I must confess that I absolutely love my monthly sojourns to the parlor. The biggest lure for me is the tranquility and pampering that really perks up the errr… spirits. And every single visit is filled with enlightening experiences. This was how the last visit transpired.
You see a great exchange of information happens in every parlor. A lady was trying to figure out what school to put her pre-schooler in (from a parlor girl/woman who has no kids). In 5 minutes flat, they were through
criticizing discussing all schools in the vicinity including the one that my kids go to. Ouch! By the end of it, the lady had already decided where her girl was going based on her own inputs, of course. The daughter meanwhile goes around calling everyone aunty and asking if they have chocolate. Luckily, I was in a different room so I was spared. These parlors are used to kids dropping in so they keep a stock happily. They oblige. Her voice sure sounded cute. I never got to see her face though. The tiny tot was surprisingly well versed in treatments that her mother undertook. She pronounced loudly that she will never get threading done ‘coz it hurts! Damn right, it does, little lady!
The conversations are okay for a bit but after a while I crave silence. After all, I am trying hard to relax here. My mind is doing Om chants in my bid to calm down. The lady’s massage seems to be weaving its magic while I try very hard to focus out the ladies and their chatter. I am almost on the verge of a deep meditative state when I hear a minor explosion. I jump out of my skin and almost out of the bed. What was that? Apparently, the lady on the adjacent bed felt a bit too relaxed. She seemed blissful, her eyes closed. I cannot for the life of me understand why people allow all their sphincters to relax?
That brings me to the next question – Why are some people comfortable in making these bodily noises in full public glare?I know of another lady who burps loudly and goes Hare Ram, Hare Ram immediately after a hearty meal! And she even smiles at your frown.
Eyes closed, I try hard to go back to a relaxed state again. Then, I hear a raspy voice of a lady who wanted her hair styled in a particular way – ironed and bobbed. Well the hairstyling lady was on leave that day. But another offered to iron her hair. This lady’s voice was very rough and sort of grated on the nerves. Then her phone rang. Its ring tone had the latest party hit that could wake up the dead. She smoothly lied to her boss, “I am at home. I am leaving in some time, Sir. Yes, I am going to Mr. X.” That done, she went back to lamenting about her ‘fine’ hair.
While my mind was jumping from one stimulus to another, the massage time is up. Sigh! It sure felt good but why could I not relax enough?
Sometime later, this nice parlor girl began a conversation with me. Normally, I do not go beyond a customary greeting. I just am not a chat all person. But this day, I politely answered some of her questions. She wanted to know if I had to go back to work. I said, “Yes!” If it helps, I added I work from home. And she asked what exactly I did. I said, “Content writer” and launched into a long explanation which she completely did not understand. But, she nodded. I had expected that reaction. Most people think it is a fancy job I have conjured out of my… errr imagination just to attach some importance to my boring existence. I mean, who does anything of value from home? Then we launched into a talk on girls and boys. She was being very candid when she said that she felt girls were expensive to raise. She had recently been married, and I could sense how helpless she felt about all the money her dad spent on her wedding. True facts of life served straight up. I could not deny that even though I reiterated that I would have loved to have a girl. And then she said, “Isn’t that the irony of life? Those who want and can afford it do not have girls?” I nodded in agreement. I must admit that I have often wondered the same.
A little while later, I headed out. The lady with the raspy voice was still getting her hair done. Let me tell you, she was a stunner in a red sari and a glamorous blouse. I nodded and gave her a sleepy smile. After the goodbyes, I headed out to my car!
PS: The parlor is also a place where beauty and skin care tips are doled out generously. Not only the girls but women generously start chipping in with home nuskhas and expensive treatments. The parlor girls mostly recommend products based on the commissions they get rather than their worth. Yet, women fall for their recommendations regularly.