SRINAGAR: Fond of styling his hair, 20-year-old Wajid Ahmad, a resident of Rambagh, is trying to find a hair-dresser for the past few days. He contacts the ones in his neighbourhood on phone and tries to convince them to come to his home to cut his hair and trim his beard, both of which have grown long, for the first time in his life.
In the past whenever there was a curfew or lockdown, Wajid managed to reach his hair-dresser either late in the evening or early in the morning. But this time even his regular hair-dresser is reluctant to meet him for fear of the deadly coronavirus.
Hair-dressers are staying away from work because it cannot be done without maintaining “social distancing”. A hair-salon owner at Chanapora said, “Everything is shut, so are we. I have received at least 100 calls from my customers asking for hair-cut, but I have turned down all their requests as we are not able to even step out of home, so how can we reach our shops? I also don’t want any trouble from the authorities.”
He added, “My workers are also reluctant to work as they are scared of touching customers and being in close proximity with them. Everyone is being advised to maintain social distancing and take all preventive measures. We cannot keep safe distance from our customers in our line of work.”
Wajid, meanwhile, is restless. “My hair has grown long and my beard has become weird. I haven’t visited a hair salon in the last two weeks. I had never expected that there will suddenly come a time when I will not be even able to step out of my house.”
He further rued, “I am fond of hair styling and keeping a smart beard, but it has all gone wrong in the past few days. I have been convincing my hair-dresser and others to somehow give me a hair-cut. I’m feeling a burden upon my head.”
Many teenagers have even taken social media to share stories about how they’re struggling to find a barber. Jokes and memes are being circulated on social media about hair and beard going out of style, and demands are being made, in jest, to include barbers in essential services. Many people have shared their pictures with long hair and beard.
Former CM Omar Abdullah on Friday night had shared a similar meme on his Twitter handle, which said that if barbers are not included in essential services, there will be an Omar Abdullah in every home – a reference to the long beard Omar had grown during seven months in detention.
Fayaz Ahmad, 50, a resident of Anantnag, rued, “In the haste of acquiring household goods, I forgot to care about myself. I had to get a shave and hair-cut but I missed the chance and now it’s all shut.”