This place is buzzing. I wonder how so many of these women could give up on the most precious thing in this world- D Sunday morning sleep….
I am at a plush unisex salon. It’s that part of Mumbai where every inch of real estate matters. I observe the details of its utilitarian interior designs. Each corner being given its due importance, vertical placements, foldable equipments, smart merchandizing- Loreal and Wella screaming that they are the biggest in the market from smallest of the surfaces!
I am waiting for someone… anyone to get free. To give you a background- today, I am the snapdeal girl (the type of clientele who has already paid up and got a big discount anyways. So every staff’s eyeball says I had to wait!). I don’t mind , as if I had a choice:P.
I look around.
The staff roaster reads all “Present”- no SL/CL. Some Renita came in late though! :) They are all dressed in smart black trousers and shirts, with a Red Apron, well equipped and ready with their gear: scissors- small and big, combs- thin and thick, gels and serums. Their hair spiked , highlighted with audacious colors. Some have their eyebrows pierced and some their tongues .
I shift my focus to the clientele. Three chairs in a row, three women belonging to a different age box , staring at the spotless mirror ahead. It looks like a confused contrast of colors spilled over a canvas….
Her small feet move freely in air on the red leather chair. She is wearing a bright yellow polka dotted frock. Light green, blue veins show up from below the thin tender skin of her wrists… must be in her pre teens. She gives perfect instructions about the nail art she wanted post pedicure- the length of the nails, the colour of petals, the pseudo wet look . She was pepped up, excited may be about the latest crush at school . I wondered , how ignorant we were back then- for us it was an achievement if only we could apply our mom’s lipstick stored high up ,in inaccessible drawer .
The next chair was occupied by a regular client. Probably rich, definitely hefty, she wore expensive stones in almost all visible parts of her body. Looked as if she had the entire day and enough credit limit on her cc to help the salon achieve its weekly revenue target. She started with a pedicure. I could also see the most experienced guy was servicing her, he knows - I am assuming better than her husband what she liked, which nerves to press , the pascals of pressure to apply, the texture of scrub that suited her. There was no hurry to reach anywhere, no excitement to please anyone but herself. She stared in the void…The life in her eyes, was lost somewhere between the mascara and the kaajal. There was a dullness- abundance of money and age had brought with it…someday I will be there- with wrinkles and that day may be I will have the time and money to buy expensive antiwrinkle technology .
The third one was the corporate chick, may be in early thirties. The one who is always in a hurry, the type A personality. The one who destroys 22 loooong days of their life slogging- so that she can buy self assurances of pampered feet on 4 short weekends..compressing her life and building mirages that when she earns enough, one day she will quit. She was too pre occupied to enjoy the pedicure her money bought for her.
Three women three pedicures. For a moment the salon looked like a factory- where machines were being serviced. Some machines brand new…some worn out. This parlor , every office, each home- a circle of perpetual production and consumption, the same machines sometimes producing, sometimes consuming and in the end …all that we are left with is a pair of happy feet...Oh , there's someone calling me for my pedicure... let me also get happy , my foot!