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Parlour Tricks

Parlour Tricks

October 21, 2011

The inane world of beauty parlour conversations.

Recently, a friend set a Twitter status that triggered a discussion amongst the two of us on how funny and sometimes totally inane conversations in beauty parlours can be. The line she had put up was – I can take pain of the heart but not pain on my skin! This, my friend described is the kind of parlour conversation that leaves you numb to the point of speechlessness.

Now anyone who has been to a beauty parlour knows there are a variety of parlour owners and the conversations taking place largely depend on the type of parlour and owner. For example, one of the most irritating ones we have all met is the parlour aunty who thinks just about everything is wrong with your God given skin and hair. She is the first one to spot your first split end after the recent trim, the first one to spot that teeny weeny black spot on your nose. The discovery is then followed by a whole litany of the polluted hawa-paani (water and air) of modern times, stress and ends with an endorsement of some special beauty treatment that is only available in her parlour. If given a chance this aunty would probably even find a deformity in Aishwarya Rai, universally considered the most beautiful woman of the world! Most of us never return to this aunty after one encounter.

Then there is the neighbourhood parlour aunty, who has converted a room in her home. She is the one everyone goes to for a quick, cheap fix up before a not so important event
. She is also the one who has all the gossip on whose daughter ran away with whom and which aunty’s maid is a pain in the you know what. Conversations in these parlours also veer towards the shenanigans of evil mothers-in-law, oh no, not the ones in the neighbourhood, but those seen on soap operas. On a typical day in such a parlour you would see the TV switched to some channel playing old romantic numbers or a TV serial and a serious discussion ensues on what a particular character should have done and even worn.  And oh, expect the shape of your eyebrows to be slightly mismatched once you leave here, the attention was obviously on the telly.

The other is the high end parlour. Here the parlour aunties or the other ladies do not talk to the clients and if they do it is in gushing tones of how great that branded bag or dress looks on them. In these parlours, a certain class divide has to be maintained between the lowly workers and the high end clients they treat. The only one allowed to breach this class divide is the owner or the star employee who has served a great number of A list clients. Here there is no conversation, only music playing in the background and sounds of scissors and other parlour paraphernalia.

But rarely one comes across a parlour that is the right blend of sophisticated work, reasonable rates and an owner who gives realistic beauty advice. Most women know this one’s a keeper. But even the best of the lot would not match up to the kind of bonhomie shared by the characters in the parlour in a film like Legally Blonde. Now that is truly fiction! 


    22.10.11 12:46 AM
    I only went to my barber for one thing so i can look at MAYFAIR & CLUB magazines until my turn came to get cut.
    This is a bonus when you are 15.
  • tys
    21.10.11 04:12 PM
    damn...u shud try out our barber shops...its to the point...cut your hair and get out..

    cant really imagine having a conversation with someone who is wielding something sharp..

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