For the first time in the two decades that I have been offering my head to him, for a haircut, that is my hairdresser, passed on a thick catalogue to me containing hundreds of photographs of guys sporting various hairstyles. “Which one would you prefer?” he aked. I peered at the pictures again and discovered that one was more hideous than the other. Of course I didn’t tell him that I kept my opinion to myself.
‘Do you really think that you can incorporate any of the styles on my pate? How can you aim for a good finished product unless you have sufficient raw material?’ I queried. He did not catch on but proceeded to enlighten me on the subject. ‘You know, Saaar, a couple of weeks back I worked my magic on an octogenarian and gave him an ‘afro’ cut. Two days back he called up to inform me that he had found a new girlfriend, a leggy lass in her twenties who went by the name Deepika Padukone’. I nearly jumped out of my chair. ‘Is it the actress?’ I queried, my breath coming in short gasps at the mention of my favourite star.
The hairdresser ignored my query. ‘The old goat,’ he continued, ‘at a time when he should be cleaning his dentures he is busy chasing skirts. And do you know why?’ He waited for my answer. ‘Why?’ I asked. ‘All because of the haircut I gave him, that’s why. And you, in your early sixties and young enough to be his son , shying away from getting a cut that suits you.’ ‘So what will it be.’ The crew cut for me nothing more, ’ He finished the job in a jiffy though I could see that his heart was not in it. ‘Do you want to dye?,’ he suddenly asked, his razor just inches from my jugular vein. ‘What do you mean?’ I nearly shrieked. ‘Don’t tell me that you are going to finish me off just because I didn’t opt for one of your fancy haircuts.’ ‘Oh, no, my good Saaar, what I meant was not ‘die’ with an ‘I’ but ‘dye’ with a ‘y’. Considerably relieved I was about to turn down his request that I dye when he continued from where he had left.
‘I would suggest that you dye your hair turquoise blue, that’s the new trend.’ I stood my ground. Just then there was a commotion in the next seat. My hairdresser’s assistant who was dying a client’s hair turquoise blue was rattled by a mobile whining and he suddenly emptied the entire bottle of dye on the man’s face. The victim of this unexpected assault looked so blue and brought back memories of the Ghost who walks aka Phantom who for some reason had been painted in blue by his creator Lee Falk.