Saturday, April 14, 2012

"Smaller? You must be joking!"

I had a haircut.

Yeah, no big deal! Every guy needs to have a haircut at some point of time or the other (well, not everybody, no! Nowadays the evidences against the phrase 'every guy' have increased by leaps and bounds). Then why the fuss?

Well, tell that to my barber(s).

Here is a short prologue: When I was a little kid, my barbers (I had two of them - they were brothers - Barber 1 and Barber 2) were in their late twenties. They had a shop and a booming business at ten minutes walk from my home. When I was in my mid-teen, they hit a wall, got divided and split up their business. B1 came nearer - a two minutes walk - and B2 stayed put at their old headquarter. I, for very obvious physiological reasons, could not divide myself into two and decided to remain faithful to neither of them but to the place and visit B1 once in a while only in emergencies (like when B2 would be out of the town or would not be able to hold the scissors due to his last night's visit to the local pub). People (my mother to be particular) said that the real reason behind my not leaving B2 was that the old shop had a subscription of Shuktara (I only had Anandamela at home), and B2 did not cancel the subscription.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to B2 at about 08:00PM and asked for a haircut.
B2: Sure, but this will take some time. I have a couple of heads to do before I start yours.
Yours truly: No problem, I can wait.
And I waited until he did two more hairs and a beard. At about 09:00PM, he closed the shop-door, cleaned his tools and turned to me. Being one of the oldest customers has some advantages. He covered me, sprayed over my hair, picked up his favorite scissor and asked, "So how will it be?"
Yours truly: Smallest possible. Its April and you know the drill.
B2 (shifting): Yes, well.. okay!
So I slept. He woke me up about half an hour later, and adjusted the mirror in front.
B2: Okay?
Yours truly: Not at all. You can do better than that.
B2 (looking gloom): Its difficult to achieve what you are looking for with a scissor, you know that. I do not own a machine.
Yours truly (consoling): I know, but lets just try. Just a little smaller..
And I slept for the second time only to wake up after ten minutes or so.
B2: How about now?
Yours truly: NO! Smaller.
B2 (angrily): Smaller? You must be joking!
Yours truly: Why, you did a perfect job when I asked you to do this for the first time. I know you remember that. Why is it difficult now?
B2 (visibly angry): You also know that your dad came to talk to me when I had cut your hair like this for the first time. I am not doing that again. And you know, he is right. This hairstyle does not suit you. You shouldn't do this just because it feels great in summer.
Yours truly: Look, its my hair, not my dad's. And I am sure he won't kill you for cutting my hair small.
B2 (uncovering me): Whatever, I am not doing anything else to your hair tonight.
And I was dismissed.

Defeated, I came home and went to have a bath. In your life, you eventually hit a junction when you realize that its time to stand up for what is rightfully yours. Its only logical that I shall decide how to cut my hair, nobody else. In the bath, I realized that it was my time to get my haircut as I wished. So I abandoned my bath midway, put on a trouser and a t-shirt and rushed to B1.
Yours truly: Oh good. You are still open.
B1: Its only 10:15PM. I still have a couple of heads to do. Whats the matter?
Yours truly: You need to cut my hair.
B1 (staring at me): But your hair is already cut.
Yours truly: Yes, B2 did that a while ago. But I need it to be smaller.
B1: Smaller? You must be joking!
Yours truly: What is wrong with you guys? Its summer and I need to cut my hair small, that's it! B2 had done that earlier, but says that he won't do it this time. Some silly reasons like people don't like that hairstyle on me.. Look! I need it smaller. Can you or can you not do it?
B1: Yes, well.. its difficult to cut hair this small with only a scissor and I..
Yours truly (interrupting): Yeah, whatever! Are you going to do it?
B1 (hesitating): But I have others in queue.. it will take time. Can you come back?
Yours truly: When? I need it today!
B1: After 11:00PM may be?
Yours truly: 11:00PM it is. Keep your shop open.

I finally got my haircut done. It feels wonderful.