Aug 21, 2013

The Barber Shop Project

From that barber shop in the neighborhood to the swanky salon or hair spa center in the mall, life has seen a great change when it comes to getting your hair cut.

In those early days, Papa will take me with him to his regular barber shop and instruct him to cut my hair 'short'. That's it, life was so simple. Those posters of guys in various hairstyles was a thing of fantasy. First achievement for most of us would have come on a day when we got our chance to get a hair cut sitting on the chair and not on that special wooden plank for children. Level one cleared.

Around the same time, Papa decided that I was ready to go for that haircut alone. So here he gave me 4 Rs required for the hair cut, there I went to the same old shop. Life was a little different now. Not that I had a chance to change from the regular "short hair" and try out something cool from that poster on the wall but I was 'independent' now. Level two cleared.

The first big hurdle in this growth process was the first time I took the courage to ask the barber to give me a 'hair style'. Salman Khan had inspired the whole nation by now with his long silky hairs in Maine Pyar Kiya and Ham Aapke Hai Kaun. Of course, that would have required long hairs and our PT Instructor Dagdhi Sir will never allow something like that to feature on anyone's face. Dagdhi Sir's scale was simple, if your hairs can be grabbed in one feastful, you will be dragged by them and sent to the salon (again) for hair cut. So you are safe as long as he is not able to catch your hairs. There went the 'style'! But then the world could not end just like that. So there was a thin line that was negotiated between short and long hair. This could easily go unnoticed if combed like a regular kid, yet get transformed into something very close to Prem's hairdo. Gosh, life was becoming difficult now. We were good as a kid only. By the way, now barber shop gave us one more window to Bollywood with its unlimited supply of Filmfare magzine. Yes there were India Today and Outlook too, but then they were not for us, we decided.

Time passes by, and I learned a great deal or two about stylish hair cuts. One they look good only in pictures and there is more to hair care than applying your regular coconut oil (or Almond Drops for that matter). Yes, even your sister's shampoo is not enough. As if growing up had no other challenges that I had to take up some more around hair care. And so I started settling for the regular 'short' hair cuts. At times the instruction to barber became 'itna chota kar do ki do mahina tak nahi aana pade.... par haan ekdum takla bhi mat kar dena...". I wonder how did he actually comply to this instruction!

Peace could prevail for long though. Those facial hairs started appearing now bringing a new set of challenges. That 'zero machine' was deployed in multiple usage now, it gave one of the quickest haircut and now was a good trimmer too. This temporary arrangement works for quite some time before I decided to take that first plunge and asked the barber to give me a proper 'shave' and clean those baby mustache. Gosh! It was such a dumb choice, I could not see my face myself. But something needs to be done, no matter how apprehensive you are about them. Sooner, papa taught me 'shaving' at home and thus I could save myself from that dangerous weapon in name or razor that barber used. The weekly phenomena of shaving became a regular part of my life for next few years. Barber shop again became the place to get my 'short' hait cut done.

Things are little different now. Shaving everyday is not my cup of tea and thus I resort to delay this task as long as I can (majorly based on client meeting schedule or visits of relatives at my home). Getting shave done at salon is my favorite experience. It's easy, convenient and most importantly gives you a chance to relax. It's one luxury that one can easily afford. My hair cutting regimen went from 'short' to 'spikes' to 'medium' and back to 'short'. I think on that front, I've realized that I've got very little choice. :) Choice of salon is my biggest question. Last few years, I've kept moving from one city to other. So the definition of neighborhood barber shop changed every other month. I guess, this quest will take some more time before I reach a solution.

ps: I do not have any memories from "Italian" shop and "Katora" cut. Thank god. For those uninitiated about these two, here are a quick set of jokes that we shared when we were kid.
Italian cut - a barber shop on  the roadside where the barber makes you seat on an ITA (pronounced as "eat", hindi for brick) and cuts your hair.
Katora cut - the simplest of the style. Barber will put a big katora (round vessle) on your head and cut all hair that are outside. Actually he mostly used a headband tied around your forehead as a reference. The output was very similar to the DORA cut that we see today.

1 comment:

broca's area said... far as any style makes u lk good it doesnt matter.