I don’t like going to parlours. Apart from office and dentists I can’t think of any place I like going to less. The thought of strange women with clammy hands pummelling and pulling and doing all other manners of excruciating things on various parts of one’s anatomy is not quite my idea of a fun time. As an aside, I am completely fascinated by the legendary ladies who go to parlours once in two days – they must have a particularly masochistic strain in them.
However, I am reconciled to the fact that since I am female I cannot go around with Chinese whiskers and a French beard. Also, all these conniving, waxed, metrosexual types shame one into the periodic visit. Thus, I go to the salon, once every month/couple-of-months/once-in-three-months/till-people-start-lending-me-burkhas.
So anyways, today was the day ( after procrastinating for a month) that I had decided I would groan and bear it like a (wo)man.
The next task was to identify the salon.
Now salons are like dentists. Once one is stuck with a half decent place, one doesn’t change unless under considerable duress. The salon people, like dentists are also equipped with various instruments of torture – so the old cliché of a known devil, is particularly apposite.
Thus, for the first few months after shifting to Pune, I stubbornly clung to the old salon in Mumbai. A few months of this and I regretfully realized that it was not always possible to manage a parlour visit in my quick trips to the city.
So we come to Pune, and I go to the highly recommended (and consequently exorbitant) famous-brand-salon. Famous-brand-salon is quite infamously mind-numbingly slow - painstaking they would have us believe, but really, excruciatingly slow. Each activity was carefully orchestrated and choreographed for maximum effect – the instruments were laid out, the napkins had to be kept in just that particular angle, the cotton swabs needed to be absolutely round – quite reminiscent or brain surgery rather than a salon treatment. I vastly prefer quick and brutal pain/death than the slow, lingering variety.
So that was the end of that.
Then I found another parlour quite conveniently located in the same building – reasonably, clean, quick and efficient – so that worked for a while. Then after a few months the lease ran out and they had to shift out of the place. I went to the new location for a while, but apparently the owner has not managed to pull in enough of her clients and none of the assistants are willing to go to the new location, so the place has shut down.
So we come to today - I search on the net and find one – suitably close to my house.
Go there; get all the painful stuff done and over with.
Then, as a belated birthday present to self and because I have been suffering from a niggling pain (from a bad catch) in the back which is just not going away, I decide to get a back massage. Something which I have almost never done in the past and after today, am pretty sure I will never do in the future.
So all is going well, there I am, feeling reasonably relaxed, the back pain is better, and am quite somnolent on the trolley.
And then suddenly - I find that the dame who is massaging me, is on the top of the trolley straddling me from both sides.
Promptly all traces of sleep vanish and the relaxed back muscles spring right back into the earlier knotted condition. At one point when she is trying to reach my neck - well, let me put it this way, if a divorce lawyer was to see us then, he would have had no hesitation in labelling it as er..a compromising position.
While this happening, one part of my brain is planning (wildly improbable) escape routes, another part is squeaking vocal but very ineffective protests (and there is not much one can do when imprisoned in that fashion by a muscular lady sitting on one’s back and shoving one’s face on the trolley) and another part of my idiot renegade brain is rolling on the floor chortling at my predicament.
Soon she is doing some form of convoluted dance meets voodoo thing which is completely surreal – which involves waving her hands a couple of centimetres away from the back which besides being definitely ticklish and uncomfortable is also plain damn weird.
Ah well. I live to tell the tale, with my er..honour intact. Back to shopping for another parlour. Sigh.