Pink Twins

Pink Twins
Gangtok

Yellow Villa

Yellow Villa
Gangtok

Sparkling Rai Saag

Sparkling Rai Saag
Gangtok

Lovely Poppy Flowers

Lovely Poppy Flowers
Gangtok

A Different type of Seasonal Flower

A Different type of Seasonal Flower
Gangtok

Blue Flavour

Blue Flavour
Gangtok

Pink & White Combination

Pink & White Combination

Dark Pink Flavour

Dark Pink Flavour
Gangtok 6th March 16

Purple Charm

Purple Charm
CS Quarter Gangtok

Magnificent Yellow and Red Tulip

Magnificent Yellow and Red Tulip
Conservatory Near Selep Tank

Charm of Red Tulips

Charm of Red Tulips
Conservatory near Selep Tank

Lord Buddha

Lord Buddha
1-D Terminal New Delhi

Attraction of Red Panda

Attraction of Red Panda
Saramsa Garden

Lord Ganesh made of oranges

Lord Ganesh made of oranges
Saramsa Garden

Charm of Seasonal Flower

Charm of Seasonal Flower
Gaurds Ground Gangtok

Unmatched beauty

Unmatched beauty
Sikkim Organic Festival

Green is always soothing

Green is always soothing
Sikkim Organic Festival 2016

Yellow Orchid

Yellow Orchid
Somewhere in Gangtok

White Orchid

White Orchid
Manan Kendra

Purple Orchid

Purple Orchid
Manan Kendra, 31-10-2015

Gift of Nature

Gift of Nature
Near Cherry Building

Majestic View of Sea

Majestic View of Sea
Marina, Chennai, 19-10-15

Typical Sikkim Pillar Carving and painting

Typical Sikkim Pillar Carving and painting
Hotel Nork Hill

Mirror Reflection, Changed Angle

Mirror Reflection, Changed Angle
Nork Hill, 24-11-2015

Mirror Trick

Mirror Trick
Hotel Nork Hill, Gtok, 24-11-2015

Yes we have the power

Yes we have the power
Qtr at Devt Area, 25-11-2015

Majestic View of K.jenga from SLA

Majestic View of K.jenga from SLA
Gangtok dt 20-11-2015

MIRROR IMAGE OR COMPUTER TRICK

MIRROR IMAGE OR COMPUTER TRICK
NEW DELHI 22-10-15

BRILLIANT KATHAK PERFORMANCE

BRILLIANT KATHAK PERFORMANCE
MRS MALI SMU 13-10-2015

SAROD RECITAL

SAROD RECITAL
SMU CONVOCATION 13-10-15

SHOWCASING SIKKIM CULTURE

SHOWCASING SIKKIM CULTURE
ITM GANGTOK 14-10-15

RED BEAUTY

RED BEAUTY
GANGTOK

ARCHITECTURAL MARVEL

ARCHITECTURAL MARVEL
MAYFAIR GANGTOK

OM NAMAH SHIVAY

OM NAMAH SHIVAY
MAYFAIR GANGTOK 02-11-15

Smile and Joy

Smile and Joy
24th September Delhi

Catelia Orchid

Catelia Orchid
Gangtok

Beautiful Chinaware Lampshed

Beautiful Chinaware Lampshed
Gangtok

Catelia Orchid

Catelia Orchid
Gangtok on 7-10-15

Morning Glow

Morning Glow
Denzong Regency- Gangtok on 7-10-15

Pink Orchid

Pink Orchid
Pakyong Area

Green Orchid

Green Orchid
Bojeytar Pakyong 26 Feb 15

Tabla or Log Piece

Tabla or Log Piece
HMI Darjeeling Nov 2014

Hand can do anything

Hand can do anything
Birla Science Museum Kolkata

Legacy and Heritage

Legacy and Heritage
Indian Museum Kolkata

Queen Nephretus of Egypt

Queen Nephretus of Egypt
India Museum Kolkata 4th Mar 15

A Buddhist Stone Art Piece

A Buddhist Stone Art Piece
Tashi Delek June 2014

Foot Print of Bason

Foot Print of Bason
Satpura Forest

Foot Print of Tiger

Foot Print of Tiger
Satpura Forest (MP) March 14

Unique Piece of Pine Wood

Unique Piece of Pine Wood

Lovely Twins

Lovely Twins

Pink,Pink,Pink

Pink,Pink,Pink
Orchid,not only Spl ,It lasts longer Also

Clean Water has a Different Impact

Clean Water has a Different Impact
Rangeet at Jorethang ,24-11-14

What a Ravishing Beauty ?

What a Ravishing Beauty ?
Teesta near Kalijhora, 19-12-14

Pre Dawn Captivating Beauty

Pre Dawn Captivating Beauty
K.JUNGA, 6:20 AM 18 -12-14

Another Dawn View -Different Angle

Another Dawn View -Different Angle
K.JUNGA, 18-12-14

View at Dawn in Biting Cold

View at Dawn in Biting Cold
K.JUNGA 18-12

Dawn Scene-2

Dawn Scene-2
V Awas 18 -12-14

Dawn Scenario

Dawn Scenario
K.JUNGA

Morning Means End of Night

Morning Means End of Night
K. JUNGA,

View at Dawn

View at Dawn
K.JUNGA 2 ,18-12-14

Early Morning Freshness

Early Morning Freshness
K.JUNGA, 18-12-14

What an eye opener early in the day?

What an eye opener early in the day?
View of 17-12-2014 from Terrace of V. Awas

Another view of full snow around Mt Kanchendzonga

Another view of full snow around  Mt Kanchendzonga
17-12-2014

Magnificent view after bone chilling night

Magnificent view after bone chilling night
17-12-2014

Beauty of Kachendzonga after a cold night

Beauty of Kachendzonga after a cold night
Vidhayak Awas Gangtok

Amazing charm of Green Orchid

Amazing charm of Green Orchid
HMI Darjeeling

Green Orchid

Green Orchid
HMI DARJEELING (13-11-14)

Bell Flower in full bloom

Bell Flower in full bloom

Yellow Orchid

Yellow Orchid
Dec 14 Circuit House

View of Kanchendzonga always inspires

View of Kanchendzonga always inspires
Vidhayak Aawas Gangtok

Cherry Blossom

Cherry Blossom
November 14 Ganesh Tok Gangtok

What a view after getting up ?

What a view after getting up ?
B-1 Vidhayak Aawas Gangtok

Chanda Mama looking at Kanchendzonga

Chanda Mama looking at Kanchendzonga
11-11-2014 VIP COLONY

Red Rose

Red Rose
Gangtok

Cranes having Gala Time

Cranes having Gala Time
Tigaon, Faridabad (2nd Oct 14)

Yes I am from Faridabad

Yes I am from Faridabad
Tiny, Beautiful Bird at NTPC, Ballabgarh (29.9.14)

Water Vital for Life

Water Vital for Life
Awesome view of Teesta near Kalijhora

Yes I had a Bath

Yes I had a Bath
Gladiola at 6200 ft.

Soothing Morning View

Soothing Morning View
Mt. Khangchendzonga from C.House (April, 14)

Natural Yellow Fascinates

Natural Yellow Fascinates
Gangtok (April, 2014)

Flowery Bell ?

Flowery Bell ?
Circuit House (May 14)

Riot of Colour in Monsoon

Riot of Colour in Monsoon
Circuit House, Gangtok(May 14)

Blushing orange

Blushing orange
Circuit House Gangtok (May 14)

Magnificent Taj

Magnificent Taj
Sept 2013

I can lift Taj Mahal

I can lift Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal,Sept end 2013

Natural fan to beat the heat

Natural fan to beat the heat
India Gate (24.08.14)

Engineering Marvel

Engineering Marvel
Coronation Bridge (22.08.2014)

Cascading water, soothing to eyes

Cascading water, soothing to eyes
Scene near Teesta Baazar (22.8.14)

Teesta attracts at every bend

Teesta attracts at every bend
16.7.2014

Monkey jump

Monkey jump
Teesta River, Birik(22.8.14)

Onset of Night

Onset of Night
Qutub,Sept.13

Qutub,Dusk Scene

Qutub,Dusk Scene
Sept.13

Together we take a Plunge

Together we take a Plunge
Clean Calicut Beach, Feb-2013

Setting Sun, always soothing

Setting Sun, always soothing
Dusk at a Gaya village(15.5.13)

Green Paradise in Concrete Jungle

Green Paradise in Concrete Jungle
Lake surrounding Purana Quila(20.10.13)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Barber Needs To Be Taken Care Of



Barber is an indispensable service provider. He is needed on a day today basis mostly for hair-cut. Till recently one would go to him for shave as well. In good old days, when life was simple and distances were short, he would pay a visit to a house to undertake shave and offer a head & neck massage on the one hand and back & feet on the other. While for a 'cut', a visit to a Barber's shop is a must, shaving has become a self performed activity and for any pain or ache, one takes recourse to the pain killers, prescribed or self-medicated.

Barber or Thakur or Hajjam has been and will be an integral part of the birth, Upanayan (sacred thread ritual), marriage and death ceremonies in a religious minded and tradition bound Hindu family set up. Apart from playing second fiddle to the more respect commanding Brahmin priest, he tries to cajole the head of a family to provide him additional 'tips' vis-a-vis his usual ‘entitlement’. He also expects to receive patronage if the basic tenets of age old Jajmani system are to be invoked in letter and spirit.

While the priests confine themselves to their own households and temples, a Barber, on an average, is in a position to set up his own shop or sit on foot-path to earn his livelihood. When we were still predominantly rural economy, they would move from house to house to perform various rituals. In the changed circumstances, they are mostly in a position to supplement their normal income by doing facials and dyeing of hair. It goes without saying that a Barber's place is synonymous with gossip and rumour mongering.


A Beauty Parlour perhaps could be termed as the latest, rather the upgraded version of a Barber's shop. Two differences, however, are noticeable-both men and women avail of services and there is no longer a caste bar on the person holding a scissor. An individual of any caste or class could be trained and perform functions of a beautician and the bar or taboo on women to have a hair-cut, facial, eye-brow make-up, pedicure or manicure is no longer there.

Coming to the experiences of the self, my visits to a Barber's shop are once in three months. That too merely for a cut of the grey hair that has managed to survive. Years ago when hair was dense and jet black, one would que up for a cut once in one and a half or two months. One did not have any fancy for a particular style as such. When multi-star movies began dominating the spectrum in the Seventies, one would not mind having long hair of Amitabh Bachchan, Rajesh Khanna, Sanjeev Kumar or Sunil Dutt kind. For women, Sadhna cut will always be in fashion or style.

Jai Jawan,Jai Kisan Saloon in a prominent street of Main Road ,Ranchi had an 'expert' hair cutter cum dresser by the name of Ranjit. He would also pursue his Graduate studies, side by side. Being a student himself, he would easily strike a chord with the young generation and earn a sizeable sum for his family. One had all the time in the world to wait for two to three hours in order to have a 'crowning glory' of choice, courtesy him.

Two of my recent visits to a Barber's shop have prompted me to pen these lines. The first was in Bagdogra in West Bengal when I needed to shave my long beard after a gap of 11 days during the Shradh or Pitripaksh period. Ramprasad, the old, unassuming man in his late fifties offered me three kinds of services-Rs. 10/- for shave by soap, Rs.15/- by ordinary cream and Rs.20/- by the best cream at his disposal. Not to take any risk on the health front, I settled for the last one. He spared full twenty minutes and did his job nicely. I was having a shave in a shop after a long time and it was worth it. While the act was on, he did not pose any questions. However, my own queries revealed that with his meagre income of Rs.13,000/- a month, he had to support a large family. Being a resident of a suburban area, he of course had to pay relatively a low rent but 'business' per se, too was not lucrative all the time. Usual tale of irresponsible sons and duty bound & educated daughters were heard. Only career option for the latter was to 'push' them unwillingly into marriage at a relatively young age.

My last interface at a Barber's shop was perhaps more interesting. I visited Md.Mohsin at Tibet Road, Gangtok for the second time in four months. When I had visited last, I had faint memories of having got my first haircut of Gangtok at his very shop way back in September,1986. He confirmed during the course of congenial conversation that he was running his business at the same place for 40 years or so. From a modest rent of Rs.300/- per month, he was now required to cough up Rs.5,000/-. Apart from the sharp rise ,he appeared concerned about having no fixed periodicity for an enhancement. Mostly nowadays, same would happen once a year or at an interval of 18 months. Another issue according to him was lack of legal support to the petty tenants like him as compared to his brethren in West Bengal or Bihar, wherein they could not be evicted easily.

On the family front, he had married off his two daughters, while his eldest son not trained as a Barber but as a Welder in Delhi, was waiting at Mumbai to grab a high income job opportunity in the lucrative pockets of the Middle East. His other two sons were in the 9th and 6th Class respectively at a village in Muzaffarpur Dist. of Bihar. It is a common practice in all such families that the head earns a hard living away from home while the wife keeps the home fire burning by looking  after the children and the sub-divided and fragmented pieces of agricultural land, all alone.

My being born in Muzaffarpur led Mohsin to perform his act with more care and interest. In a package of Rs.50/-, as compared to Rs. 30/- at Bagdogra, he trimmed my moustache in addition to the hair-cut, Nonetheless, I decided to pay him additionally for the latter, having discovered a separate rate.

When I was leaving his shop after feeling fresh and relieved, it had turned dark and cold. Street was no longer abuzz with activity. While exchanging Bye Bye and Thank You, Mohsin did ask about my off-springs, When he heard that the only one which I had ,was already lost 3.5 years ago, he felt a pain deep in his heart. Expressing his fatherly instincts subsequent to a silence of few seconds, he uttered- "Whatever the Maalik (God) gives, we have to accept". I could not possibly disagree with him.

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