Jottings from a salon

Been a while since my jottings series, and yes, with that you know just how wildly exciting my life has been over the past few months. When I’ve not been dancing on table tops, (in my imagination of course), I’ve been seriously competing for a walk on part in Dull As Ditchwater in Suburbia, or as it is better known, The Real Housewives of (fill in the suburb you live in).
The other day, I took the child for a haircut. In our home, all tasks related to child rearing are primarily my responsibility with the spouse taking on the distant, authority figure role and playing it to perfection, ergo hair cuts and nail cuttings, and such other routine maintenance of offspring falls under my ambit. Most of the time. Sometimes, the spouse will take umbrage at how a junior hairstylist has done a freewheeling running of the scissors around the foliage leaving the child with a bowl cut, and decide that he will be in charge for the next haircut, which given the speed at which the child grows his hair is within the month.
Anyway, this is about this visit to the salon. And these are my jottings.

Dear receptionist, I admire the fortitude with which you deal with many irate customers sitting around since the better part of the hour for the promised five minutes before they’re led away to be ministered to, but seriously telling me no one is free, I’ll have to wait five minutes is optimistic. I so believe you. I’m also looking out to check if pigs are whizzing past on broomsticks in the sky. And handing me your rather impressive and extensive rate card, might just have me keel over and die of cardiac arrest before I get the child back into Civilised Human Child mode from Mowli the Jungle Boy mode he currently is in.

Seriously? A senior stylist to chop a nine year old’s hair? Why? Why? Aren’t there enough people waiting for five minutes for the past hour who need the services of said senior stylist? Give me a regular stylist please, and hold the fries.

Coming up to me and telling me my skin looks terrible and patchy and that I could land me a walk on part in Michael Jackson’s Thriller if I didn’t immediately sign up for a luxurious three part skin therapy avec le French nom when your own skin looks like a landing site on the moon does not inspire confidence. Nor does looking with barely concealed horror at my hair, shuddering exquisitely and tut tutting about the lack of protein treatment visible on its mangled, cuticled surface. I go into defensive mode. I insist I am perfect just the way I am. I hold my handbag tightly to self, and sniff silently into my tissue at the public humiliation and swear on all that is holy to never step inside your premises again, even though it is the closest to home. I also pull in my stomach while I’m at it, before you decide to sell me some body toning sessions.

Lady next to me, talking into the phone while waiting to be attended to, your mouth is a few inches away from my ear. My eardrums are rather sensitive. I hear pins dropped in the next room. I am currently wincing and edging away surreptitiously as far as I can from you. Your domestic traumas are none of my concern. I am also tempted to get noise pollution activists to come measure whether you are above the permitted decibel limit.

And try as I may, this never fails to fascinate me. Yes, you. The retrosexual man. With face pack on, rose water dipped eyepads on your eyes, hair wrapped in cling film, sitting back while gentle hands minister to your fingers and toes, you inspire me to be a better groomed person.

Finally, as I pay at the counter, pushing the membership form and 20 percent discount carrot at me is so not kosher. You know, you might just tempt me into coming back for services I could well do without. After all, I can’t resist anything on a discount now, can I?


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published eight books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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3 Responses to Jottings from a salon

  1. BellyBytes says:

    Hey ! Don’t be hard on yourself. Growing old is great – you are old for most of your life. And grey hair gives you the right to speak your mind. And as for the weighing scale – it’s only meant to weigh luggage and food – so don’t step on it!


  2. Anagha says:

    I soo agree with you Kiran! I hate it when the tutored dames at the salon try telling me ( or selling me )what as in “which treatment” is good for my hair/ body!


  3. Gigi says:

    ROFL. Loved your inner dialogue about pot calling kettle black (when the saleswoman is expressing dismay about your skin!)
    Love it.


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