20 March 2016


Doctor inside a saloon:
The retired doctor would choose Thursdays or IPL match days or when India would be playing a cricket match for his hair cut days. Actually Indians become patriotic on three occasions 1. August 15th because it’s a holiday and someone gave them independence and left a colonial game to celebrate 2.when they go out of the country and 3rd.when man in blue plays a cricket match against any country more so against Pakistan.
 A curfew scenario and atmosphere can be observed and felt in the town and market places during any cricket match when Indian would be playing. Some people perform ‘Jagyan’ to show off their patriotism before the media camera. Even the film stars, models, business man and politicians stop working on those match days and go to stadium to market their respective business and face. The icons are asked to sing national anthem for an undisclosed amount as if school girls or anyone else can’t sing it.
So our doctor left home exactly at 19:15 hours for the hair cut. The roads were deserted in the capital city of Odisha. The stray dogs and bulls were happily occupying their respective places under the trees. They too could know that a match is in progress.
The saloon had a vacant look with only the middle aged man skipping some raunchy photograph pages from an old film magazine. There was no TV in that shop.
“Why no customer?” asked the grey haired doctor.
“Don’t you follow cricket? You are a strange person! The whole country is tense and awake because of India vs. Pakistan match and you have come for a hair cut?”While offering a revolving chair the hair dresser said.
“If you keep a TV then you have customers. So you can have good business too.” the retired doctor suggested before the dresser put the apron on his chest and tied it on his neck.
“Yes, we had a small TV, but during last world cup tournament one of the ruffians smashed it because India lost the match. ‘This is an inauspicious TV’, the boy said. From then on I have decided not keep any TV in the saloon”. After spraying the hairs with water the dresser asked-“Sir, should I put on the AC?”
“But will be ten rupees extra.”
“Done, but don’t you follow cricket?”The doctor looking at his distorted image in the mirror said.
“Earlier I was interested but once the fixing and selling of cricket match was known, I lost interest. They are cheating us like politicians because win or lose they get in crores at our cost.  No more do they play for the country, they play for money. We are fools to watch this foolish game.” In one breath the saloon man said.
While watching his retched wrinkles on the face and the grey hairs, the doctor was surprised to know the logic of the hair dresser which was very much similar to that of his own. There were some fireworks in the nearby apartment.
“You have trimmed my hairs too much, looks like we meet again after three months”. While handing over the currency notes to the dresser the doctor said.

Sanjoy Kumar Satpathy

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