It was the first week of his business. But well, it was obviously not his dream job.
Do people really ever get one of those, he wondered as he chopped hair all day, all afternoon, all evening.
How he wished he had an hour to breathe.
Sometimes he would lie to his customers and tell them that the beard suited their face or they looked like Vinod Khanna in that long hair; just so that he would have less work and a whole afternoon to rest in the dark brown cushioned chair.
Some days he would come to store a bit early, to clean the shelves and place the hair colours and shampoos and products in perfect order. The most expensive ones facing the street, so that the passer-by would know, this was the hip places to get your hair trimmed.
Now, thirty one years later, free afternoons are all he has. The dark brown cushion has somehow turned to cream cloth now, with shreds of brown leather peeping from here and there. The high chair hurts his back nowadays. He prefers the plastic chair by the door.
So that he can look at people in the streets. People who now go to fancier salons where they pay more than what he earns in a month.
But what can he do? All he knew was to cut hair and shave beards and massage bald heads. And more importantly he was proud. Proud enough to never work in those fancy places and have a 20 something in blue hair and 11 tattoos as his boss.
So there he was, in that plastic chair which was wobbly on one side, looking out of Novelty Saloon. The hair colours, shampoos and shaving creams stare at him from the display window. They are years past their expiry, you can hardly make our the brand names from under the dust. The boxes that have seen more governments than yourself are now simply waiting to be discarded.
How easily can Novelty turn to Nobody, he wondered, as people passed by his shop, not once entering that half opened door. The door that he always kept open, just in case.