Fifteen minutes have passed since the hair cutting saloon had opened. Customers are waiting for their turn by browsing tamil newspapers and magazines. The television in the corner of the salon was playing a film music channel. None of the customers were interested in the tamil songs as the first thing they wanted was get their hairs cut and leave the place. Some of the prospective customers peeped inside the saloon and walked away after seeing the waiting customers. The owner says “Sir please come in and be seated. Our boys would come shortly and you can get the haircut done immediately”. He himself was performing the hair cut for one of his customers. Minutes slowly inched. None of his employees had reported to duty. The newspapers have crumpled. His customers are getting impatient and two of them asked “When are they going to come? It is getting late. Can I come tomorrow? The owner reassures” They are on their way and would come any time”. Six months back two branded salons were opened near his shop. Since then some of his regular heavy weight customers are no longer availing his service. In the background his mind was calculating the increase in the prices of branded cosmetics and his boys pay hike murmurs. Agarbathi in the swami stand was consuming itself in rapid speed. He surfs the television channels and decides to stay with the channel that is giving an daily astrological forecast. The forecast for his star was already crossed.
Six months back, the owner sensed the change in his customer’s preferences and wanted to be competitive. So he had installed an air conditioner which was financed by a usury financier. The saloons service offerings were expanded (diversified?) to include facials and other stuff. As time passes the owner is getting miffed and makes a call to one of his employee’s mobile. There is no response. His immediate fear was that this employee would quit. A fear flashed in his mind “No not another one”. It is extremely tough to get a skilled employee. He gulped his thoughts and vented his frustration in a silent tone “They are never punctual. It is frustrating to make the customers wait”. Meanwhile the usury lender walks in with two of his friends and the owner welcomes him with respect. Unable to find a spot they move out of the saloon. The owner heaves a sigh of temporary relief but ponders “Every month – I have to pay high interest and three free haircuts”
Sheepishly one of his employees entered and the owner bit his lip very hard and threw a satire “So you woke up finally?” The next customer dives into the barber’s chair. A cell phone call from his newly wed wife interrupted his final touches to the customer. The customers could feebly hear their conversation. His wife wanted several things to match her sister’s pompous show off: a touch phone, slippers and one more set of fashionable churidhar. The oil lamp in front off the deity had suddenly extinguished. Its burning odour filled the air. Only the tamil music channel seemed to understand his plight. It was playing the song “Enge nimmadhi Enge Nimmadhi Ange enaku or idam vendum”