When the mite goes for a hair cut to the 'smiling auntie' of the Lovely Beauty Parlour near our house, the Brat Girl and I also end up having our hair trimmed. 'Smiling auntie' is used to see us troop in once a month. The mite makes an aweful fuss about cutting his hair. At first he would kick and scream through out the episode and both of us would be covered with hair and the smiling auntie's hair would be standing on end. Then started a slow process of befriending of the fiend. Smiling auntie (SA) would smile at the mite while he went to and from the corner store with me daily. We met the SA quite often as she went to her shop, or as she relaxed outside it. Now the mite has calmed down considerably. He lets the SA put a cover around him, so we don't come back completely coated with a thick layer of hair. But the mite refuses to get ogg my lap so some of the hair falls on me and I get hopelessly hairy! Then I say to the SA - since I am full of hair to why don't you trim my hair too, to which the Brat Girl says "mine too" and we all end up having our hair cut! This time ofcourse, the SA asked the Brat to get a trim which will help her hair grow thicker...The SA is quite reasonable too 25 Rs for the kids' cut and Rs 50 for me so for 100Rs all 3 of us have had our monthly trims! I went to the SA for her 'froot facial' too and she is good! I generally hate the idea of someone pawing my face and I absolutely detest holding my face in the steam. Had a facial done before my wedding and I had sworn never to have another one done. However, the SA gently cajoled me into having one done. It was refreshing and she has one of those blow on steamers that gently blow the steam on the face and you do not have to risk scalding your face!
It was at the SA's that I noticed how important the extended 'aaa' is in the local lingo. A girl came and said she wanted a blunt cut "blunt cut aaa?" asked the SA as if that 'aaa' adds new meaning to the blunt cut, yes says the girl. Another person wants waxing to be done " waxing aaa? " says SA and so it goes on "eyebrows aaa?" "facial aaa" . Then sitting there with multani mitti drying on my face I recall the numerous "right aaa?"s "left aaa?"s and "straight aaa?" s that I heard from the auto wallahs. In fact my mom insists on adding the 'aaa' when she gives directions to the auto driver and funnily then they do not ask that question again with an extended 'aaa'. Now I know the true significance of pronouncing the names of Rama, Laxmana, Ravana in this manner- clearly this practice originates in these parts.