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Goo Goo Ga Ga!
Friends finally convinced that my long, messy and uncombed hair is no good. That it is hideous, and that I'm an idiot not to realise simple facts. Their eyes, they said, strained even to look at me!
One fine morning I finally decided to put an end to it, in the interest of not hurting anyone's eyes. I carried my untidy head of hair all the way to the salon to become, to quote a friend, 'a human again'.
All was going fine, until a mother walked in with her around-one-year-old son to get him a haircut. My tragic story starts here…
A goofy-looking barber stepped up. Giving toddlers haircuts is no child's play. It requires a lot of patience, tact, humour, affection, solid nerves and quick reflexes. I happen not to possess such qualities but then again I was not a barber. But my interest peaked as I shockingly overheard Mommy give precise directions on how she wants her baby's hairstyle to be!
The baby did not seem to be that much interested in all that though. Things like scissors and cut hair on the floor, people around him, and the barber's moustache in particular were better subjects of interest to him. But a determined barber and a fashion expert in the form of Mommy, was around. Together, they came up with numerous strategies to get the job done.
Mommy started with the lollipop. She put it inside the baby's mouth to stop him from screaming, I think. But the baby was loud! He was screaming and crying his head off. I seriously thought of leaving the place for a while, to protect my ears from any permanent damage. Babies don't weigh more than a few kilograms; they are tiny. How come their voices are so loud?
The lollipop strategy didn't work. He didn't seem to be born with a sweet tooth. The barber tried to make the baby do a nursery rhyme. “Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are?” The baby hummed a bit for a while, but gave up soon.
His mother had other things up her sleeve along with the lollipop. Her next product was… Rubik's Cube. Now, not only was Mommy impatient about her son looking handsome, she was also impatient about her son being smart.
She handed him the Rubik's Cube, and surprisingly, the baby focused; the various colours were mesmerising to him. The barber milked these few treasured moments and did most of the hair cutting during this time.
But alas! All good things come to an end. Baby got impatient with the puzzle, and threw it right at yours truly. I ducked the missile. The cube hit the mirror but failed to shatter the glass. If it had hit my face, things could have been gory.
The barber now was a bit irritated. “Are you a bad boy? Say sorry to bhaiya. Otherwise Juju Buri will come at night and take you to a far, far land” The baby giggled. Rationale: Twenty first century babies don't buy this crap anymore.
I was through by the time the baby was done. As I paid the bill, I noticed the idiot barber handing the baby a little mirror. And, to my surprise, the brat was finally interested in his hair. He seemed a bit skeptical. The little fellow moved his head up and down, making funny faces all the time. I ruffled the baby's hair and hopped out onto the street.
Babies are cute, but handling one is tough management. As I vowed not to make my presence in 50 meter radius of any baby, my respect for mothers elevated to yet another new level. Mothers are the best managers the world has ever known.
By M H Haider
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