“Better a bald head than no head at all”
I am not exactly what you’d call encouraging, when it comes to barbers singing songs when they are, without a scintilla of empathy, snipping away your hair at will. More so, when they happen to be inebriated. While I don’t find it morally upsetting to be drunk when one’s wielding one’s blade, it’s just the trivialities like finding your ear chopped a teensy bit that tend to upset my inner peace, so to speak.
When I look back on the day, I do realise that it was my fault. If I hadn’t stormed off after a brief altercation with my parents, attributed to their not letting me watch “Baadshah” on DD-National, I probably would have harboured a much kinder opinion as far as barber-etiquette is concerned. (Now that I am older, I realise that the box office production was a major disaster. Back then though, Friday nights used to be my only source of entertainment in an otherwise mostly dull life - the majority of which was spent standing in tears, in the corner of a class-room filled with laughing and sneering counterparts. Children can be cold heartless bastards at times, I will give you that.) With my new found independence, I wanted to do something I had never tried before – I decided to go for a haircut, without parental supervision.
It’s not that Burnpur (my hometown) wasn’t progressing as fast as the rest of the country. Neither were we reactionaries (unlike Bengal’s political landscape as it stands today.) Burnpur used to be a hot, sleepy and sultry town, slow to react to progress, simply attributed to the fact that the generations of natives of Burnpur had accepted their insular lifestyles and the frequent power cuts. For them, the rest of the world was practically non-existent. (Even now, Burnpur uses the pre-historic promotional channel of using loudspeakers on auto-rickshaws, playing an atrociously cacophonous voice on loop, reciting magical discounts and offers at a nearby kirana store. As a student of marketing, I do find this fascinating and effective.) My parents, natives of Calcutta (with the typically condescending attitude of the cultured Calcuttans ingrained in them,) found this attitude repulsive and generally avoided engaging in conversations with them. (I found out several years later about my mother’s social activism and her active pursuits to educate the impoverished at Burnpur, but by then I had become too busy and our communication had reduced to a few precious few minutes over the phone every day. But then it’s her fault she’s not on Facebook.)
I was forced to walk, because my bicycle was under repair. I found out, much to my disliking, that the world does seem a much harsher place compared to when viewed from the back seat of one’s father’s scooter. I have always been too proud. Right from when I was too proud to ask my team mates to let me bat at my turn, to asking for attendance until when the professor personally informed me that he’d effect a grade cut – I have never bowed to anyone. Ten long minutes later, I reached the barber’s – out of breath and a few grams lighter.
Excerpts from conversations on baldness
This forum is for you to relax & to invest some time in reading some great things on which you can laugh & some motivational which can teach you a lot.
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