Barber, Poetry and Mathematics -Devapriya

posted Jul 5, 2012, 11:01 AM by A Billion Stories
Today, early morning, I decided to have my haircut and at 0730 hrs I
went to a nearby saloon. After a brief wait in a queue, I was called
in by the Chief Barber. He readied me for haircut and looked at me if
I had any instructions for a suitable haircut.

Me: Yes, only sides to be trimmed.
Barber: Ok, Sir!
[I smelt, he would have been drunk previous night. But, he appeared
quite composed. ...]

Barber: Are you a poet, Sir?
[I was surprised ! What might have made him think so?! I wondered.]

Me: Occasionally I write poems...but I don't publish...
Barber: Do you recite them in your freinds' circle at least?
[I was taken aback! He was getting too close... I thought...]

Me: No, unless urged upon...
Barber: Do you sing, Sir?!
[I got a bit annoyed...]

Me: Why don't you concentrate on your job?
Barber: Sorry, Sir, if I annoyed you.
[I felt a bit low on myself...]

He showed the back of my head through a mirror, after he thought he had completed his work.

Barber: Is that O.K., Sir?
[I found a bit longer hairs in the middle lower portion of my back

Me: Hey, that portion has longer hairs... I had asked for
trimming the sides!
Barber: Sir, I have made your look like that of an occasional

Me: What the Hell... ?
Barber: Sir, your hair style you had before the haircut made me
guess you must be closer to a professional poet!!!

Me: I had told you I am not a professional poet... and, by
the way, why the Hell I should project my profession by my hair-style? Even if I were a professional poet, I would rather prefer to look normal.
Barber: You are absolutely normal, Sir! I have left on you a look
of an occasional poet, Sir!

I thought, there is no point in prolonging argument with him and
decided to pay the charges. He demanded Rs.50/- for the haircut. I
paid it instantly, and came out of the small saloon, telling him
with a grin and low voice that I was a professional mathematician.
He was excited to hear that and rushed behind me saying

Barber: Oh! What a great surprise, Sir!! I too did my M.Sc. and
M.Phil. in Mathematics, Sir!!!
Do come to the shop once again Sir! I will give you a mathematician's look, Sir!

With that last jolt, I hurried back home... wondering what could be
that haircut that would give me a mathematician's look!

Suddenly, I remembered, I was in Mysore.... and I will be leaving
the place in a week's time... and it would only be during my next
year visit I would have to wait to have a mathematician's style of

Me: Would you be here next year?
Barber: No Sir, I have to oversee a chain of my saloons in
Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Bhubaneshwar, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Delhi,
Guwahati, Kolkata and Imphal and I will be on a round-the-country
tour, Sir. here is my visiting card, Sir! You are welcome at any of
my saloons in any of these places... May I have your card, Sir?
[I was completely bowled out...!]

Me: I am yet to get them made!

I briskly left the place....


Submitted on: Mon May 07 2012 04:56:56 GMT-0700 (PDT)
Category: Original
Language: English
Copyright: A Billion Stories (
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