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Regular-article-logo Thursday, 18 July 2024

Locks down in lockdown

A wife offers a blow-by-blow account of her dangerous attempt to cut the spouse’s hair

Anasuya Basu Published 27.05.20, 06:00 PM

Lockdown 4.0 and the locks are hanging limply, drenched in sweat, long grown out of the style they were cut in, striking a vague resemblance with some poets of yore. While the Americans and some others got their salons and haircutters to open shop, here in Calcutta, though beauty parlours have been allowed to open with social distancing in place, the shearers are still indoors.

So apart from being the cleaning woman, the cook, the provider, one has to doff the hat of a hair-cutter. Talk of being atmanirbhar. From Amazon arrives a package which yields a clipper made in and transported from China. It is doused in sanitiser and put on charge as I educate myself on YouTube on how to cut the spouse’s hair, following a lecture by the spouse himself. “Instead of gazing at senseless videos, learn how to use the clipper,” he had thundered. He had not liked his resemblance to the poets of yore.

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YouTube wisdom

So I watched an American lady who did a David Beckham on a model and I thought that was the easiest thing to do in the world. Hold the clipper and swoop down on the hair in the direction opposite to the hair growth. Just shave off everything from the rear, pull the ear out and get some of those sideburns right off, but leave the top alone. Well, that’s easy.

Then I turned to a video of an Indian woman cutting a boy’s hair. That video talked of the uses of combs of various size that need to be attached to the razor to give you the length of the hair you want to cut. There are 3 mm, 6 mm-toothed combs and more. While you can use the clipper to shear off the hair all around the head, the top hair is done best with a pair of scissors. This is very important, as my experience later in the day would teach me.

Vengeance was mine

But quite tempted to wreak vengeance on the head that was being offered to, I debuted. With overgrown locks, one needs to be patient. First it’s quite confusing when the hair on the nape of the neck twists into the hair below — you wouldn’t know which way to move the clipper. But with the whirr of the battery, a spray of salt and pepper hair spreading thickly all over the spousal back and I wielding the weapon, it was all quite exhilarating. I then pulled out his ears, first the left, then the right, as the clipper worked and the skull and the shape of the head became clearer. Then I paused. Maybe it’s time to take out the scissors as I approach the top of the head? But the clipper is so easy, it’s fast, it’s helping me to rid off all that hair in one go. But that, I would realise, would be the undoing.

Going blank

But it was not my fault alone. Feeling the weight of unkempt hair coming off so easily, the spouse too egged me on. Just follow the style and move the clipper over the top. And out came a bunch of hair from the head top leaving a gaping hole. Shucks, there was no way I could even repair that without shaving his head off completely. Not realising why I stopped, the unsuspecting man said; “Good, go on, do it to the rest of the head.” So I did. I had no choice. And the result was a cleanly shaven head.

A look at the mirror and the thunders rolled. Every member of the quiet lockdown neighbourhood heard that he had a shaved head before they got a dekko. Out came the collection of baseball caps to hide my handiwork. But I am raring to go again next time.

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