Life has completely changed in the past year and a half. There’s an endless list of things that we miss and took for granted before the new normal. Our mundane habits and routines topping the list. To keep up with our crazy fast-paced lives, there was one habit that would magically evaporate all our worries- the once-a-month visit to a barber’s shop. From a heavenly champi, to a sharp haircut, a visit to our friendly neighbourhood barber could never go wrong.
However, since the pandemic hit, a lot has changed with millions of people being affected. The barber community being one of them. That’s why, to help #GroomTheirFuture as they eventually reopen their businesses, Gillette has decided to continue with their ‘Barber Suraksha Programme’, while this time keeping the barber’s parivar in mind as well, as it becomes the ‘Barber Parivar Suraksha Programme.’
When I try to picture a barber’s shop, I cannot help but imagine a quiet neighbourhood, the fragrance of shaving cream mixed with chai, and a constant flow of smiling faces in and around the shop. Needless to say, this nostalgia right here is one of the reasons why a barber’s shop will always be an institution in our country.
And here are 4 reasons more:
1. A melting pot for the neighbourhood.
Every neighbourhood has an adda. In most cases, especially in non-metropolitan cities, it is the barber’s shop that becomes the adda – the ultimate hangout spot. You’ll find old men chit-chatting over chai while reading the newspapers, to young boys who come in and spike up their hair in front of the mirror. Needless to say, there’s always a friendly “Aur chaccha sab badiya?” before they scurry off with their buddies.
2. Throw in a therapy session while you get a shave.
Desi grandpa logic: why spend hundreds on therapy, when you can just let it all out in front of your barber? Added bonus? A cool herbal oil head massage while you let out all your feelings.
3. You can never miss out on an India-Pakistan match.
You know things are about to go down when you see a huge crowd outside the barber’s shop, the match’s on, and there’s pin-drop silence. Well, except for the guy who was in the middle of getting a shave, his head propped at an awkward angle – the straight razor inches away from his neck, trying his best not to exclaim with joy if a wicket falls.
4. If there’s no cricket, there are crime shows and lengthy philosophical conversations.
As we switched from the radio to the TV, if there wasn’t a match going on, there were crime shows. Suspenseful and real, that will have everyone in the shop at the edge of their seats. Followed by lengthy discussions on what’s going on in our country and how we’re to cope. But always ending in “Khair, hum kya kare” sighs while someone orders chai for everyone.
A barber’s shop will never lose its charm. However, the past year and a half have been difficult for all of us. Even the barber community of India was severely impacted by the pandemic. India is home to the largest barber community in the world where more than 50% of them work on a daily wage basis.
To do so, they are going to offer barbers from the community a Suraksha Insurance that ensures that they and their families are insured against COVID-19.
The Barber Parivar Suraksha Programme is setting an example while becoming a guiding light for the community of India. Check out the video below to see how they’re planning on changing lives.