Dubai Diaries: Day 3 –  Massagus Centerus Cardimicus

So my Dubai Diaries would be a non-starter without introducing you to this phenomenon called Massage Centre Cards. They are small, they are colourful, and they have (a million) stories to tell. Which of course they won’t. 

But before I get to that, let me warn you: The contents you are about to see are graphic, and can be highly disturbing. In India, the censor board might have frowned. (Or not. They frown only at things that seduce the intellect. I guess I’m safe.)


Name: Massage Center Card

Scientific Name: Massagus Centerus Cardimicus

Origin: Unknown 

Size: Slightly larger than an average visiting card

Colour: Skin, mostly

Function: Informational / proclamatory / invitational / motivational (Take your pick.)

Habitat: Pavements, sidewalks, footbridges, and roadsides [Known to infest windows of parked cars in great numbers.]

Feeds on: Human desperation and depravity

Special Features:

    • Digitally printed.
    • No female with an anatomy is safe from the confines of its four edges. Indian film stars, regardless of their standing, are particularly vulnerable.
    • Certain parts of the said anatomy are more susceptible than others.
    • Elusive to copyright laws and defamation suits.
    • Deposited in place by swift hands and bent heads that pass by on foot or bicycle

Sub-species:  New Girl, Good Girl, Sweet Belly, Ya Ting , Lixin, Love Me, Milk Spa, Angel, Personal Care, Jasmine, Rose King, Rose Spa, Royal Rose, Lucky, Marvellous, Relax, VIP… Or [no name].

Evolution: Started out with more text and smaller graphics, plus a map to the location printed at the back. Soon moved towards minimalism, with more visuals and graphics (read more ‘visually graphic’). Currently tend to be spartan, with just monochrome visuals and phone number/s.

Collector’s Note:

      • Be prepared for mixed reactions when you are caught picking them up, especially if you are a middle-aged woman with graying hair and an air of respectability.
      • Do not think beyond the card.
      • Do not ask why they are so blatantly there, at the most obvious places, despite.
      • NEVER think about what they imply. You can’t sleep.

3 thoughts on “Dubai Diaries: Day 3 –  Massagus Centerus Cardimicus

    1. She is in lofty company, Manietta. There’s Katrina Kaif, Tamanna, Madhuri Dixit, Anushka Shetty… you name it. I had clicked photos, but in the end, couldn’t post them. Somehow, it seems all wrong to use those images.


      1. But, frankly, whom are they fooling? Does any panting male expect to be massaged by well known film actresses? I used to laugh when I was in Trivandrum. In many of the tiny towns, one could see ‘hole in the wall’ barber shops and tailors stitching away on a SINGER Machine that were museum pieces. What used to amuse me were the ‘models’ used for their shop signs. Rajesh Khanna and Dharmendra were hot favourites for the ‘haircutting saloons’ while a dapper, shamelessly handsome Kabir Bedi in a ‘soot boot’ was busy modeling for the tailors.

        I used to visualise these actors landing at Trivandrum Airport and whizzing in a cab to the barber shops for a haircut if they were Rajesh Khanna or Dharmendra or a Kabir Bedi, with a newspaper wrapped packet of ‘Japan Suit Piece’, rushing into ‘Velappan Super Tailors’.


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