Whenever I returned from a haircut session , my father never failed to remind me how lucky I am. Lucky because all his life he went to the "Italian seloon" , a stool under a tree with an expert barber (nowadays we have stylist/hairdressers , no barbers, thank you very much) . Things have not changed really. Even now when I return home after a haircut my father sits and compares the cost of his haircut (a shop in the local market, in front of which hens are killed, cut and packed in plastic bags) , which is Rs.25 to the cost of a hair cut at one of the city-centre type places.
So, yes, I do not like parlours, but I love that shampoo thing they do. Fingers running through my hair, almost foreplay-ish without the tantrums and jhonjhat of a boyfriend etc. I purchased this snapdeal (now that they have COD) voucher and went for a hair spa session. My first.
I stepped out of the parlour feeling like a sci-fi film heroine. First was the shampoo. Now imagine being realllllllyyyyy FAT and being told to lie down on a 180 degree bed with legs facing the door!! I thought it was the heights of indecency , so I shut my eyes and gave in. In my mind I imagined the view from the other side, the slow rise and fall of a huge whale-ish belly and the dirty sandal facing upwards... I opened my eyes, they met those of the person washing my hair, he was wearing a diamond type ear stud so I shut my eyes again.
After the shampoo they applied this white face creamish type thing on my hair, they were so patient. They applied it with almost a mental-patient like concentration. I was reading Femina (trying to get into the skin of the character- the character being a rich , pampered kid). I was reading Femina, and then suddenly he placed two fingers on my forehead and asked me - "Is the "pressure" alright?" I was at my wit's end .
Excuse me? I don't like pressure, I don't want pressure! But I mumbled "yes" , hardly expecting that he will treat my non-elastic head as moida and make a moida makha out of it. The next step could very well be cutting uniform cross section pieces of my head and deep frying them into fulko luchis.
Then he said after two minutes my hair will be washed and pulled a suspended helmet type thing closer to me. That is when the science fiction started. This thing was... the ... the ...kind of thing you see in movies , a huge round helmet type thing covering the head. I was again busy reading when he asked if the "heat" was alright. "Pressure", "heat"...what , what , what is this? An erotic novel or a pulao recipe?
Anyway I did not feel any heat and I did not know there was any source of heat nearby, so I looked up from the magazine . Smoke was coming out of that helmet. The "smoke" was steam, supposed to keep my hair mask hydrated. I looked mesmerized at the mirror reflection, this was me at my tantalizing best. White hair, suspended helmet, smoke, a cloak... I could steer the space-ship towards shiny-009 , my home-planet.
.... lala lala la la
Anyway , in due course my crowning glory was ready and I left the parlour feeling like a heroine, ignoring the sweat, dust and grime. The illusion lasted till I reached home few hours later and looked in the mirror again.
"Mirror , mirror on the wall,
Who's the fairest of them all ?"
"Pimple-face I admire your gall,
You are not a princess and this is not the mall."