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A Day in the Du

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Haircut- Luke PenderEvery day on my way home from work I pass a shopfront with the word ‘haircuts’ simply planted on its awning. I am greeted by Siyram Thakur a man with an endearing smile and like clockwork he invites me to come inside. He stands there smiling shouting “Sir, Sir haircut!” and points to his chair making a scissors sign with his fingers.

I usually smile, nod and keep walking, but this time I thought why not. I made my way to his shop, passing under the subtle ‘haircuts’ sign I felt like a lamb trotting into the den of a lion, as he whispered “it will be ok.”

I sat in my seat and began to tell Siyram how much of my hair I wanted cut off, using my trusty finger as my unit of measurement. He scratched his head as we both realised our relationship had got off to a rocky start.

Then in a stroke of genius he calls for his son “Nabin, Nabin.”  Now here comes his son a strapping young lad and more importantly the only bi-lingual one of the three of us. I explain to Nabin my predicament and he quickly gives me the head shake of understanding.

Now we are cooking with gas, as he reaches for the clippers I hope they understood me, as unfortunately you cannot glue the hair back on.  He begins to move my head around like a rag doll, giving me a timely smile every couple of minutes or so in reassurance.

The Hairdressers is the place where you unwind and discuss all the good gossip, like they do in the movies right? Well there wasn’t much common gossip between Siyram and I as I found out he indeed had not been keeping up with the Kardashians.

Hailing from Terai Mahottari, Siyram has been cutting hair for 27 years.  I asked if this was always what he wanted to do.  He looked at me and said “I don’t really mind what my job is, I just want to make money for my children to have a better life”. His proudest moment would be cutting President Ram Baran Yadav’s hair when he was the minister for health.

I have to say I had a blast, got a great haircut and I now have the sharpest moustache line in all of Kathmandu, not to mention the surprise massage I received. I did ask if I was his favourite ever customer, he told me “no”.

 Luke Pender 


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5 Responses to “A Day in the Du”

  1. vidrohi keta on Says:

    pray tell me, what is the point of this particular blog? it is not particularly insightful or even entertaining. if this is the kind of second-rate blogging that nepali times will publish then i’m going back to reading kathmandu post. it seems that any has-been, know-nothing white person will get space in nepali times. seriously, there is nothing of substance here.

  2. Karen Goderie on Says:

    Mr Vidrohi Keta – why this is a light weight article – I don’t think the racist comment ” know nothing white person” did you any favours either

  3. niekrijs on Says:

    @vidrohi_keta Any place you find people nagging about nice posts like these! Enjo and spend your time on important matters!
    I liked the post!

  4. hajam on Says:

    A shave, message, and haircut are not worth Rs. 300 in total. Last time I got one (last week) it only cost me Rs.100. Maybe Kathmandu barbers charge more than the Patan one’s, or there is a tourist price for haircuts as well.

  5. Dhani on Says:

    Guys! Siyram was just trying to make extra 300 rupees here by inviting a foreigner and giving his blog worthy haircut. Every body is a winner here, barber got the money and writer got his blog, and we all got to read it. By the way, all of these was done voluntarily

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