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Monday, February 13, 2006

The Plank Between

Getting the cut at an Ita-lian salon
Sunday is not the best day to get a haircut. The world around you is enjoying their weekly off and they’ve all kept that trim, shave or massage scheduled for that day. Some of the lucky ones have a five day week but will not be seen anywhere near a scissor or a razor on a Saturday. Superstition says so. Many others wouldn’t go for any voluntary hair shedding on Tuesdays and Thursdays and also the day of their birth. That leaves only three days to choose from and Sunday seems to be the best. Only that on Sundays barber shops are overcrowded and the Mr. Scissorhands is in a hurry to make more money and you get a lousy haircut.

The motive here is not to determine the auspicious day to sit on the chair facing the mirror, but something related to that chair that was a milestone in my early life. I don't remember exactly when, but I must have been 8 or 9 then.

When kids go for a haircut - they are usually made to sit atop a plank balanced on the handrests of the chair (atleast I was made to, for many years). This brings the little head of hair to a level where it is easy to manoeuvre the scissors about. Then one day the barber didn't take out the plank from the corner and for the first time I felt the softness of the foam underneath the faux leather and felt big. That event to me symbolised the transition from a kid to a boy. I felt a little grownup.

Yesterday, the kid sitting next to me on those faux leather chairs seemed very happy. He wasn't sitting on any plank.


Venkat Ramanan said...

Too good!!! Simply put you write awesome :)
Yes, sundays are very crowded in the barber shops (are "barber" shops existing, I thought the parlours ate them away?!)
I enquired with my salon runner if tuesdays are a holiday for them. He said He gets equal number of people on tuesdays as any other day and weekends are very crowded. People are giving up their superstitious beliefs, are they? And, regarding the wooden plank kept for kids, I don't remember sitting in any of them (since I overgrew all my aged kids :)) but I remember seeing kids sitting on that and crying!!! in fact, even nowadays I hate my visit to the barber shop!!!

Rita said...

Well, with my hair, that almost reaches my knees, I don't remember having a haircut after high school!

aquamarine said...

lol! that was neat. You are right, given just seven days, we have to choose the best day for a haircut while accomodating the special occ! MAN IT DRIVES ME CRAZY. I need to look up the calendar for sumthing as simple as a haircut. On amavasya, my mom forbids me from even having massaging my hair with oil and washing it! I have given up.

educatedunemployed said...

So, are you jealous of that kid?Or you reckon they are growing up too fast?

dwaipayan said...

ha ha.........u bring back my memories, too.nice one, dude

Accidental Fame Junkie said...

You do have a way with words! Totally loved this post.

Anonymous said...

"...are usually made to sit atop a blank..." Real interesting that you could sit atop a BLANK. The rest of us find it near impossible, sitting on a blank.

Rohit Talwar said...

I know what you mean! i grew up long time back!


Man, you have one of the most interesting ways to write. I love reading here!

Abaniko said...

Was the kid just taller than the rest of the children his age?

And don't you think it's high time for the barber to put cushion on the plank for all the boys to enjoy while having a haircut?

Atul Sabnis said...

What a post! Superb!!! :)

Shubhajit said...

Hmmm...I remember the plank n most of the time I didn't like it...back then it reminded me of the obvious ''u r a kid!''
I cut my hair when I have the mood for it, n the barber shop is open...right now it is too long but
not enough to compete with Rita's, n I don't have any such intentions. I just don't feel the mood.


That's really a nice post. You make me remember my days.

I used to go thru similar ordeal till I was in sixth standard... sitting on that plank and bending my head down for minutes together which seemed like hours.

Soumyadip said...

Venkat Thanks. With the paucity of time the age old beliefs are going down the barber's basin.

Rita About the length of you mane, I had an assumption from your blogger profile pic.

Aquamarine Yes, moms, wifes and girlfriends have been driving men crazy with the unending do-and-not-to-do list for ages.

Educatedunemployed Yes, I was a wee bit. I was a slow grower.

AFJ, Atul I can live for two months on a good compliment ~ Mark Twain

Anonymous Oops and thanks. Rectified.

Abaniko The kid was of the right size and I'll forward your suggestion to my barber

Shubhajit Would love to see a pic on your blog

Pritha Those minutes were really long hours

Anonymous said...

Do you work for Pioneer? Probably explains why you have shot the pic of the barber on the alley right next to that building. Like all deskies, you're a lazy bum too!

Pallavi said...

when I was a kid I used to go to these saloon in Laitumukhrah... LOL .. it used to be fun..I would get a free massage .. :)

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