By Ashvini Ranjan
Yet again there was no response from Venkatesh of Venkateshwara Hair Cutting Salon where I regularly have my hair cut. Venkatesh, the owner of the salon, generally returns my call within minutes unless he is attending to another client.
He extends me some special privileges either because I am a long-standing customer or because I readily pay the periodical increase for his services even though the numbers of hairs on my head are declining rapidly. More likely the latter. But the lack of response from Venkatesh was worrying me.
My scheduled monthly haircut was delayed due to my travels by over two weeks. I seldom change barbers. My hair was already becoming unruly and I was anxious to get my hair cut. My appointment for the hair cut was fixed for Wednesday, the 25th March, 2020. What followed was unprecedented.
On Tuesday the 24th, our Prime Minister announced that there would be a country-wide lockdown from the following midnight for a period of 21 days. This measure was to contain the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country by maintaining social distancing.
While all the family members were in an overdrive to stock essentials required for the period of the lockdown, I was worried about my haircut. Will Venkateshwara Hair- Cutting Salon too be shut?
In the days that followed, the Government announced certain services considered essential, which were exempt from the lockdown. My prayers went unanswered. I did not find hair-cutting services listed under the essentials category.
In the privacy of my bathroom, I thought I will attempt trimming my hair that appeared overgrown around my scalp and temples. I was having a problem co-ordinating the scissors based on the reflection in the mirror. I trimmed the hair on the right side of my head. Now the left looked disproportionate. I addressed the growth on the left. I pursued my mission to strike a balance.
I noticed that there was more hair dropping on the floor than I originally intended to. Then I committed a fatal mistake. Unable to see the rear of my head, I took the help of a hand-held mirror.
What followed was a total disaster. I urgently needed a second opinion to assess the damage. On seeing me, the manner my wife covered her mouth to muffle a scream said it all.
My argument against total lockdown of the country has now changed to extension of the lockdown.
I am not inclined to display the results of my DIY (Do It Yourself) approach to cutting hair. In spite of covering my near entire face with a face mask, my wife is observing ‘husband distancing’ either until my hair grows back to its original length or Venkateshwara Hair Cutting Salon is back in business for damage control. Whichever happens earlier!