The Waiting Corner

A lot of things have changed around us over the last decade or so. I can’t imagine where people went for coffee 15 yrs back because there was no Cafe Coffee Day or Barista. Shopping experience is no more on a road overflowing with people bargaining their lungs out, but in a Mall, over flowing with people (some things never change). This list also includes transition of cinemas to multiplex and the arrival of 20-20 in cricket.

While all these things were changing, our good old barber shops made way for hi-fi salons, having hair stylists instead of barbers, wearing matching uniforms. You are greeted as soon as you enter and are requested  to wait in such a manner, that you feel waiting is a privilege. The waiting lounge has a comfortable sofa and trendy magazines. In comparison, when you entered the old barbershops the floor would be dirty, the barber would say “sir abhi time lagega, wait karna padhega”, as if to say “our way or the high way” straight out of The Matrix.  There would be a waiting corner equipped with a single uncomfortable bench, sitting on which made you feel punished. Invariably a friend of one of the barbers would be sitting on the bench with a hindi news paper, gossiping about whatever he reads.

On one of my recent visits to the local barber I noticed some peculiar behaviour and started wondering whether others also feel the same or not. So on my last trip, I entered the shop and was asked to wait in the waiting corner where the barber’s friend was already sitting. As I sat on the bench (punishment for coming late), it made a creaking sound as if to tell me “Bhaagne ki koshish ki toh……” and I saw corroded nails surrounding me ( the barber’s goon had got me trapped, bollywood personified).  I had no choice but to wait so I picked up a Hindi newspaper and began to read. My first observation came when I was called by the barber for my turn and I realised that I had been reading the paper for the last 20 mins.  It had me hooked with stories about wives beating husbands and whacky celebrity gossip. Why did i get so lost reading the paper? Did it have something to do with the place? Why else would I be interested in such stupid things??? I brushed the thought aside and sat on the barber’s chair.

The barber started cutting my hair and switched on the TV, turning to the local channel showing movies. Sanam Bewafa was playing and Salman Khan was on the screen. This immediately started a debate between the barbers and the friend about how real is Salman’s body and is it better than SRK‘s body. One of them said “yeh sab camera ke effects hain asli body toh Sarukh ka hai”, the other countered with, “Arey Salman ka body toh bahut saal se hai, Sarukh ne toh abhi banaya hai” then suddenly my barber turn to me and says “Sir aap batao aapko toh pata hoga”. I didn’t know how to react to that. I just shrugged and wondered why they thought I would know this. Was it my paunch that had given them an illusion of a 6 pack???

The debate ended thanks to a dramatic scene in the film which caught everyone’s attention. Pran was telling his son to calm down and not get carried away in the heat of revenge. He said that revenge will be taken but the way he suggests. Then he asks his son the whereabouts of his dog (I am serious). The movie shifts to another scene and everyone gets back to work except me (duh…I didn’t have any work). In the next scene a bunch of boys are playing football and the ball goes into some bushes. One of the boys goes to pick up the ball and is attacked by a ferocious dog. The boy dies on the spot and his body is brought back to Salman’s house where everyone is devastated by the incident. Somehow nobody is surprised how Pran got his dog to kill the kid.

The next scene answered why. In the next scene Pran’s son is celebrating the kid’s death with a private dance performance from an item girl. The lyrics were “Angoor ka dana hoon, mujhe sui na chubha dena, sui jo chubhai toh ras tapkega, main kiss……main kissmiss ban jaungi”. I was amazed at the educational song but just then a horse (Yes, you read it right) entered the scene of the movie and started hitting Pran’s son till he was dead. At this point my barber told me that my haircut was done, but I didn’t wanna get up. I was so engrossed in the film and wanted to see if the two families had any more pets. This interest would not have developed had I been at home (which was my second observation). Hell, I wouldn’t even be watching the film if I was at home. Then why was I so interested in the film at the shop.

May be there is something about the good old barber shop which made Hindi newspapers addictive and crappy Hindi movies so damn interesting.


17 thoughts on “The Waiting Corner

  1. Hey man,

    Go easy on the paunch !! Even that guy Masand from “Masand ki Pasand” has it ! Maybe its a movie critic thing .. he he 😉

  2. Good stuff…

    Next time ask (yes ask) them to tune you to the channel playing a Rajnikant flick.

  3. bhatia, i must appreciate ur observation power and specially the way u narrate it..really yaar..while reading, i felt myself in the barber shop watching the movie…its such a common experience but never cared to do a “post purchase evaluation” :-))..also referring to our MOC (Shidharta Sharma) faculty, u must consider blogging as ur profession…keep on blogging

  4. Haan to bhatia ji…when u askd me to read it i thought kaun padhe yaar bahut lamba h(d blog..:P) bcoz i actually dnt read a lot…but m really lucky tht i read it was fun and i cud easily relate it to my n no. of experiences at barbers’ shop…i was impressed by ur communication skills as i had already mentioned it but now i must say u ve got gr8 writing skills too…dis was better than IMT’s blog…keep up d good work man…looking fr more n next time u’ll nt hav to push me….n 1 last thing please do smthng of ur “PAUNCH” oderwise u know d eligibility criteria…..:D

  5. I have read each of your write ups but this one is special for me as being a surdy I never got a chance visit a barber’s shop….but yes after reading it I feels i hv been to these kinda places so many times….very well written…keep up with the good work….

  6. very well depiction . I felt like watching movie. Being a mad fan of hindi movies looking forward to watch SANAM BEWAFA again 🙂
    aur yaar, Durodhan (Puneet issar) kaa dance wid the kiss miss was rib- tickling.lyrics to bemisaal hai .

  7. Depiction of movie was so well , i felt like movie is going on before me . Being a mad fan of hindi movies looking forward to watch Sanam Bewafa again. aur yaar , Watching Duryodhan(Puneet Issar) with an amazing dancer(God bless her ;)) was fun. Lyrics to mind blowing hai !!!!

  8. Its just funny how the same Ankur who openly criticizes the likes of Mani Ratnam gets so deeply involved in a movie that he himself describes as nothing more than a pet-fight! But then, those who know you well enough also know that for you it has always been about finding happiness in small little things in life… Be it kicking the water tank multiple times with the accompanying sounds getting louder each time, getting scolded by some random guy on a scooter for it (who probably has nothing to do with the water tank or even the college) to watching crappy movies trying to kill time at the Barber shop!! Well written… Keep it up!

  9. Every blog of yours in some way or the other revolves around your undying love for cricket, cinema, friends and Homer Simpson (or some character from the TV set).
    “The corroded nails surrounding me” reminded me of Gulliver’s Travels dunno why though 😛
    The paunch has become a matter of concern in the recent times and the subconscious is getting it highlighted in your blog.
    I have noticed a television set in a Mens Salon for many years and now your blog is making me think that I have never seen it in a women’s parlour…strange but true..

  10. Mere time toh humesha.. C.I.D. chal raha hota hai.. aur woh log aaram se late ke punjab kesari padh rahe hote hai.. aur har baari daya kam se kam 2 darwaaze toh thodhta hi hai..

  11. very well written….sometimes i felt that it may be just too personal with me that i read whole hindi newspaper even does not bothered about my turn…but reading your blog…i can say this thing is more common…keep writing..

  12. Arre mast yaar ….. I am sure that there are many people who second your opinion…… those type of movies are the best time pass one can have in such places……. maza aa gaya….. I can totally relate to those waiting corners since i have been holed there so many times…… awesome yaar …… par homer also drinks a lot of beer :p

  13. good as it can get actually…i love spending time in a barber shop once in a month (two will be too much of a time wastage actually)..very very well written this time…this is a transition..u shud write more often on such small lil things in life..

  14. padhke scene ek dum clr ho gaya…n wid u sanam bewafa ho ya koi aur movie, u wil b glud to it:P

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