The concept of arrange-marriages in India was pretty much prevalent, but contrary to what one may think, it doesn’t mean forced. Kabir and Kavya’s marriage was such, and neither of them knew each other before marriage.
Kavya was a beautiful, 23-years-old girl with hazel colored almond eyes, soft and glowing skin and mid-back length thick hair, as dark as the midnight. Growing up, everyone always appreciated her for the darkness and thickness of her long hair.
Kabir, on the other hand, was the 29-years-old young man with a head of thick dark brown thatch, exceptionally tall, broad-shouldered with sun-kissed exotic skin. He was a hair-stylist by profession, which was also their family business as they owned a chain of hair salons across the length of the country.
Kavya was an introvert by nature, and she hardly interacted with Kabir before to the marriage. Kabir, taking note of her predicament, took baby steps to take their relationship to the next level with every passing day.
On a Tuesday, as usual, Kabir left for the hair salon “INFINITY” where he currently treated his clients and trained the new students from haircutting school. Amongst the various hair salons he owned, he preferred at INFINITY because he designed the shop with the contemporary touch of a barbershop. Kabir was always a clipper-happy stylist, and short hairstyles were his forte. He wielded the clippers like he was born to do it. The clientele were mostly men, except a few women who preferred short hairstyles.
On Tuesday, Kabir arranged for a dinner reservation for him and Kavya. Since she had left her office a little early, she decided to visit him directly at Infinity.
“Hey,” she greeted him with a smile. “There wasn’t much to do at the office, so I thought I’d leave early and meet you here.”
“You did the right thing, Kavya. But I still have two more clients to attend here. Would you mind waiting here for some time?” Kabir asked.
He placed a quick peck on her cheeks, making her blush like a new bride that she was. “Thank you.”
Kavya took a seat over the couch and slowly took in the decoration of the salon. She had been to the other salons which they owned, but never visited Infinity before. The salon had modern-styled barbershop chairs with similar upholstery and footrest. Kavya knew that her husband was a renowned hair stylist of the city, but she never had an opportunity to see him work before this day.
“What are we doing today?” Kabir asked the man seated on the chair with a head full of unruly curls—caped and ready to be shorn.
“It has been a long time since the last haircut. And the Delhi heat is getting unbearable,” the man said with a sigh.
“Oh, yes. Then, I know just the haircut you would like,” Kabir said and turned to the trolley of assorted scissors and clippers.
Kavya watched in awe how he picked up the clippers, attached something on top of it and switched it on. It straight away plowed into the back of the man’s head as curly hair tumbled down the cape. Moments later, the portion was clippered down to nothing but longish stubble. The same buzzing began, and now the sides were taken down to the same length as the back. Kabir wetted the hairs on top with the spray and picked up the comb and scissors. Deft trimming of the curls began, and the snippets of damp hair spattered down to the floor.
Kavya had never seen such astonishing hair cutting skills. She could not fathom the zing of electric excitement that rang through her. It took a mere of twenty minutes for Kabir to shear the man to nothing with a tight tapered haircut, plus the style and drying.
Once the man left, it was a woman’s turn to take the chair. Once she did, she showed a picture to Kabir what Kavya couldn’t see. Kabir simply nodded with a smile and began to braid her shoulder-length damp hair. He grabbed a different shear this time and quickly hacked off the length at the nape. Kavya inwardly gasped but watched in awe. Once the long hair was severed off, Kabir began to grab small sections of hair and kept on cutting, until a length of two inches of hair was all over.
A boy-cut hair—she is a brave one, Kavya wondered.
But within seconds she understood that it wasn’t the end of the haircut. The Clippers came back to life, and he began shearing away the hair at the back. Kabir titled her head to the side, clippered off the hair around the ears with a quick flick. The boy-cut turned into a tightly cropped hairstyle with side-swept bangs in the front.
Kavya was dazed—watching the whole haircut churned her inside-out. A terrifying thought of having her hair cut like that hit her like a tornado, but she quickly pushed it back.
Within the next few minutes, Kabir was done and left with her for the dinner date. A couple of weeks later, Kavya decided to visit Infinity once again on her way to a shopping trip. While she sat around for an hour there, marveling at the short-clipped hairstyles her husband administered on his clients, Kavya felt a strong surge of heat between her legs. The desire and excitement of having her hair cut were eating her away.
But how many newly married Indian women would cut the hair so short? This thought always killed her high-hopes, and she would shrink back.
In the six months of their marriage, Kavya visited Kabir at Infinity several times by now. She would always sit on the couch, watch the chunk of hair fall with trepidation and exhilaration of her own.
On Friday, Kabir’s car broke down, and he requested Kavya to pick him up on her way home. By the time, Kavya reached, all the staffs at Infinity had left, and it was only Kabir who was relaxing on one of those big barber chairs.
“Sorry, I got a bit late—busy day and bad traffic,” she explained, walking over to him.
He smiled at her. “It’s alright. We had quite an easy day, so I told the staffs and stylists to leave a bit early.”
“This outlet is a bit different than the other ones you own,” she said conversationally.
“Yeah, I only take appointments for the selected clients here. The senior stylists take care of the rest in the other outlets.” He slowly walked behind her and swiftly began removing the pins, letting the dark mid-back length hair undone.
Caressing fingers brushed the tresses, ran over her scalp as she leaned into his touch. Kabir loved pampering her this way as he often did post-coitus. Their compatibility was so endearing that it never felt like an arranged marriage.
“I don’t know what you do with those fingers, but they feel amazing,” she murmured with utmost relaxation.
A rumble of a chuckle came out of his throat. “Let me wash your hair today. You will feel a lot better,” he said, directing her the washing area.
As she plopped herself down on the comfortable leather chair with adjustable inclination, he first dampened her long, thick midnight-colored hair and began lathering it up. The slow circular movements he did, massaging and stroking, transferred her into a world of her own. It was borderline erotic.
“I can’t remember the last time I felt this good,” she moaned.
He applied gentle pressure in a kneading motion to relieve the built-up tension. “I should wash your hair often like this,” he said. Kavya could only moan a little louder in response.
With great care, he washed the hair, blotted the excess water with a soft towel and led her to one of the barber-chairs.
She sensed a little tremor rushing through her when she sat down. For months, she had seen so many people receiving short haircuts on that same chair.
Kabir brushed the damp tresses very gently with a wide-tooth comb. Occasionally, he glanced at the flushed cheeks of his wife.
“How do you feel about a haircut?” he probed.
“I had a trim last month,” she recalled promptly.
Kabir chuckled lightly and shook his head. “A haircut,” he specified. “Not a trim.”
“First-year in college, I think…about six years ago.”
He gave a small nod and dragged the trolley closer to her chair. The gleaming steel of the scissors, clippers, combs, among other things, were nicely laid out on it. He reached out for the cape first and draped it around her.
“What are you doing?” she asked, suddenly nervous.
“I am giving you a suitable haircut,” he said calmly.
He squeezed her shoulder encouragingly and said, “Shh, relax Kavya. I know what I am doing.”
Her hair was sectioned into four parts as he held a section of hair in his hand at the back of her head and quickly snipped it off. After working on a few segments, the terrible realization dawned on Kavya that he was chopping her hair off at the nape. She tried to turn her head around, but the grip on her hair prevented it.
“How much are you cutting, Kabir?”
For a long moment, he didn’t answer but kept on snipping until the hair was in the shape of a bob. He ruffled the locks at the back and then slowly stroked her almost-exposed nape. “Do you like short hair, Kavya?” he asked her point-blank.
Kabir noticed how she marveled at short haircuts he had administered with an equal amount of thrill and tremor. He knew how Kavya regarded her long hair and chopping it off would be a numbing act for her.
But deep down, he also saw how she craved it.
“I…it’s…” words completely left her.
“I know you do,” he said with finality despite keeping his voice soft.
Kavya bit on her lips and shook her head. “I won’t look good. It will look funny on me,” she said sorrowfully.
He looked straight into the mirror, meeting her gaze and holding the rest of the hair away from her face. “You have no idea how beautiful and sharp your features are. Short hair would only enhance them.”
“How short are we talking about here?” she enquired.
But Kabir didn’t reply and simply whirled the chair away from the mirror so she could only face him. “That would be my choice,” he said with a smile and winked at her.
“Oh, my God,” she mumbled under her breath, and Kabir resumed to his business.
Picking up the comb and clippers, he slid the comb above the left ear and ran the clippers straight across, letting the hair fall on her shoulders. A strange stir between the legs made her squirm on the seat as she watched chunks of hair kept sliding down the cape.
“You are moving too much, Kavya,” he said in a clinical voice and clamped his hand over her head. He slightly tilted to the opposite side and the snipping began anew.
“I have a feeling you are making it too short. Let me see at least.”
“You will, once I finish it,” he reassured, and began working on the nape and above.
He kept perfecting the back and sides with a repeated motion of clippers over comb until it was nothing but downy felt covering around her head. He longed to use the clippers directly on her head, to give his wife the traditional short clipper cut with severe tight taper—which was his forte—but decided against it. It was Kavya’s first short cut ever, and something so extreme would throw her off balance. Maybe he could convince her to go a little shorter for the next haircut session, he thought.
Kavya distinctively felt the wetness between her legs now when Kabir’s fingers caressed the shorn back of her skull—it was divine—and she found herself leaning more and more into it.
A moment later, he stood directly in front of her and unpinned the top section, which was the only portion left longer. But the situation was rectified as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Section by section, he held the hair between his fingers and snipped them right in front of her eyes. The act was as ruthless as it was thrilling.
“Short bangs would suit you well,” he commented, softening the bangs with the thinning shears at the same time.
“Uh huh.” That was all she could manage to eke out.
He finally kept all the instruments down and picked up the hairbrush and dryer. With the newly shorn length, it took less than five minutes to dry and set it for a professional like him.
“Can I please see it now?” she asked impatiently, with her excitement fullest to the brim now.
“Just the finishing touch.” The dry cutting began, but it was completed in no time at all.
He slowly turned the chair towards the mirror as she gaped. Kavya’s look was completely changed—in a good way. The haircut was something between a pixie and a chic boycut, and she saw how beautifully Kabir had customized the look for her. Boy, he wasn’t kidding when he said that short hair would suit her better.
When she finally overcame the initial, a shy smile broke out of her lips. “I can’t recognize myself. It’s beautiful. But I don’t think new Indian brides have this short hair.”
“I don’t care,” he said. “I like this hair a lot on you.”
Masculine fingers kept tousling and brushing the short hair. “If you want, I can keep it exactly like this. Monthly trims and that’s all. And if you want something shorter…”
“Shorter than this?”
“Much shorter than this,” he confirmed.
“Next time it is then,” she said with glee, kissing his scuff cheek.
-|| THE END ||-
Please let me know in the comments if you’d like to read a story based on any particular topic like e.g. forced, couple, barber. I would love to indulge.