Monday, August 28

The Barber Shop Chronicles: The Curse of the Black Hair

Got a hair cut last Saturday. Had to force myself to move my ass to the barbershop. Somehow nowadays I'm getting lazier to get a hair cut, maybe because of my ultimate dream of having a long hair and tie it into a cool pony it sounds like a gay dream. So here goes the chronicles of the barber shops.

Barber or barba in Latin means beard. Hence, through some fluke translation like with many other names, the word barber means a person who cuts hair (and beard). Hindus in particular has this grand old tradition of hair 'sacrifice' of new born babies. Its a tribute to the Gods. I cant remember much of my first hair cut, probably happened when I was a few months old during one cold Thaipusam morning 27 years ago that I don't have the faintest recollection, off. (my self conscious self began when I was 3 or 4 years old...).

When I was a kid, and dead scared of sharp painful objects, my grandpa used to get the traveling barber' for hair cut sessions at home. It was equally terrifying and I can imagine them chasing me around the house to get me a haircut. Ofcourse along the years it dawned naturally upon me to 'like' getting my hair cut because I could not master the art of combing hair properly. Yes the short coming in my part still exists till today. Somehow, I could never get it right and the day I think I got it right, there would be the mysterious 'hair sticking out' event. This event will screw much of your appearance for the rest of the day and the strand of hair would never resume its natural position whatever you do. I think it has something to do with the aliens trying to contact us, and our hair becoming the antenna. The traveling barber is also called the village headresser. Maybe I should write a short story on the life of a village headresser...that would be really cool. Imagine all the memories of a traveling barber, through the ages. The last I heard of the traveling barber was when a decade ago that he had passed away. Nowadays I guess the only place to find the traditional traveling barbers are in India.

Have you ever noticed how during the haircut the barber seems to comb your hair in ways you never imagined possible. That first minute of the haircut would be the high of the day for me, because however badly mangled the hair is the barber would masterfully comb it with the 'line' included. I don't know what name they give for the line, the one that comes from the back to the front of head. Apparently I have two of them...since I have two 'suli's' or 'eyes at the back of the head. Suli is a Tamil term which I think refers to the three dark circles you can find on coconut shells. So a single suli means you're a good guy, a double means you're a naughty and mischievous and 3 would definitely mean your the son of the devil.

Hence, after he manages to critical analyze your head, the barber will proceed to chop of one of your organs. But wait, before that you will have to specify the unique hairstyle you want to get. So this brings another flash back to about 10 years ago. During the pop years, Vanilla Ice was famous for his Ice-ice baby song and I was a real ass in pr. So once, under heavy influence from friends who would rather see me looks stupid, I got a 'flat top' hair cut. It looked and felt cool for approximately 30 minutes after which I touched my head and found a circular bald spot on top. And my grandma started the sarcasm by calling it the 'cooking pot' hair cut...which sounds really funny in Tamil... 'satti talle'. So that ended my ultimate pop prince hair cut days.

After that, during the university years I roamed from city to city, barber shop to barber shop trying to locate the best barber who could justify my head. And I failed thus far. I could never managed to get barbers who understood my head, so I ended up with the regular hair cut most of the time. Now, going to barber shops has other cool factors in it. Barbers, as universally known, are failed presidents and politicians. They could muster up foreign policy like cutting a cake and can solve international problems with closed eyes. Of course you would not want them to cut your hair with closed eyes, but if you dare to even look at what they do in the mirror, you would see all the matrix movements of scissors and comb. During one session on Bush and Iraq, I had a scissor that flew and broke a freakin mirror. So, the politics are heavy and hard. But the best part of getting a hair cut is the back massage and also when the break the head lock. And then when they put the super cool after shave liquid which I can swear is pure alcohol.

Barber shops has this universal symbol, a barber's pole. You would be surprised to know that during the middle ages, Barbers used to perform surgeries, hence the origins of the barbers pole which you can see in all the barber shops around the world. This could be the only universally accepted symbol of any business establishment. (Could not think of anything else!). Read the full history here.

So, how did my hair cut go this time? Well...nothing new I suppose. I just look like the plain ol' Ghost. Maybe I would have to wait longer to find the perfect barber or spend a few thousand bucks to get a hair cut frm that Vidal Sassoon guy. And as much as I like dyed hair, I would never get it for me...just too scared what it would make me look like. Do any of you have hair dyed in any color? Please let me know...I think the electric blue is really cool.

[-] Never have time to finish a proper post nowadays, so much work, so many things to do. Apologize if the article doesn't have a proper flow. Have a nice day ahead. And...I love my black hair...not a curse at all...just wanted to make the tittle sensational...


Nahuatl said...

Blue? Can't even imagine that :(

I love my black hair.. wich are fading away fast :(

cosmicblob said...

who hasn't had a bad hair day !

:-) very humorous account of a very relate-able encounter!

Kishley said...

lol.. btw electric blue sure would look cool.. u can try it once.. and nayan, i think blue color will suit you :) not electric blue but a li'l darker shade.. try it n see :)

QUASAR9 said...

Hi Ghost Particle, interesting pseudonym.

The barber shop symbol is disappearing in this part of the world as is the chemist (pharmacy) symbol, but that is because there are few barbers left where you can get a hair cut & close wet shave.

You know because of social disease risks, I would have though there's no more risk than catching mouth disease from your dentist, but there you go social perceptions

Plus there's somuch more money to be made from dentistry few Dentists want to give hair cuts.

And all hair dressers dream ofbecoming a Vidal sasson with their own range of products. But the reality is they can only become franchises for the 1001 products launched everyyear by the 1001 top models pop stars and vidal sasoon. Alas C'est la vie

Kavi said...

Barbers are a breed apart ! They can colour your head but they cant take away your sulli !!

The title did get the eye ball ! Or do we say, the head ball!!

V N said...

The rate at which my hair has been 'going with the wind', I wouldnt have to visit the barbers much more....


;) :)

Keshi said...

can I use that 'pole' to dance lol!



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