It’s 11 a.m. in morning, Sunday. Smita’s 18 year old step daughter has just returned from her yoga classes though it is over by 8 a.m. in morning, Reshmi had been returning 3 hours late for last couple of weeks. Her hair look messy, and open all the way to her mid back.
Smita and Reshmi were never fond of each other, there is always a tension in the air when they are near each other.
Reshmi was stopped right at the door, “where have you been Reshmi?”
Reshmi replied back, “none of your business”
Smita hit back, “it’s my business, and open hair is not a good hairstyle for yoga postures you know”
Reshmi answered sulky, “it’s my hair is can take its care, and you worry about your ‘beautiful hair’”
Smita said, “You had an appointment last week for haircut, you were to cut your hair short”
Reshmi answered with sarcasm, “oh! No, I just forgot. Thanks for reminder, I will get it short after a year or two”
Smita was now getting annoyed, “look you want beautiful hair like me, you have to cut it short now, and you can start growing after college”
Reshmi didn’t replied. She didn’t liked her step mom in anyway, but her hair is really good and admirable.
She replied slowly, “I am tired now Smita, and I won’t cut it short, it will be never like’s yours maybe, but it will be good anyway”
Smita said, “You didn’t explained about your open hair and the reason for being late”
Reshmi sighed and started going to her room without replying. Smita continued, “I knew you were with than loafer again”
Reshmi stopped. Smita said, “Reshmi come here, we are going to get you a haircut”
Reshmi was surprised, “my haircut?”
Smita replied back, “freshen yourself, have some snacks hairdresser is coming at 12 today. I want you at the garden 10 minutes before”
Reshmi was scared now, but she hide her fear and answered, “ha, you thought I would get it cut if you call the hairdresser at home, I am going to take rest don’t disturb”
Smita smiled, “look Reshmi, you are my daughter, though our age difference doesn’t make us an ideal mother-daughter pair, but still. I am going to do whatever is for your good you like it, or not. I know you would never go to hairdresser, so I called him anyway. And a final warning, if you don’t accept it, you will get the cut forcefully”
Reshmi was real scared now. It’s true neither her brother nor her dad is there at the moment. She decided with a compromise. She would cut it, but not too short.
She reached the garden before 12, after changing to a tank top and shorts. Smita has placed a couch at the center. Smita was pleased to see her.
Smita said, “Oh you came, that’s very wise”
Reshmi interrupted, “look Smita I will get it cut, but not that short, maybe till shoulders, it would be okay, but boyish cut…”
Before she could continue the hairdresser entered. More correctly a barber entered, a man of 30. She identified him as the barber from barbershop near the city Centre.
Reshmi refused now, “I won’t cut it Smita. You called the barber, you get your hair trimmed or cut or shave”
Smita touched her hair which was in lose bun then, “oh! My hair, these has touched barber’s shears long time ago. Reshmi don’t create scene”
Reshmi refused with a sigh and started walking towards her room, when she was grabbed by Smita.
Reshmi was furious now, but she kept under control, “Smita leave me alone”
Smita replied, “Sit in the stool, barber won’t take much time. Don’t make me do it in alternative way”
Reshmi shouted, “How dare you!” And ran to her room slamming the door.
Smita was getting annoyed now. She told the barber come with her with his scissor and comb.
Few minutes later there was violent slamming in Reshmi’s room, but it opened up easily.
Smita checked her room and Reshmi was not there. Intense search for Reshmi started in the house. She was ultimately found hiding behind the cupboard of Smita’s room with her hair in bun.
Reshmi was clutched at her shoulders by Smita and Mona aunty, one of her neighbor. Smita smiled, “oh! You are a trouble, I have to called Mona to help me out”
Reshmi refused to get up but was overpowered by the two. She was seated in the bed and bend at her waist, and her bun opened.
Smita ordered, “Cut the length”
With her hair hanging in front, her weepy face got covered, the barber ran her finger once and placed the scissor little below her face and Kaachchchch…chchch…chch…her locks fell to ground. The barber did it quite fast. Reshmi saw the floor in front of her eyes getting covered with her own hair.
She was relaxed and now back to seating position. Her hair was now above shoulder and unevenly and untidily cut. She cried and touched her hair. She cried more and more.
She was grabbed again and now brought to the garden and made to sit on the stool. She stopped resisting, she was broken. She was capped with a yellow cape.
Both Mona and Smita had let her free. The barber started by spraying lots of lots of water on her hair, enough to make water drip from her hair. And the separated the hair in two parts, one part which was held with clips was the front part, the other part comprising of her sides and back.
Her started with the back, and started snipping with the help of scissor and comb, bending her head forward. He collected hair with scissor and sniped them off. The locks tumbled down, some reaching the ground, other stopping at the shoulders and lap.
He then changed scissor and started making a straight hairline at back, and then took out a razor, and inserted blades in it. He applied lots of water and then placed the razor below the hairline and schchch…chch
Reshmi shivered at the touch. Barber did it again. Reshmi now had a strange feeling. After he completed the nape, he took scissors and moved to right side of her.
He combed the hair straight and then collected some hair with comb and kaachchchch. He repeated the process, till her was satisfied. He did the same towards the left.
He then removed the clip and opened her front hair. He spread it to sides with comb, then sprayed water again. He then kept the comb at left and parted her hair. Her partition changed from middle to sides. After that he took the scissor and kept scissor parallel to ground and started snipping straight.
He then snipped some more to create a slope in her hair and then again took razor. He then back brushed all the hair and then started picking and cutting the front hair. The hair fell through her face to her lap. The barber then combed all the hair to front and cut straight across whatever was reaching 2 inches below her hairline.
Reshmi’s didn’t had much of sideburns, but still it was razored. Reshmi again had the uneasy feeling.
Barber now combed it one last time and then dusted her and loosed the cape. He again took the razor and ran it on her skin below her neck till shoulders, clearing the zone of little hair growth.
He uncapped her dropping all the hair in the ground, and then gave her a mirror to check herself.
She got up from chair touched her head, sobbed and straight away went inside the house.
She was disheartened whole day, refused to eat whole day. The only thing which relieved her was when her brother returned and she told her, “Smita has crossed the limit”.