It was love at first sight when I saw my yoga mat for the first time at Decathlon, Banerghatta Road, Bengaluru. It was pretty in purple, dark on one side and light on the other, and double purple is never too much.
The moment I stepped on that beauty, I knew we were a match in Yoga heaven – the mat just wouldn’t slip. It stayed steady and sturdy as I tried Warrior 2 and Downward Dog, much to the boredom of the salesman, and within a few minutes I decided to buy it. The beauty, of 2150 INR, was available at a discounted price of 1800 INR, although I would have gladly paid even 2500 INR for it.
And so it began, my affair with the mat extraordinaire. The first time I did Chaturanga, the mat held me steady, not letting me go. The time I tried a variation of Chakrasana, the mat held me firm. It stood by me when I came to class on Yoga Day on 21st June 2016, and I loved it when it held me tight during my attempt at headstand, not slipping at all. It had lines all over it, including in the center, which made sure my posture was aligned when I practiced.
Yoga Poses I can do (kind of)
I grew into practice, and it showed on the mat. People would come to me and ask where I bought it from, and while I readily told them, I was just a teeny-weeny happy when Decathlon India stopped manufacturing it. My purple mat and me were exclusive now, we were one of a kind.
As my practice advanced, the mat took the brunt of it. The threads starting coming off a little, but no damage, for it came with a guarantee of 2 years. I would leave it with other mats in the yoga studio after my practice, which has a separate place for daily practitioners’ personal mats, and I would smile seeing it sitting like a princess, the special purple mat in the sea of ordinary PVC mats.
In October I became a little irregular with my practice, but the mat waited for me patiently to come and try Kaakasana one more time. So when I went to class after Diwali, I was excited to reconnect to my lovely mat; I knew it would be lying at the same place as I kept it before I left for home, tucked comfortably in a corner.
But it wasn’t there. Maybe someone kept it elsewhere, and so I searched, knowing that my purple beauty would be easily recognizable, I had branded it with my name “SANJEET”, so that everyone knew who it belonged too. But I couldn’t find it. Class was about to start and I didn’t want to miss my session, so I moved on and took one of the mats kept for common use, the one brown in color, and oh so ugly and smelly. But the yoga practice must be beyond aesthetics, I told myself sternly, and continued to practice, scrunching my nose each time I did Ashtanaga.
After the class, I rushed to the personal mats’ holders, and I asked my colleague, who also comes to the same studio, to help me find it. But it wasn’t there! I looked everywhere but it was nowhere to be seen, someone had flicked my beloved yoga mat!!!!
I told the receptionist, a little angrily, that my mat is missing. I told my teacher, he said he would ask the morning receptionist too. THE YOGA PRACTICE IS BEYOND AESTHETICS, and so the next day I took with me another mat, this time with my name all over it, so that no one touches it even by mistake. I continued the practice, but the new mat was nowhere close to my purple love. It would slip even for Downward Dog, and I would often have to lay a smelly tattered common mat over it, to give me the required grip 🙁
I kept looking for my purple beauty, my lovely mat that had Vanished into thin air, hoping it would turn up one of these days – maybe some innocent newbie would return it, apologizing for attempting to use the “bae” among all yoga mats.
But I also had to find a new mat, which I did this Sunday, when I bought a nice sturdy mat from Isha Yoga Foundation. It felt sturdy and firm too, and it is of fabric so perhaps more eco-friendly. I purchased it happily, hoping to continue my practice, although the loss of my purple bae still felt raw.
As I stood outside the practice room in the studio today, waiting for the previous class to end, I saw that the Creepy Weirdo. Mr. Creepy Weirdo embodies the worst stereotype among Indian men – middle-aged, rich and awful AF. He is a businessman based in Gulf, and has a huge house in one of the poshest areas of the neighborhood. He has an 11-yr old son, but isn’t ashamed to flirt with women closer to his son’s age than his own. I was glad Mr. Weirdo was in a previous class than mine, I wouldn’t have to deal with the unnecessary innuendos of “Shall I drop you home?”. But wait, what was the Weirdo doing his Shavasana on?
Brain-fuzz engulfed me as I realized, the mat on which Mr.Weirdo was resting his unholy bum, was my purple princess!!!!!!! I was shocked, I didn’t even know what to say. I turned to the receptionist and said “That man in the white T-shirt over there, he is using something that looks exactly like my lost mat.” She looked at me with a surprised smile and asked me “Are you sure? Wait, I will ask him today.” “Yes dear, I am pretty sure”, I replied, still a little baffled by what I just saw.
The class got over and Mr.Weirdo came out, smiling and waving Hi to me.I did an awkward half-smile, my eyes not leaving the purple mat in his hand, with its threads hanging out..Oh My God, that mat was mine!!!!!
The class was going to start, but I just couldn’t let that rascal get away with the mat he had clearly stolen. Mr.Weirdo, owing to his travel, hardly did 2 classes in 3 months, and he would usually use a PVC mat, a blue one that too. Even if he purchased the mat new, there was no reason it would look so..well-used.
“Hey, I had a mat exactly the same as yours.” I mouthed the words dryly, still staring at the purple mat, looking for my name, or an indication.
“Of course you did, it is from Decathlon.” He replied, with a cunning smile, like he knew what he had done, but he also knew he was about to get away with it.
“Yeah but Decathlon doesn’t make it anymore”, I was talking to him, but stealing glances at the mat, hoping to see my name, even if rubbed or faded.”
“Oh it does, it does, you should check it out. And if you want this, just give me 100 INR more than the MRP” He winked at me, and laughed.
And at that moment, I knew that this man, the Creepy-AF-Weirdo, had bloody stolen my mat, and was getting away with it. I had no choice but to smile and carry on to the practice room with a heavy heart, wishing there was some way to not let my purple bae go. I don’t know when I am going to see my lovely mat again, but that man stole it, and there is nothing I can probably do 🙁
P.S : After the class, I told my teacher that this man had stolen my mat. Even he remembered that guy using a blue-colored PVC mat, and told me that he would try to check out with the guy to figure out where he got the mat from. My heart says that mat is mine, and now it is with that rich, possible kleptomaniac idiot, perhaps in his car, gathering dust till he comes next time to the class after months.:-/
Featured Image Source : Decathlon South Africa
Yoga Images’ Source : Yoga Journal
Others: Decathlon UK