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Riya gets the chop
20 AUGUST 2016 · PUBLIC
“Mom are you going anywhere?” Sanjana asked after he woke up from bed and went downstairs.
She replied, “Am sorry, there is an emergency in hospital, I have to go, but I would be back soon”
She asked back, “When? Why today? Even dad is away this week”
Her mom again replied back, “I promise to back soon, don’t worry. Riya will be here to take care of you till then”
Sanjana was becoming furious now, “Riya didi again to babysit me? Mom I am 9 year old now”
She replied back, “oh, no, no, she will just here to take care of the house. I don’t expect you need anybody for you. Just be good to her, she likes you”
Sanjana replied in affirmative and then asked, “Mom isn’t the barber coming today?”
Suddenly the doorbell rang. A girl of about 18 years old entered with cheery face and long black moist hair all open with comb in hand.
Riya greeted, “Good morning aunty, good morning Sanjana”
Both greeted back.
Riya said as she now kept the comb in a table, “Am sorry, I just came as quick as I can, I was taking bath then…”
Her mom intercepted, “No problem, we are very happy you are here”
Riya replied, “Me too, am looking forward to have some wonderful time with Sanjana”
Her mom replied, “Great, Sanjana be nice to Riya didi. Riya, best of luck for the day. If it get out of control call me”
Riya replied, “Don’t worry, aunty. I have been with her alone before too”
Her mom said as she took leave, “Love you Sanjana, and see you, bye”
Sanjana and Riya replied back the same.
Few moments after Sanjana and Riya were having a serene time. Sanjana was all fed now and watching tv. It was going great till 1230hrs when the doorbell rang.
Riya called from inside, “Who is it?”
I replied holding my tool box tightly “Its barber here, Mr. Ghosh has told me to come”
Riya opened the door slowly and said politely, “Well, I don’t think we need a barber now”
I was speechless for a moment seeing a lady with such long hair as I expected to see Mrs. Ghosh who has just a bob.
I replied, “Well, I was told to come today at sharp 1230p.m. by Mr. Ghosh, please confirm from him”
Sanjana came at door by then and said, “Riya didi, he was to come today for my haircut”
Riya sent Sanjana inside and said as she started tying her hair into a bun and said, “Well the parents are not home, can you come later?”
I asked, “When?”
She was puzzled and then replied, “Please wait, and let me call them”
I said, “Okay you ask them, I will wait”
Riya went inside and called. After two unsuccessful attempt Mrs. Ghosh picked up. Riya said in fast pace, “Aunty, Riya here. Barber has come what should I do?”
Mrs. Ghosh who was busy with her work answered flatly, “Barber huh? Get haircut” and then dropped the line.
Riya called again but Mrs. Ghosh didn’t picked. Riya was getting perturbed, after five minutes Mrs. Ghosh called back and said, “Riya, sorry I couldn’t hear properly what did you said?”
Riya repeated again. Mrs. Ghosh replied, “Oh! I actually forgot to cancel the barber. Hmm can you manage Sanjana’s haircut, it would be helpful you know, it is difficult to get him again if we turn him away?”
What could Riya say? She wanted to cancel but she replied, “Okay aunty I am not cancelling him”
Mrs. Ghosh was delighted, “Thank you Riya, thank you. Instruct the barber to do regular one, he would take care of rest”
Few minutes after that I, Riya and Sanjana were in garden preparing for Sanjana’s haircut. Riya brought a couch at the middle of the garden and I quickly took out the cape, scissors, comb, razor and clipper from my box.
Sanjana sat on it and then caped her and asked, “So how should I?”
Riya replied flatly, “The regular one”
The moment Sanjana heard it, she shouted, “not that short”
I managed, “no not regular one, okay, calm down” as I combed her hair.
I signaled Riya not to use the term ‘regular ‘one as I picked the clipper.
The moment she heard it she shouted again and started getting up. Riya held her as I consoled, “hey it is not the regular one” as I touched it at the back.
She started crying and I told Riya, “You please hold her still”
Riya tried to console her as she gripped her tightly, “Don’t cry Sanjana, he is styling your hair to latest fashion”
Sanjana replied still crying, “He cut’s my hair too short, I can’t even feel my hair after, I want long hair like you…”
I kept on running the clipper with number 1 guard as Riya held her at her best.
Riya consoled her, “Don’t cry, long hair is out of fashion these days, this is good”
Sanjana hit back, “then why you have long hair? I don’t want to cut my hair short…”
Riya kept consoling, “I am going to get a similar haircut like you are, I just didn’t got time, the next time I get to hairsty…I mean barber I will get the same haircut, you see”
Sanjana said, her crying now subduing, “You can get haircut from him”
Riya gulped down, she managed, “no, he is not free today I think” as she blinked at me.
The blinking has an effect, before I could say anything Sanjana burst, “He is free, you are blinking, you will get the haircut today” and then again started crying, more severely.
Riya said in haste, “okay, okay, but only if you calm down, and stop crying right now”
And she did, Sanjana not only stopped crying, she became ‘good customer’ girl. Riya stop her hold on her and stood near her. Sanjana cooperated with me like never before, even not a single moment when I shaved her nape and sides with razor.
I complimented Riya, “Great work, and she is never so calm with razors before”
Riya smiled nervously at me.
After her haircut was complete I opened the cape, dusted her and she spring from the stool. Riya ran her hand gently over and said, “you are look beautiful, now take a shower. Wait at bathroom, I will assist you to shampoo, go”
Sanjana replied as I took the broom at vicinity to collect the buzzed hair into a heap, “I will wait here. First you get the haircut then we can shower together”
Riya smiled, “Yes, yes I will get the haircut, but you take bath first then I will have my haircut”
Sanjana was adamant, “No, you promised you will get haircut after me”
Riya again said, “Yes I will, just take the bath then I will…”
Sanjana stomped her feet at ground and shouted with raze, “You are breaking the promise”
I don’t know what happened, if Riya was scared or something, she sat on the stool and said, “Okay, okay just calm down, I am getting my haircut now”
Riya whispered to me, “Umm…do something with my hair, cut the ends, make it dramatic”
I agreed with nod. I took the same white cape used on Sanjana and draped it on her and then gently opened her bun.
I inserted my fingers in her locks and started running it from top to ends to spread her hair. I then switched to comb, her hair well maintained didn’t have a single knot on it. The hair was complete black and covered her full back, hanging little bit above ground as the stool was a low one.
After I was done with combing, I picked the scissors. She little below her midback with her right hand even before I asked.
I combed once again when Riya said, “Sanjana, see I am getting haircut as I promised, now go to bathroom and wait for me”
Sanjana refused as expected. Riya sighed as I again picked the scissors. I placed the scissor one inches above her end, her lock between the blades of the scissor, and kaachchchch…chch. The bunch of hair detached and fell on ground. I combed her hair again and started cutting along the line, fast. With each snip more and more hair fell to ground.
She immediately touched her hair after I kept the scissor. I undressed the cape and she got up quickly from the chair and turn around to see the hair on ground. She then said, “Okay, I got my haircut as you have, now let’s hit the showers, let’s go”
But Sanjana was adamant, both of us me and Riya had a feeling that Riya would sit with her hair submitted to me once again. I couldn’t wait to have my scissors through that lush hair.
Riya said, this time little harsh, “Sanjana go to bathroom now, I promised to have a haircut, and I have a haircut now, it’s done, go”
Sanjana replied, “You have to get same haircut as I have”
Riya was speechless, but managed to say, “No, no, Sanjana I can’t have that haircut”
Sanjana replied, “But why?”
Riya told, “Ok Sanjana, try to understand. You are a small girl, small girl have small haircut like you, I am a big girl, much older than you, so I have longer hair, and it’s simple…”
That did it, though Riya had a long experience of babysitting, she is yet to learn the art of speaking to a child. Calling a child a child is big offense.
Sanjana shouted, “I am a big girl, not a small anymore, I look ugly in small haircut” before she ran inside and slammed the door, locking it from inside.
Riya ran after her, leaving me in the garden, all packed and ready to go. But I had to wait because I was yet to be paid.
I could here sounds of crying, pleading, shouting and what not.
Twenty minutes later there was silence as both came outside, eyes of both are wet, but there is smile on Sanjana’s lip. Riya walked to me and sat on the stool with her hair open and frown face and said in a sulky voice, “Give me exact haircut, she got”
I was astonished, I asked, “The no.1 buzz cut? Are you sure?”
Riya didn’t said anything. I accepted it as affirmative.
I started combing her hair again, then made a tight high bun of her hair. I could hear her weep silently. I took the white cape again and placed on her and said, “This time you will need it”
She didn’t responded, I didn’t expected either.
I opened her bun and let the hair fall. Then collected her hair in pony held near the shoulder with my left fist. The pony was loose one, but she bend her head forward to have tension on the hair. I picked the scissor and inserted in above my left fist and…
Kaachchchch….chchch….chch…chch, with every snip she and I both could felt the tension in her hair disappearing. With about ten snips the whole tension vanished, leaving the pony of her thick hair in my hand.
I loosed my grip and it fell to ground. She straightened her head and I heard her weeping more loudly now. I inserted the comb in her nicked hair to spread it out.
I now picked the clipper which had number one guard already attached and switched it on. I back brushed all her hair and then touched the clipper at her front in her center partition. I placed my left hand on her back of her head as I moved the clipper towards the top of her head.
A bunch of hair fell to her lap, clearing hair from a section in front. I placed the clipper little sideways and again ran it, more hair fell to her lap. I touched the clipper on other side of the first buzz and started running it when it suddenly stopped.
I removed the clipper and tried to restart it, but alas it didn’t switched on.
I checked my tool box, and found that I forgot to bring the manual clippers. Riya was getting restless sitting with some hair buzzed, rest clipped to her shoulder. She said weepily, “What happened? Do it fast please?”
I turned to her and said in my best pleasing tone, “um…sorry, the clipper batteries ran out, I didn’t charged them enough, well I didn’t knew I was going to buzz two person today. And added to it, I forgot to bring the manual clippers…”
She was aggressive now as she stopped me in middle, “Great, I would have been much better if your batteries would have ran little before, what now, should I get up?”
I replied, “no, no, I will do it with scissors, well you should just know, it will not be that beautiful with scissors”
She just shouted, “Do it”
I took out sprayer and started wetting her hair till water started dripping from her hair. She was shivering now, maybe she was feeling cold or maybe she was scared now.
I combed her remaining hair once and then inserted the scissor in the mop. Before I snip she interrupted, “Shave it off”
I couldn’t catch what she said. She repeated, “Yes, shave all my hair off my head”
I didn’t know what to say, I kept staring at her.
She said, “Look, I always has a wish to be bald, but I never dared because you know it would take long time bla…bla…bla.
I interrupted and said, “Okay, I am shaving your hair”
I took the razor and inserted the blade. She bent her head down. I ran my fingers in her hair once and then kept my left hand on top of her head to bend her head little more and touched the razor at her middle of her head and slide it slightly towards her back shchchchchch….chch
She quivered a little with the run of razor. Locks of hair fell to ground through her cape, a white bright spot appeared on her head. I again adjusted my razor aligning parallel to the spot and ran again. The spot enlarged. I kept running razor at her back, and gradually all the hair from the back was removed.
Her virgin scalp which was covered with dense mass of hair few moments ago was now visible.
I then moved to her left side then to right scrapping hair from there too. Only some hair remained now in her front.
I lifted her head a little as I moved to front. She has kept her eyes tightly closed. I touched and ran the razor. Hair cascaded to her lap touching her face. After three runs she was almost bald, only a single bunch was left. I placed the razor at the base of the bunch carefully and schhchch…ch
She was complete bald now, not a single hair on her head. I ran my hand over head to make sure it was done correctly. After I was satisfied I took out the mirror. She just nodded without even giving a glance.
I took a brush and brushed her head and then gently opened the knot of the cape. Again I took the razor and ran it in the neck covered with hair. After she was uncapped completely she simply got up, touched her bald head once and went inside with Sanjana without paying me.
I waited there for a moment, watching the ground covered with beautiful hair then I left deciding to come back later.
I came again at evening. Riya opened the door, she was wearing a different salwar kameez now and her head was covered with the dupatta. I wanted to remove the dupatta. As I left I saw Mrs. Ghosh at the door. I didn’t said anything just greeted and left with my payment.
As she knocked at the door she was welcomed by bald Riya. The funny thing is she was not surprised at all, she just said, “Don’t worry it grows back”