beauty parlor

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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.



35 Thoughts on “A day at the beauty parlor!

  1. Such a fun post! I am not very fond of going to the parlour, but that doesn’t mean I never go there. For one, like you, I don’t get conversational with everyone. And I guess they understand that with my monosyllabic answers 😀 But yes, they always say weird stuff like, ‘there are gaps in your eyebrows’, ‘do something about the pimples’ and blah blah.
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  2. The massage sure seemed like a complete package 🙂 Next time, use the ear plugs.
    Jas recently posted…A Perfect DayMy Profile

  3. What a fun post Rachna. I enjoy my parlour visit and like you I much prefer silence. A pedicure and a massage feel oh-so-good in silence 🙂
    Veens @ Our Ordinary Life recently posted…Valentines day books we enjoy!My Profile

  4. I dread going to the parlour especially as the little girl said… threading puts me off the parlour. But yes the gossip that I get, keeps me entertained for days.
    I had been once to a parlour and there was a LMRA raid meaning a raid to find illegitimate employees. While the two employees scooted off through some secret door, myself and the owner remained. Luckily my swollen face and reddish eyes saved me Don’t know what happened to the owner, maybe she would have had to shut shop or must have been heavily fined. I never bothered to go there again
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  5. Having a massage at home should be fun and relaxing…right? But, most of the time the hubby or the kids have to take something from the room which they are in need of…urgently. Sigh! And what my massagewali does is a deep tissue desi massage which relaxes you after it is done…not during it. Most of the time I am clamping my mouth shut from screaming with pain.
    I mostly go to parlour for eyebrows and hair colour. And the place I go to is relatively quiet…but in Bangalore, it is like a fish market….literally.

    • hehe I tried the home parlor thing and gave up. It is too distracting and like you said, everyone wants something from that room itself :). Besides, the whole thing of getting away from home automatically relaxes me :). I avoid going on weekends mostly. Weekdays are generally quieter except a few times when it really was too noisy.

  6. haha Rachna … I miss my salon sojourns after shifting to electronics city… Just had my hair cut after months last week or so… my eyebrows become bushy but I feel too lazy to go…ofcourse there’s a parlor in office but it’s always crowded….And I know about the tips that these salon ladies give, earlier I would buy everything they recomended but I guess I have grown wiser now ! 😀
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    • Me too, Naba, about the bushy eyebrows bit. I get so lazy too about threading. I am so glad you are wiser to their tricks. They just peddle their expensive treatments on us poor hapless souls :).

  7. Ok, I’m not sure how I’m going to “viewed” if I say that I completely understand the little “escapade” that goes on the beauty parlour these days. Before you rush to judge me, let me tell you that we have a unisex salon/beautyparlour within our enclave, and hence that’s how I’ve been privy to all these wonderful titbits and gossip. But as you said, it is surely fodder for our blog!
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    • haha Sid! The parlor I go to is unisex as well but the male section is well separated so thank heavens they cannot overhear the women. However, they do give amused looks when the women go in and come out. Only once, I took my sons for a haircut on a weekday. Apparently there were two men who had a long list of stuff to be done and both the parlor men were engaged. I didn’t even know men got so many things done :). Sigh! I had to come back.

  8. Puhleeze do not talk of burping at least 🙂 That’s my bane too – and the hassle is it IS uncontrollable 🙂 When it happens to be my bad day, it will be so frequent that my entire conversation would only consist of apologies. So, yes, I too grin it off 🙂
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  9. As much as I love socializing, I feel the need to be silent and be in silent atmosphere, specially when I need to unwind. Sometimes you see people going out of the way to strike a conversation with us exactly at those times. that’s life 😉
    Ashwini C N recently posted…Conditions Apply!My Profile

    • Absolutely true, Ashwini! I prefer silence and I am not much of a small talker either. I prefer a book or music for company. And it gets on my nerves when some people just don’t take the hint. Thanks for reading!

  10. Interesting experiences. I was remembering my experience in capsule hotels in Japan where you stay the entire time, get messages done, avail of spa facilities etc. and even food is available. There are usually so many guests but the place is completely silent. People go around their business as if the others do not exist.
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  11. Quite a slice of life kind of post there! I must say, made for a tranquil read, even if you didn’t get to experience much of that at the parlour. 🙂
    Rickie recently posted…Aam Aadmi Ki MaajiMy Profile

    • hehe There are some great salons for men too, Rickie! But you guys (includes my husband) will just not try ;-)! These kind of places are fun places to observe. Though the chatter can get on your nerves sometimes. Thanks for reading!

  12. Saru Singhal on February 12, 2014 at 1:20 pm said:

    P. S. is so true and that’s why I never take their advice. Also, my visits are few and far between. Once in three months 😀 I admit, I have never been to any Salon but I want to. I hope I don’t get so many distractions when I pay a hefty fee to relax.

    I also agree, those who want/afford don’t have girls.

    • Yep, me too have learned with experience to pass everything they suggest :). I actually got regular after I had my kids, Saru! Seriously, I looked forward to getting away and some unwinding when they were younger. It was stressful. That girls bit is so true. I have pondered over it many a time. Thanks for reading!

  13. Beauty parlors and massage centres are a gold mine for blog posts and stories. I have never been able to relax or chat in a parlour. Like you I am not a chat person either.

    • So true, Alka! Uff the conversations and the different kinds of people who come is quite amazing. This place I go to I’ve been visiting for many years now. So, there is a sort of comfort with all the girls. One of them even had a baby whom she once brought to the salon. It sort of feels like an extended family now :). Yet, they know how to respect my privacy. Our chatters normally don’t go beyond a few minutes which I really appreciate.

  14. Parlours are teeming with life. You were 100 per cent right in introducing this post as a ‘slice of life’. And how well you have described your visit is not for me to tell you any more. 🙂 Wishing you peace and calm in your next visit.
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  15. Rachna,

    Though I do not know about happenings in Ladies Parlour, but could well visulise as it seemed a lot like GUPSHUP in Gents Hair Cutting Saloon. Humorous with a lot of wit.

    Take care

  16. I hate, and I mean HATE, getting my eyebrows done. So I don’t… except once a year. And then it hurts like the dickens… so I don’t go for another year. Errr…. whatever!

    The massage is good but I can’t get a massage without the eyebrows- I’d feel as if I wasted a trip. So I’ve learned to do without the massage. Anything to avoid the threading. I totally hate it!

    And I too detest the noise. After all, silence is part of the package, isn’t it? I gone so far as to request for silence. 😀
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  17. Love the parlour for the hair massage otherwise yes, I limit the services as well 🙂 and like you prefer not to chat, not knowing the local language works a lot in my favour 😛

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