Goodbye barbers

Due to current lockdown scenarios all over the world, we all are developing new habits and adapting necessary new lifestyles. One of them is washing our hands regularly and vigorously. We all knew that always, but we always did it casually, as though it was a formality and just went through it. But now since a sword is hanging over our heads, we are taking it real seriously. We are wiping with Dettol water, surfaces of our homes like door knobs, table tops or any other part that we touch often… But this is not what I want to talk about here.

Social distancing is another area which will become a part of our personalities after we are done with real dangers of covid19. In my movie industry, we all are perpetually hugging each other. ‘Jhappi’ is a popular Punjabi word used for a hug… But this is also not what I want to say here.

There is an important activity in life of men and that’s having a ‘hair-cut’. All of us visit a barber or salon once a fortnight or at least once a month. Barbers generally are very nice people. As you enter the salon, they welcome you with a big smile and speak courteously. They are also very talkative. I think their profession demands it. Mostly they talk about themselves or life in their village etc. Many of them speak about politics and ongoing game of cricket. When you are on the ‘chair’ they make you feel much honored. Once they start work on your hair, they keep turning your head kindly to reach right angles for their scissor. Their ‘head or face’ massage is something that I have always enjoyed immensely. They use perfect balance of strength of their soft palms and machine to impart very enjoyable results. Very often people doze off.

Finally this is where I was getting at. Our newly acquired strong habit of ‘social distancing’ is going to totally prohibit me to visit a barber ever again. If and when I begin to look like a long haired ‘sadhu’, most likely I will get myself a ‘hair trimmer’ and manage my hair-cuts myself. Technically it would ‘hair-trim’ not ‘hair-cut’. And soon I will get into a habit of ‘self-hair-trim’!

Well, finally let me say sorry to all those kind, soft spoken barbers in salons that you won’t find me entering your lovely shop again. I know it is a sad announcement, but can’t be helped, can it? In the meanwhile I really hope some of you did foresee this coming and have worked on the alternates. Of course, I know it’s not easy. But listen guys world is changing, so you will have to come out of your comfort zone and face the new reality.

A village barber shop in Lonavala