The story of my haircut.
Day : June.27, 2011
“When in Rome, do as the ROMANS do“. This is a famous saying we have been conversant with since our childhood. The saying goes very true for it has serious repercussions. I have been at the receiving end quite often. I had a hilarious experience last week on Jun.22, 2011.
I had taken a leave for some personal work and was at home running errands. I managed a free time and decided to get a decent haircut. I normally visit a barber who is some distance away from my home, but this day due to the hectic schedule; I decided to visit the nearest barber. Yes, the nearest barber just opposite the mosque. I made my way to the shop at sharp 10:37 am. He was sitting on one of the customers chair reading the newspaper. The moment I saw him I remembered the “Barber’s semaphore” which we have learned way back during our college days and which is the basis for queuing theory. Applying the barber’s semaphore to this particular barber; I felt there was no need to apply the logic since he had virtually no customer and the worst case could be that of one customer receiving the haircut and the other sitting on the bench.
I was immediately pulled out of my logical daydreaming by the call of the barber who beckoned me to sit on the extreme right chair. His call sounded like that of a butcher who calls his prey to lure into the death trap and then deliver the death blow. I did not know the aftermath of what was to come.
I sat in his execution chair and explained to him what I wanted, how I wanted my hairs to be cut. I dunno whether he understood any bit of my instructions because I saw him busy cleaning his instruments and getting ready for the job. Yes, a job he despised, I guess; because he was going about it in a mechanical way. He got me ready for the haircut and he was pretty doing well, for I knew he was getting close to what I wanted. So near and yet so far. Still some more cropping to be done. I was very much near the finish line. Now I had a pause for he was getting his blade to get my offshoots trimmed up. I pulled my hand out of the cloth covering and touched the back of my head. This is one region I am particular about. I felt I should get a little more cropping at the back of my head. I turned my head so as to get a clear view of the back of my head in the rearview mirror. Yes, I really felt some more cropping was required. I said him in my Malayalam “Kurachu koodi kurakyaan unde”. I was satisfied I could convey my message to him clear and right. Guess what happened next.
He did not see my hand placed at the back of my head. I said you before he despised his job. This was the last straw for him that of a customer asking him to do it properly. He took out the trimmer machine, placed it in the socket. I should now say the execution chair power source. He started the machine with a whrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!! The next I knew was that in 3 seconds he had trimmed all the hair on my head even the slightly longer ones at the front and the top of my head. I was stunned, rooted to the chair; did not know what to say and what to do. You know but God has given me immense patience and I knew I could never scold or rebuke the barber. My brotherly instincts which God has loaded me so much with immediately took over and I kept quiet and silent knowing not what to do. Like Jesus said when he was being crucified, I said to myself “Lord, forgive him for he knows not what he has done”.
He sensed my uncomfortability and he knew he had done something wrong. His business skills took over now. He immediately said “Saare, avide irunollu, njan ipol varaam”. He went inside brought some cream and massaged it all over my head. I was helpless for he was doing this job well. I sat quietly and enjoyed the massage he gave me. I could see the smile return to his face, because he knew he had averted a confrontation. SO there my friends, there goes the story of my haircut.
When I said “When in Rome, do as the ROMANS do”, i really meant it. Since it was my Malayalam that did me in. He did not understand what I meant, I felt he understood what I said.
Yes, my syntactically incorrect Malayalam was throwing exceptions in his compiler and I did not have a proper exception handler. He took over from what was deciphered and he executed his job, clinically perfect for he did not get a beating nor did I get angry.
God knew much before I came into this world, that this guy gotta have a lot of patience and he beefed me up with loads and loads of patience. I dunno when my compiler or somebody else’s compiler is gonna fail when I deliver my next program in Malayalam. Will keep you informed on the next compiler error, until then….