“Off, off. OFF,” she said and pointed to my panties. When I did nothing, she tugged at them. The underwear would be coming off, along with my expectations of a “spa experience” in India.
My friend Sholeh and I had just arrived at the Jagat Palace in Pushkar, a marble-domed hotel overlooking the Thar Desert, Snake Mountain and the scattering of tents in the field where the drivers stayed. I looked out the window of my marble palace, knowing our driver Sharma was out there somewhere. As I squinted through the looking glass of my privilege, I let the guilt slide in, but part of me knew that I was using that guilt as a way to make myself feel better. I feel guilty, so I must be good person. So it’s not without shame that I tell you I turned from that window and made our appointments for Ayurvedic massage.