July 9, 2006

H(air)ere now, gone tomorrow - Stories from the barber shop.

Hair make or break the way a person looks like. Before you call me shallow, parochial or superficial ,search inside yourself for an honest answer to the following question:

When you are getting ready for a party, what part of your body gets the most time and attention?

If you didn’t answer hair, my next question is: are you bald, balding, grey or greying?

Does it sound like a commercial for some hair cream or oil? Yes… then sorry to disappoint you; I have nothing for you. In fact if any of you knows about any Grandma super cure for hair loss or greying, this is the time to come forward and share your knowledge with the rest of the humanity.

The Barber’s shop is a very interesting place. It’s only recently that the swank, spick and span shops have come up, places where you can actually have an appointment beforehand and throw a tantrum if you are not serviced as soon as you enter.

I remember once, after waiting for about 30 minutes, being welcomed into the chair with a smile by this barber who seemed to have a perpetual smile on his face. Maybe his face was made like that by the almighty. Whatever it was, it was an asset considering the amount of time it took him to get each customer done.

By the time my turn came I just wanted to get over with it. So, I quickly got into the chair and let him do his job. He tried to make small talk as all barbers do, at least the ones belonging to the old school. I replied with grunts and monosyllables, not wanting to drag it any longer than was needed.

Then he asked me how old I was. Now that’s something to get the attention of the very best. We, vain as we are, like to believe that we look younger than we are and that we act older than we are. Vanity, thy name used to be woman, now its mankind in general.

Against my better judgement, I ventured a: “ You tell me.”

And he said, “ Sir, this is my job. I meet so many different people every day and I am never off by more than a year.”

“Ok” I said.

“ You look very young. In fact I Think you look so young that its kind of sad that you have to wear glasses.”

“Ok”. I said, feeling a little angry at his mentioning my glasses as if it was a handicap. But I felt he was going to be wrong about my age and I will still have the satisfaction of showing him his place.

“Sir, I tell you I can not be wrong.” And he kept on blabbering in the same vein for some time, till I cut him short with a : “ Ok….Ok…just out with it”

“24”, he said with √©lan.

Thankfully he was done and as he said 24 he removed the cloth and I paid him promptly. It was really hard to control my anger…anger is an understatement…my rage, my fury …I was all of 17 then.

It was only some years later that waking one day I looked at the white pillow and found some black lines on it. I made a mental note to keep my pens away from my bed. But what was that? One of the lines moved or was I dreaming? No. A careful inspection revealed that the lines were nothing but my dearly departed hair. Since then, I keep waking up to seeing the precious strands on my pillow every morning. I have changed my pillow covers to darker hues so that the first thing in the morning I see are not my hair, that were on my head just a few hours ago.


9 comments:

pushkala said...

heheh! good insight into a hair conscious man's mind!
well.. i almost raise a big commotion if i find my hair in my comb..the frequency of the wait would be proportional to the number of strands that cme off.
as far as specs are concerned....i betre keep my mouth tight. can say much that too when i m dependent on a pair of glasses to read this print.!
cheers
pushkala

Noi Rocker said...

Congrats for winning BOTB challenge over me. I just read your posts and I now know why I lost! Haha.

You write well. Keep up t work. I shall be back.

SunKingpoet said...

See! I'm not the only one asking people's ages! Take that, baldie!!!

Saroj Thakur said...

This was really good. Keep it up.

debambam said...

LOL! I have the opposite effect, people always thinking i'm a lot younger than I really am...and i'm not losing my hair, just my mind :)

readingpeoplesmind said...

gre8 stuff yaar

everyone wants to hear from the others that he/she loooks quite younger to their age , and keeping myself in u r position , i am still wondering wat cud have been my response.

Brilliant!!!!!!!!!!

Kyle Vernon said...

Hear, hear! I think barbershops are the last great vestige of mandom. I still get my haircut and beard trim at my hometown barber for 8 bux. But I get so much more! Latest news around town, riveting political discussion, advice on life, etc. A man's barber is one of his best friends.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed a lot! » »

Anonymous said...

Very nice site! » » »

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