A Beauty Saloon
I am a beauty saloon for women and my name is ‘Sundari’. I still remember the day the first brick was laid for this beautiful building, and the thought that, one day I would come to life gave me a feel of excitement and thrill. The foundation stone was laid by my owner’s grandmother, Mrs. Ansari. This lady was herself a beautician, and wanted to present this building for a beauty saloon to her granddaughter.
The younger Ms. Ansari, the granddaughter is a very fine person and a stunning beauty too. I must point out here that the grandmother who laid the foundation stone was also a grand old lady, very beautiful and sophisticated. She used to sit here the whole day and personally supervise the construction of the building.
I can remember the day, this saloon was inaugurated, five years ago by none other than the old grandmother of my owner. She gave a speech and distributed sweets to all present. The strangest thing that happened that day, I can never forget. The old lady just finished giving sweets to all, took one herself and just then dropped ‘dead, here at the main door of the saloon. It is for this reason that, a huge portrait of the grand old lady is fixed at the entrance. Beside the portrait, the name of this saloon is also on the name of the old lady whose name was, Mayasundari. Her granddaughter, the owner of the saloon puts a garland on this portrait every day, before starting her work.
In this saloon there are six lady workers, and one gate man. There are several gadgets placed here in my rooms, and all of them working wonders on the ladies who come here to the saloon. It is fun watching women of all castes, creeds and ages coming here, in the hope of improving their looks, and also becoming slimmer. I have seen hundreds of women come here in these five years of my existence. They come in with a certain appearance and go out with changed looks. I wonder if my mistress is a magician, for, she makes dark women look fair, untidy looks changed into sleek neat looks and, fat women change into slim and beautiful ones. I also often hear huge fat women discussing with my mistress ways and means of becoming slim, it all sounds very interesting. Another interesting thing to be noted is when my mistress tells these fat women that slimming will mean very hard work, exercises, and slashing down of food intake; their depressed and disappointed faces amuse me. It seems they want to slim down but, with no work and a lot of good food. Then follows the most interesting dialogue when, these fat women are sent to the dietitian. The haass and the hoos as their response to the cut in their food is very interesting and amusing. It seems these fat women only want to dole out money and find themselves beautiful and slim. The work involved puts down their enthusiasm, and I enjoy all the reactions of these women.
The day starts with a daily lecture on diet, exercise, make up etc. For the whole day I see new and old customers pouring in with different problems of their beauty or fat. All the workers in the saloon are busy throughout the day attending on customers of a variety of hues. The variety of treatments are very interesting for me to watch for the whole day. I just do not know how and when the day passes off. The scenes of the day are exciting. Some women are getting their hair shampooed, some getting their feet washed and nails cut. At times, I wonder whether these women are handicapped. Why can’t they cut their nails themselves is the question that I often want to ask. I also see women getting a massage. This process I find very interesting and, I do wonder if I could ever enjoy a massage. It appears to be very very soothing and I wish I could also get something like this. Aha! I now remember and understand how I can enjoy a massage. For me a massage will be when my walls are scraped neatly, rubbed and then re-painted. Then I will also look new, fresh and young like these women who come here to me.
I am enjoying my life as a beauty saloon. Every day I get an opportunity to see a cross section of the elite society. This of course has to be because I see that everyone who comes here doles out huge sums in thousands and gives them to the cashier. After all, becoming beautiful when one is not so in reality, cannot be a cheap proposal. Besides, I am happy as my mistress is becoming richer and richer as, she says that the beauty given here cannot be permanent like the beauty given by God. Here the beauty has to be maintained, done and re-done. So women come again and again and my mistress becomes richer by the day. Life for me is also very interesting and full of gusto. I can never feel lonely or bored for, the saloon is full all the time from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. After so much work I also want to rest and that I get from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. This is because, at 9 a.m. only the sweeper comes to tidy me up.