I find haircuts liberating. On the occasion of having a haircut today and it being #throwbackthursday, I thought I should revive this old blog post (circa December 2008) of mine. In this, I express an interest in going bald and wrote about a barber who refused to cut my hair short. Pretty random, yes. I'm also not correcting some obviously glaring typos that I now see. Read on.
Brimming with new found enthusiasm, I dashed off to a nearby salon. I had revived the long lost feeling of wanting to go bald. This feeling first overcame my rational-thinking about two years back. It was more about succumbing to peer pressure at that time because a couple of my close friends and I had made a pact to remove every strand of hair from our heads. What became of that pact? Well I chickened out. I had to, for I realized I actually had a lot going on and I just couldn’t let some foolish pact destroy me. Until that point of time, I was maintaining an untarnished reputation of a (deceptively) simple bloke; I was interning at a reputed company and something like a shiny bald head had the potential to raise eyebrows and who knows it could’ve well caused a furore in that conservative environment.
This time it was different. I couldn’t care less. I know I won’t be subjected to a before-and-after scrutiny by any acquaintance of mine, because quite frankly I know no one here. On that positive note and with a brimful cup of enthusiasm, I dashed off to a nearby salon.
I found the barber in a pensive mood. He probably hadn’t had a customer all day. With the ol’ wave-of-the-hand-in-front-of-the-face, I got his attention and the cutting of hair got underway. As opposed to how the biblical Samson felt about haircuts, I’ve always felt it was in a way, metaphorically speaking, self liberating as it injected new life into me while getting rid of excess baggage. This time though, I was going for full self-liberation!
I directed the barber to use the machine and shave off everything. Paying little attention to what I had said, he flexed his fingers and crackled his wrist joints and finally spoke, “It won’t look good on you, sir”. “But this is how I want it”, I demanded. Again, casually chewing his paan he proceeded to trim the sides of my head without paying any heed to what I had to say. I was flummoxed. My calm disposition prevented me from leaving the place promptly and I somehow consoled myself with the thoughts of telling him to trim it all off when he’d reach the top of my head.
The scissors slowly meandered around my head, cut a micrometer of hair with each stroke and paused. The barber would then take a moment to analyze his work and with an artistic gleam in his eye, he’d proceed to slash another couple of micrometers. What Monsieur Van Gogh (ha!) didn’t realize was that he spent close to twenty-five minutes only on the sides of my head. Maybe it was his intention to do so while slowly and tastefully culminating to the top or maybe he was just bored. That seems perfectly fine if you are a, dare I say, connoisseur and an appreciator of fine (hair-)art. I’m not and my plans of getting a brisk haircut were thwarted by this fool of a person. I had to put a stop to this madness. “The sides are quite short…that’s fine. Now cut the top as short as you’ve cut the sides.” That sure told him right?! He nodded in agreement but the moment I mentioned, “…use the machine”, he was taken aback and disapprovingly said, “It’ll be very short. It won’t look good. I’ll use the kenchi and give you a nice slope-cut”. At this point of time, I was convinced that he wasn’t going to be able to do what I asked. I gave up point blank and ended up getting just another haircut. I could smell victory in his faint humming. Bastard.
Somehow I can’t get over the barber’s unwillingness to use the machine and do as I wanted. Maybe it’s just me, but I suspect that he actually enjoys his job and that a machine-shave would probably have just destroyed the simple joys of doing everything by hand. He even took his own sweet time and I can only guess that he was savoring each stroke and each blissful sound of the ‘kenchi’ going ‘ka-chissh’.
Who knew that a stupid tale like this would have certain undertones suggesting something so essential in today’s world like job satisfaction? Silly as it is, it’s made me realize that following the herd and landing up with something average is a big NO for me. So if you’ll please excuse me, I’ll go brainstorm my plans for 2009.