Yesterday, while doing ablutions for maghrib prayers, I had this sudden mother-of-all-cramps in my right foot. I can't remember (yeah,yeah) when I last had one of these and was wondering my head off as to the reason why.
One time, a cramp developed when someone sat on my foot while at a crowded congregational terawih, I was grimacing in pain as I felt my toes and arch contorting into a shape not unlike that of a Chinese concubine's bound feet (yes I've seen gruesome pictures of these). As you might imagine my focus level dropped to minus infinity. Immediately after the salams I hobbled off to the back and walked away the cramp. Much later on I learnt that in a crowded situation, it is acceptable for one to sit back legs tucked Japanese-style on the last tahyaat before salams instead of the usual manner.
But this time, even though the cramp had eased after some walking on carpet, it came back while doing the last tahyaat - which I completed at supersonic speed. Khusyu' was zilch but hopefully I got points for enduring the pain.
And the reason for the cramp?
Well yesterday the cleaner came for the weekly once-over (hey, I supplement that by pushing the mop too, okay? whenever I'm in the mood, that is). Anyway, she was a different girl from the one the company usually sends over. She worked fast and hard and the floor turned out so delightfully shiny and smooth with the application of her elbow grease. I was happy to do away with my house slippers all day.
In the evening in the kitchen, I slid the kitchen rug aside and cooked barefooted - still enjoying the ungritty floor. It was usrah night and I made cekodok pisang for Muni's buka puasa and then mihun goreng for the usrah's potluck. It was after that that my foot cramped under the tap.
Manja punya kaki. House slippers are important to ward off the "cold" from our tiled floors and I do usually wear them. My mother swears by them and she'd remind us every so often, ever since we became mothers ourselves. Hers are the ones with little spikes on the inners for the reflexology effect. Mine are cheap ordinary cushioned ones but I soon might have to get the spikeys as well.
But the cramp gave me a very good reason to have a thai massage today.
"You want man?" asked the manageress at the counter. Sheesh, just because I'm big-sized she thinks only male masseurs can handle me.
"No...... you got handsome boy?" I almost asked.
I waved my hand indicating no, and she said "Ok, I give you Mown".
And moaned and groaned I did - inaudibly though, to save face - as I relished masseuse Mown's kneading and pummeling as she contorted me, like my cramped foot, into unlikely yoga poses and wrestling holds.
She too, stood on my soles for what seemed a good long while which was indeed reminiscent of the painful experience of my foot being sat on by a heavyweight. But it was after the most satisfying roti-canai treatment of my feets' lifes that Mown administered soon after, that I forgave her.
Gosh - at the end of it I felt like I just had a very satisfying workout, although I did nothing but play, as it were, into the hands and elbows and feet of the inimitable Mown.
Sawadi karp Mown, you certainly deserved your tip.
Just for you, this thai-sounding pantun:
"High, high sun haaaiiiii,
Son cow die taaiiiii,
Long time search Aiiii,
New now get Aiiiii!"
"Tinggi-tinggi si matahari,
Anak kerbau mati tertambat
Sudah lama saya mencari
Baru sekarang saya mendapat!"
Owh, did I say workout? I started back at the gym also today.