The Barber Shop

Going to a barber in Jhik is so much more than simply getting your hair cut. You step into the one room shop, off the road and instantly you are in a different world. Here, time means nothing; there is no clock, no bells and no people to tell you where you need to be. Nothing calls you elsewhere and within minutes you forget about time altogether.
The birds chirp outside and smells of shaving cream and other toiletries float around the room. The barber continues talking with the others in the room, laughing and exchanging jokes. You feel a part of their world, listening to them talk and argue with each other of politics or local happenings. However, at the same time you are detached. The dialogue goes on without you and there is no need to speak or to carry on a conversation. Sitting in the chair as your hair is being cut, you feel at ease, listening to them, without speaking—simply enjoying the scene around you.
Even the physical act of the hair cutting is relaxing and almost therapeutic. The gentle clicking of the scissors and manipulation of the hair almost lulls you to sleep as you sit back, closing your eyes and simply enjoying the experience. The spray of the water sprinkles your head before being rubbed into your hair, dripping down your head. Even the razor tickles as it is edged along the back of your neck and around the ears.
When all is done, the barber takes out a towel and rigorously ruffles your hair as, for a moment you seem lost amidst the towel. He then follows up with a head massage, rubbing deep into the scalp and with hard but controlled blows. Knocking your head around, he finishes with a hard squeeze of the muscles in the back of your neck to leave you with a tingling sensation. This whole experience leaves you almost senseless; relaxed and dazed.
You manage to lift yourself out of the chair and onto the bench where others await their haircuts and beard-trims before being given a steaming cup of tea. For a few minutes you sit there, drinking the tea, hot and sweet which runs down your throat and stimulates your relaxed and contented brain. Then you pay the charge, shake the barber’s hand, and step back out into the street; back into a world of time, movement, work and business. And like one who wakes up from a good dream, you trod along the road back home, nostalgic with a happy smile spread across your face.