I thought that these were restricted only to the fancy 5-star hotels and upmarket parlors in huge cities, something that was restricted to experimental movies like "Everybody says I am fine". But it is not so.

My neighborhood barber also it seems runs a uni-sex shop. I turn up this morning for my usual once a month trim and what do I find? There is this huge company of girls(actually there are only two), but here they are all giggling and stuff. One of them was getting something done to her hair with lots of bottles of lotion and stuff like that on the table and the other was viewing it from every direction possible and talking incessantly all the time.

Now I am a very reasonable man. I understand the need that women feel to talk continuously and always giggle but I also need my space. And my friendly Salim bhai Naaiwaale's shop is part of that space. I don't know about other men, but I like my haircuts. Cos I do not have much of a hair-style, all I do is turn up and Salim bhai does the rest. But that half-hour is very relaxing to me. Infact I just close my eyes(and sometimes dose off), enjoy the experience like a ritual for me.

Today that space was violated. I am no hater of women but there are some places where they just cannot be. I understand that both the sexes are equal but then they can be equal in their own spaces. I always thought that women used to get their hair done in the local beauty-parlor's, spending hours and hours. Now you can't do that in a barber shop. Come on the guy charges the bare minimum and so he's got to cut through as many people, Sorry!!! cut through the hair of as may people as possible in a day at the same time ensuring each one comes back the next time as well.

I have always been in awe of the skill of my barber friends and complimented them too. I have been so fascinated about them that they have served as the inspiration for my first poem which was good enough to get published. When I went for my first haircut(or mundan) as they call it, I was the only one who didn't cry but actually enjoyed myself, smiled and had a conversation with the barber(in baby tongue of course). So you see my association with barbers and their art is very long indeed. I have had only two barbers all my life, Ashok bhai and Salim bhai. And they were both chosen with a lot of care and precision. This was done to ensure my half-hour tryst with peace every month. So when that half-hour is ruined and I have to wait another month for it, then I am an angry man. Salim bhai got hell.

So here is an earnest request to all you ladies out there. Please stick to your beauty parlor's with the frosted windows where no one will see you and no one will be disturbed by you. Give me the half-hour of peace to which I look forward to for a whole month. Please.