room, strung with eucalyptus branches. The highlight was a hot stone massage, again given by two women working simultaneously: after giving you an oil massage, they put hot lava stones on various points in the body—it was very heaven. The treatment also included a colon hydro therapy, mud packs, acupuncture and 'interferential therapy' (low frequency, electric, vibrating massage) for a "computer neck". Then, aquatic exercises in a swimming pool. Altogether, this was a rejuvenating internal spring cleaning. Importantly, it was a digital detox, as use of mobile phones and laptops is very restricted: when I emerged, there had been more lynchings, forests burned, Indo-Pak relations worsened—so nothing had changed. Incidentally, I also lost 3.2 kg and some inches off my waistline, in about two weeks, full bonus for me. This nature cure is one of the most precious gifts one can give oneself. Now excuse me, as my pants are falling down.

Meenakshi Shedde is India and South Asia Delegate to the Berlin International Film Festival, National Award-winning critic, curator to festivals worldwide and journalist. She can be reached on

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