Monday, July 5, 2010

The Barber

There was a time when you went to the barber shop to cut your hair.
And if it was the rustic shop in the village, you got to hear some real good juicy gossip from the barber. I always wondered if the barber believed all that he heard from his customers. After all he could not afford to disagree as they were his bread and butter. And there used to be a radio playing some old tune in the background. Now the Radio has been replaced by the TV. So when the barber is cutting your hair, you have to keep an eye on the barber as his one eye keeps straying on to the TV. After all he does not want to miss his favorite serial.



Today’s barbers are more interested in giving you a “face steam” and colouring your hair with that new colour that has come in the market. “How about that Amir Khan cut sir?” I heard a customer reply “No no I don’t want to look like a goonda with those rippling muscles” The barber replied “No Sir, not the Gajini cut I was talking about the Taare zameen par.







I wonder how this hair cutting thing started. Did the stone age man think about doing away with all the facial hair and then shortening the hair on the head? And while doing that why did they decide that the woman should still continue with long hair? May be they did not want to give up the idea of “dragging the lady by the hair to the cave






Talking of barber shops how can one forget the famous barber shop of Charlie Chaplin in the movie The Great Dictator.


All those who have not seen the movie should have a look at this clipping
I remember the days when the barber used to come home (with his aluminum box) and all the male members in the house used to get the monthly hair cut. There are some who still oblige to come home but at a higher fee.

After all it cuts down your time in going into a barber shop and doing the waiting jig.
Came across this drawing of a barber shop - how it was long long ago. Its worth looking into each and every detail in this drawing.

You go down south to some of the temples and you get to see them sitting in a line ready to tonsure your hair.



And those barbers who cannot afford to have a barber shop, uses the footpath with no overhead expenses. Works out cheaper for the customer too. (clicked this in the by lanes of Colaba Mumbai)

23 comments:

anamika said...

Because unlike past men too want to look "beautiful" nowadays:D

ModernMom said...

I agree with anamika. Men have had to step it up!

Rajesh said...

Very interesting post with wonderful shots.

Anu said...

the first time i went to have a hair cut, I apparently bawled and created a scene.. so says my mom! even now, i hate cutting my hair..esp since i ask for a trim and the lady gives me more suggestions when all i want is just a trim....as to my son, i simply send him to the barber shop with his dad....

BK Chowla, said...

Barber shops now have been replaced with hair dressing saloons.Since the time girls have started to become more independent, men want a face lift to keep in touch with the times.

Harman said...

tha last one in the pictures..is interesting... my hubby usually says that...as UMT...
under the mango tree...

Nirja Desai said...

My grandpa still gets his beard shaved and haircut by a barber who goes to their home every other morning.

Marie said...

Good transition

vineetasdiary said...

hahahaha! Amazing narration :) btw.. my husband keeps cribbing abt barbar's lately.. They want to give facial, steam, massage but hair cut! He will dodge from them whenever they talk abt facials :D I wonder.. these barbar's hv got major makeovers :D

vineetasdiary said...

btw.. these days my saloon has also started services for men!! I smhow feel awkward abt it but then many men come for all kind of services saloon offers!!

Rachna said...

A nice story. True for men's barbers. For women, it was always salons, and the simple haircuts or even trims have always been exorbitant. And, they are always interested in fleecing you more by offering hair streaking, coloring, hair spa and what not.

RGB said...

A barber's role is akin to a bartender's. He needs to give a patient hearing to his customer. And becomes this all important source of information and ever reliable person to get in touch with for just about any need. Because he has customers from all walks of life, if he's good with his scissors. And like you said, barbers are trying to stick with the times - different hair-do's (Bollywood stars are a gr8 reference catalogue), face-lifts, hair-colors & what not! Enjoyed reading your post.

perumalythoma said...

Very true. I remember an old gent who used to come home every morn for my grandfather's shave. The barber was also his 'NDTV 2 7'. Gramps would get a blow-by-blow account of every single thing that had occurred, could have occurred and would possibly occur in the panchayat. Good days.
Don't think the barber even leaned close to his ear and asked him if he wanted a 'full body massage', though.

Casuarina said...

Y'know, when we were really young, my sister and I were yanked off to the roadside barbers to have our hair cut. Before that, we sported homemade Chinese cuts, courtesy our father ;-)

After much leg-pulling by classmates in our posh school, we graduated (by means of considerable emotional blackmail or consistent whining) to what is a common thing nowadays : a beauty parlour. rest assured, that was an event in our lives :-)

Nilu said...

Good one! The pics to match the post are amazing!

Christine said...

Great pictures w/ another well written post.

Neena said...

Very interesting post and photographs.Traditional barber shops are an institution unto themselves.

walk2write said...

What an interesting topic and post! In America, barbers used to do more than just cut hair, though it didn't involve massage or facials. Some of them practiced bloodletting or even dentistry. I'm glad things are different now. There are even female barbers now. My husband swears they are better at haircutting than male barbers. I will admit that the best haircuts I've ever had were done by a male hairstylist. I wonder if it's something psychological. If someone of the opposite sex cuts your hair, he or she probably isn't thinking about whether you will be more attractive than him or her. Therefore, the style turns out to be fantastic!

Specialty Hair Cuts Baltimore said...

Nice post.

I say,
The emphasis of a barber school's education is to teach the essentials of providing hair and skin services for men. They often learn to perform razor styling, hair cutting and coloring, blow drying, foam shaves, steam facials, and facial massages.
Using a good hair salon is key to great hair care. But how do you select the right hair salon from the many choices available?
You can do to guarantee that you always receive the best hair cuts, latest professional techniques and stellar service is to choose the right hair salon. Granted, that is easier said than done. With hair salons on practically every street corner, narrowing down your options to find the right salon can be confusing.
http://kisnersbarbersalon.com

Marie said...

so many comments

The Ketchup Girl said...

'face steam' hilarious!! My dad still reminisces about haircuts in the 'italian salon' - in my mother tongue red bricks are called- 'eeta' so those barbers who run those make-shift shops..dad thinks they are the best!

Samvedna said...

This time here I saw some bowl with shiving brsuh and soap being sold, just like it was in my childhoos i8n India..one barber used to come home to shave my grandpa with that.

Anonymous said...

Hey Nirja does the barber come home to shave your grandpa now a days