Friday, February 23, 2007

Tales of an Indian Barber

I am in the mood to write today, and so I decided to post a quick blog to thank and reward all my readers for sticking to my rantings for more than 6 months now :)!

2 days back I had my hair cut, and have been feeling low ever since. Every month when I get my hair cut, its soo terribly done that I spend the next few days repenting my look. By the time that I get used to my *new* look the dreaded day approaches when I go to my *hairstylist * again!

I analyzed my feelings and I realized I never had these depressing feelings when I was in India. Indian barbers are world class! You don't tell them numbers, and esoteric style names. Even before you go to a hairdresser in Uncle Sam's land, you need to learn their numbering convention!

I soo vividly remember the first time that I went to a hairdresser out here, and she asked me which number do I want. I thought it was *pick -a-number* kinda game that I was playing, and I chose zero (After all, am from the country that invented it ;) !!). Without blinking an eye lid she took out a mean looking machine from her toolbox and in no time did my head look like a barren land. I mean, before I could shout stop, she was done with her job and was expecting me to pay her 15$ with a tip for her stupendous work. I still have night mares about that lady with the machine and I wake up in the middle of the night pulling my hair (pun intended ;) !).

Your experience with an Indian barber is otherwise (I don't feel like calling my barber, an hairdresser, somehow it makes him wear a tie and jacket in my mind, and it doesn't quite go well with his trademark dhoti :) !!). You go in and you are greeted by your name. The fun part about barbers is that they not only know you, but they also know your entire family tree (the male ascendants only!). He will tell you about the latest movie gossips, and cricket stories by the time you comfortably settle in the chair. Then he just gives a quick look at you, and gets down to his business. I bet there is a software built into his head which he uses to decide what style will suit me the best. I can imagine him visualizing a bald me, and dragging and dropping various hairstlyes onto my head to decide what suits me best :) !!

After the awesome haircut is done he gives a pleased look, and without asking, pours a gallon of hair oil on your head. Thereafter he starts a ritual fondly called *head massage* in which he starts playing the beats of the latest Bollywood movie on your head. Then he holds your head and moves it in so many directions that for a moment you feel that you are sitting in a roller coaster. After everything is done, you give him a dollar (tips included!) and you walk out happy for another month before you return!!

This blog is dedicated in its entirety to all the barbers who have cut my hair. I bow down in respect to thee :) !!!

That reminds me, statistically, I have spent almost 25*12*0.5 = 150 hours (almost a week!) in the barber's chair and have had my hair cut at least 300 times!! Wow!!


  1. How the hell did I miss that 'zero' cut look of yours? You got a memorable picture?

  2. hey that was an exaggeration :) !! Ofcourse I didn't try the zero ...

  3. If it was my way, the zero-cut look wud be a tax-free one! And i mean it!

  4. v cute writing... I enjoy reading all your posts Girish, every single one makes me laugh!