Have you ever entered your regular parlour and been escorted to a seat for a root touch up by a seemingly insignificant assistant, who you think you’ve perhaps seen before, but could be any one of those boys who roam around in black uniforms, abounding in their presence in an already crowded expanse of space?
You tell him you’re there for a root touch up and he escorts you to a black insignificant chair. He then offers water, green tea, a shade card, his range of products and the mundane. When you look like you'd poke his eyeballs in, if he did not just move on with it, he pulls open your clutcher and releases your hair, pushing his fingers through the grisly crop of dry, rough, discolored, shiny old strands with highlights at the extremes, blonde in the bottom and silver on top crop, a pretentious black adorning the middle. But, that’s not what this piece is about, its about the touch of the fingers that are now gliding around your scalp, slithering like an evil snake, pressing the nerves on your mane ever so gently, smoothly, softly where they’ve never been pressed. Touching the nerves with soft, gentle hands, the skin to skin touch as soft as a feather, slowly getting warm raising the heat and engulfing your senses. Your head shakes back and forth, your crowning glory now cascading back and forth and you can imagine yourself as Dimple Kapadia in the middle of a blue, black, crystalline ocean. The surrounding din has faded and receded into the background and you know not of anyone else but yourself and the movement of those fingers glissade through along the various contours and bumps of the most intelligent part of your being.
He then lowers your head onto his belly, making you rest like you’ve never done before and holds your brows in a pincer grip. As soft, welcoming and warm as a baby’s. You know his touch caresses and sqeezes you in the most intimate way possible for any stranger and when he asks, “madam, theek hai?” you want to say, “awesome….”, but you say, “ji, theek hai,” for propriety’s sake. Then he passes your head to the hair dresser who paints the roots to a younger shade.
As the assistant walks off, you wonder where he had been all through your previous visits to this parlor. How had you missed this master craftsman all this while? You do not downgrade your sentiments by bringing in monetary aspects. A lowly tip? No way!
At home, you tell your husband about the massage hoping all along he will try it out at the unisex parlour and learn a thing or two.
Alas! Your husband’s not a hair dresser.
You visit the parlour in another fifteen days, hopeful, jittery, sinful…
The assistant approaches and you are filled with expectation. You sit, open the clutcher and bounce your luscious glory in hope and pride. He pushes his fingers into the thick strands of silk. This time he gives you the pushy, chubby pinches like the ones you get from your husband. Sigh...
Alas! I guess, that came for a tip.