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Thursday, March 08, 2012

Kottaram Barber ( Royal Barber )

Al Ain has been my home for the last five years .
though not as big and glamarous as its two cousins Dubai and Abu Dhabi I  would call it a cute and comfortable city to live in with all the neccesities and one   blessed with the bounties of nature
It is more relaxed and low profile here  .
the broad roads have roundabouts full of well designed flowerbeds ,the pavements are neat and a delight to walk , the uptown area with its malls and shops are colourful ,and the  bright the parks are plentiful there are   hot springs to wade in  and a mountain to climb if one felt to do so !
the one thing that struck me when I came here initially was the countless hair dressing places and saloons here .
Leave alone the multiple beauty parlours dotting the city with bright faces and  manicured eyebrows peering from the signboards there were a lot of specialist kids saloons and gents saloons all over the place !
I wondered at the multiplicity of these hair marts ,
Al Ain folk should be obsessed and fickle of thier crowning glories , shaved chins or trimmed beards

I never stuck to the same saloon and drifted most unfaithfuly from one hair stylist to another looking for the ultimate answer to my hairy solutions .

The last time my visit was remarkable and worth a blog post so here goes......

It was  just another saloon nothing remarkable in it  to give me  a clue of tis hidden talents which I would shortly discover .
I entered and found there was one artisan happily doing his craft on one chaired customer  while the other was vacant ,he asked me to sit and shortly another barber ( sorry for the deragatory label ,these days such adjectives are frowned upon by these professionals ) arrived and walked around me .
This man gazed at me intently or rather on my scalp and its adornings which was nothing much to write about ,I was nowhere near  an Amitabh Bachan when it came to this part of my anatomy but neither was  I a  Rajani kanth without his wig
I was just an  average joe with   some dry long unruly windblown  hair .
After a perfunctory survey the master condescended to comment with a long sigh which  should have had hidden meanings
if there were experts who could decipher barbers sighs they would have written long thesis on those sighs
( I remember  there were Russia watchers in those socialist days where a sneeze of a Brezhnev or a nod of a Kosygin would make them ruminate on the possiblities of the next nuclear catastrophy ! )

Our man was silent and declined to comment then on my hair but quitely and surely took his wares and frowned deeply as if he was ready for this most difficult job .
there was a sneer mixed with that frown if one watched with concentration .
and then the clipping of the scissors took over the silence  as  I peered into the mirror watching my grey black brown dyed hair falling all over my chest .
the comb bit into my scalp the knife knicked behind my ears and the razor whirred its motors as the great man worked on his piece of art
like a picaso on his painting he was all concentration
and then came the dunking of the head under a cold washbasin while he soaped my scalp and suds came out of my soddy ears he towelled me briskly envigorating my grey cells and blowdried my hair into shape .

once he had completed his task  he declared valiantly
 you know i am called the Royal Barber   , Kotaram Barber   in malayalam ( forgot to tell you he was a mallu from Amchi malabar ) ,you know why ?
 give me a kulu ( clue ) please .......me
this answer was not much appreciated as he felt i was a bit snooty !
kulu is in TV only !

 will tell you the hard facts Iam the offical barber of a local Shiekh and mostly I stick to him rarely do I take up other work
I was suffused with pride for this great artiste to have selected me  probably it was the blue in my blood from the mankavu kovilakam it should have been so telling in my countenance that he felt he had to do the honours

I took your case because it was a professional chaallenge ! oops

never have I  seen such an unruly mop
you call it hair do you?
and tell me who have been at it all this  while ?
 he made it sound as if to say which rat has been on it ,very humilating indeed .

well i never stuck to one many had left thier marks on my crowning glory what you see are  those efforts on my scalp it shows hard work and dedication of many artistes

well I dont agree it is bad hair ruined by badder barbers !
my challenge here was how to salvage this mess !
when I  saw you first I had to plan on how to go about it and once I took a decison my strategy was all ready
you are lucky you know
The  end result was not bad but nothing amazing it was just like any other previous haircuts
At least it wasnt like a Sreedevi nosejob !


well even with that sorry face your hair looks decent now said the great man !
one can make the craft of a master form a distance
I just nodded
the kotaram barber dusted me and made me get down from the high stool
the show ended with me parting a fat fee for the handicrafts  of his highness the Kottaram Barber


( well I have exaggerated for sarcasm he was only half as bad as narrated )

10 comments:

Maddy said...

where is the pre and post picture, wouldlove to see the handiwork of the showrakaran..

Anonymous said...

Hai Hari
always good to hear from you:-))
needless to say that was a nice bit of narration in true Hari shtyle!!
When is our next meeting at Kochi with beer and Kari Meen Pollichathu!!!

Venkat Seshan

Venkat Seshan said...

Hai Hari
always good to hear from you:-))
needless to say that was a nice bit of narration in true Hari shtyle!!
When is our next meeting at Kochi with beer and Kari Meen Pollichathu!!!an

Dr Natarajan said...

Hari,
Hehehe...Really enjoyed the pun.Your style is inimitable.Classic....
Keep on writing.
Cheers
Nadarajan

Dr Prasanth Pillai said...

Fantastic description Hari... keep it up...
Prasanth

Dr R Mani said...

show details 12:43 AM (12 hours ago)

very good writting .i loved reading

Dr Job Simon said...

dear Hari, i know this guy---isnt he at tawam haircuts? he isnt very good either, as a barber...

harimohan said...

Maddy he made no big difference !seshan welcome any time
tks dr mani ,prasanth ,natarajan
simon u r right what did he do with u ?

Swapna Raghu Sanand said...

This was fun to read! Totally different style and tone of writing in this one. Looking forward to more like this from you!!!

harimohan said...

Made a repeat visit with shyam.the guy is becoming a habit!

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