Last summer was one of the hottest summers in recent year, temperature was crossing 400c. It was very bad time, but a time for change also. Conditions were very bad; it’s sweaty all the time. Children were getting head shaves, girls were chopping off their tails. But my mom, she liked her hair so much. At 35 years of age, she had very good quality hair, it is thick. Being a house wife, she maintained her hair well, letting it grow to her waist. She always had long hair from childhood. She had hair almost till knees, but chopped it to mid back after sometime. Then again grew and maintained at waist length.
She tried different styles, keeping hair in bun, using different claw clips. She wasn’t in a mood to lose her hair. The situation worsened when our air conditioner was damaged. It was during the peak. Customer care asked for one week to repair it. This was bad. It’s too much to take now, I started spending most of the day at friend’s home, dad left for office early, but mom, she has to remain in home. Now she was struggling with her hair.
One day I asked, “Isn’t such long hair a problem?” she replied quite diffidently, “yeah, but I manage” I told, “it’s too hot, why don’t you cut it?” she always get nervous when she hear word ‘haircut’. She murmur, “I am planning to do after sometime” the same answer, I am hearing from the very first time when I asked her for haircut when I was just three year old. But she never get haircut. I insisted, “you should get a haircut today only” she replied something which I didn’t expected to hear, “yeah I want it off now, it’s too much” I think she had realized her long hair is really a problem in summer. She continued, “But all parlors are closed for indefinite time, due to strike”
I suggested, “how about barbershop, they are not closed” she was nervous now, “barbershop, no, no leave it” “mom, I will cut your hair if you don’t go to barber’s today, you yourself admitted the hair is problem now” she remained silent for half a minute and then said, “okay I will go”
She changed her clothes to Salwar-kameez on my advice from Sari. I told her the direction and she went away.
Twenty minutes later she came back, with the hair braid still intact on her head. She said, “It’s too crowded, I don’t need a haircut” I told her that I will take her to another little far away.
We reached the other barbershop, after a walk of 20 minutes. It was an old barbershop, but less crowded. There were two chair, both were occupied. One was occupied by an old man, who was getting haircut, another by a child. I told mom to sit in the waiting bench which was empty. I asked the first barber, “how much time will it take?” he replied, “next turn is yours” I told him, “My mom is getting haircut, not me” he smiled and said, “parlor strike?” I nodded.
As the old man got up, mom was seated in the barber chair, and a cape was draped around her, covering her. Her braid was pulled from the cape and was dropped backward. Her thick braid was now dangling behind the chair. The barber asked me, “What should I do?” I told the barber, “snip it” then turned towards mom. She said, “I want a bob” barber started asking her, “long bob or short?” I interrupted and told; “mom do boy cut” mom was hesitating at first then gave the green signal.
The barber took large scissor. Placed it near shoulder, little below it and sniped it holding the braid with left hand. Mom was trying to watch the chop, but was fully guarded. I got a very good view, seeing each chop, each strand being cut” the braid was in barber’s hand and he placed it at counter in front of mom. He then inserted a thin handle comb in the chopped area and ran it, to open her chopped hair. Then combed it with regular comb, all hair being was combed backward. The barber then separated the hair into four parts, spreading it into four sides, including her face. He then took out a clipper with some guard and bent head forward, and inserted it at back; chunks of hair fell to floor. He then took a scissor and marked a hairline.
Mom’s hair was then wet with a sprayer. He then moved the hair in front, parting it at left side of her head. He then merged the right portion of hair with right side, combed it then placed the scissor at her ear length and snipped it. He then bent her head, and used comb and scissor as her chopped her right side short. Her cape was covering with her hair now. Her hair was now all short, except on left.
He then bend her heads other direction and started cutting her hair. He was cutting very fast, collecting hair with comb and then snipping it away. Mom’s lap was full of hair now. He snipped a little more next at right to level it.
The barber then wet her sideburns, back and area behind the ear. He then changed the blades of a safety razor and asked me, “am removing the fuzzy hair” I nodded in affirmation. The barber quickly shaved her nape, below the hairline, scratching it off. The barber then placed the razor in the counter.
The barber then took a big brush and took some powder applied it on her neck and ears. He then carefully opened the cape, and cleaned her face. The barber then combed her hair properly and turned the chair so that she can get up.
Mom got up and touched the back to feel the spikiness. I paid the barber and went to home with her.
Mom was looking very smart in combination with sari and boy cut. Later mom asked me about the charge, “how much it was?” I replied, “It is just ₹30?” mom smiled and said, “So cheap” then kissed me in cheek and said, “thank you for this nice short summer haircut”