From Cricket to Haircuts...
By now India have tried every trick in their pocket. But it seems they just can't lose. They have shuffled their batting line-ups, bowling line-up and even tried to change the umpires. They finally resorted to changing the whole team. If there were two or three mor one dayers, I'm sure I would have got a call from the Indian team. Well, what a situation to be in for the Indian Team. 289 was chased down with absolutely no sweat. The match got so boring that I did not even care to watch it.
Now, that's really odd. But the whole weekend has been wierd and bizzare in Bangalore. Finally, the rest of the un-battered, non-bruised and unburnt buses have started plying, the vehicles on road erasing the marks put by the burnt tyres, cars moving without Dr.Rajkumar's photo, policemen moving without fear and traffic jams everywhere. My friend caught up the train on friday. The one he missed on thrusday because there was auto guy willing to take him to the railway station. Yes, Bangalore has been restored back to normality. But, it was shameful though, the whole Rajkumar thing. He did not deserve such a reaction from his 'fans'. It was just sad the kind of treatment meted out to him in the end. It became even more depressing when his sons had to wipe off tears and plead and beg to allow a funeral to happen. And the cable association, not wanting to be left out, made sure that everybody mourned for Dr. Rajkumar's death by removing all the channels except the ones that beamed Dr. RajKumar's image. So, the whole city mourned. Some for his death, some for not being able to watch TV and some for not able to catch their trains. Was thinking how it would have been if I had cut off the power supply to the apartment when my grandmom died. Well atleast one consolation was that nothing happened to Dr.Rajkumar when he was with Veerappan. If it had been the case, I am sure every non kannadiga (when it comes to beating the more the number the better. So they'd be adding the mallus and gults also to the thambis list) would have been scorched. I think there'd be an interview to determine if the person was a kannadiga or to turn him to the mob. I guess I would have anyway passed the interview in flying colors as I have learnt my kannada talking to the auto drivers and cab drivers of Bangalore.
Interviewer: Say, Kannada is a very sweet language
Me:illi left thogalli [Take left here]
Interviewer: Say, Karnataka is a great state.
Me: illi right tjogalli [Take right here]
Interviewer:[now in rage] Say, Kannada has a great history
Me: illi nils bidi [stop here]
The news channels though had a ball. Scenes in Bangalore resembling the ones from Gaza strip and West Bank. It could not have been better for them. Every other news item took a hit. Narmada Bachao Andolan, Elections, Meerut fire everything had to take a backstage. And with Jama Masjid to follow, these are golden times for news channels. For one of the news channels, it was even better. Their vehicle got attacked and a driver and a camerman survived to tell the story. Can you ask for anything better? With everything getting worse, settled to read a few books for the rest of the day.
"Short-a sir?". The voice was filled with dread and a tiny speck of hope clinging to it. I wanting to squash any hopes of a miracle in the bud answered in the affirmative. A sadistic smile showed itself of the corner of my mouth. I could hear a heart somewhere break. I guess I had a rare premonition that things would unfold like this on the weekend. Because there's no way to explain why I decided to go take a haircut on a wednesday morning wakeing up as early as 7:30 am. Hey, thats two hours before early morning. I had sauntered into the regular saloon. And this is how I found myself on a couch with a sadistic smile. And the broken heart, my barber's. Ever since, my dad has had a lesser say on when I should take a haircut, for every barber all over the country (It could have been very well "all over the world" but for the fear of getting shot by a barber in Austin), I have come to symbolise many a barbers' challenge, nightmare, dread, mid life crisis or plain crisis. Many a barber have taken a career switch. I know one of my previous barber has become a cab driver for the BPO company and he still thinks it was the best decision he took in his life. I heard the Jupiter saloon guys whom I previously used to visit have relocated to Jupiter itself. I seem to be the guy who push barbers into their life's edge and give them the slight nudge. The Indian Barbers Association has twice rated me as the chief cause for attrition in saloons. I can't help it though. My hair always seems to be such a mess. I always show up in a saloon with the largest amount of hair and my hair is as soft as guitar strings. And every hair standing for its right in its own direction. I use paper weights and an assortment of other items to bring it to some shape. And lots of dandruff and a couple of snakes dont help my cause. Back to the saloon which has been my regular for quite sometime. I hear they are so popular now that people from faraway lands give them a visit. On wednesday though, they were quite indifferent. All three of them were occupied. None of them lifted their eyes to look at me. For I, was waiting like the predator looking to pounce. After soemtime, they started using dilatory tactics, trying to delay the inevitable. One of the barbers was done but still would not leave the kid he was attending. That poor kid who came for a haricut was given a shave, a bleach. By the time, the barber decided to do a second bleach, the kid managed to give him the slip and ran for his life. And finally, our man resigned to fate, offered me the seat. It took two bottles of water and 10 minutes of intense water spraying to get my hair into some shape. And it took another painful hour for him to finish. "Saaka sir?" he asked trembling. By now he had given in to fatigue. And this time I spared the fellow. Generally I would make him redo it atleast 3-4 times. But then I din't leave the guy without my trademark sign off.
Me: How much?
He: 25 sir.
Me: Is it not 20?
The guy looked like he might use the scissors in other body parts also. So, I decide it was best in my interest that I leave. I heard they have now put a notice that I and pomeranian dogs were not allowed in the saloon anymore.