During the time when the country is going through a tough phase of fight against COVID-19, and precautionary measures are being taken, most of the salons have refused to take any appointments. People have turned out to be barbers themselves, and also because it gives them some excitement to kill boredom. Everyday we find our friends and relatives coming out with a small clip of getting their haircut at the home by themselves. Even I got bald, and this auspicious task was done by my younger brother. Instead of paying him fee, it was decided that I had to do unto him as he did to me. So, in other words – Hisaab Barabar.

This reminds me of my days at Oak Grove Boys School. In Junior School, we had no other option but to get an army cut, as the barber Abbas Ji wouldn’t pay any heed to our requests. We just consoled our hearts, that very soon, we will be in Boys School and there no one is going to check us. Rather, we would be our own boss when it came to haircuts. Finally, we moved to Boys School and the months of April & May passed and there was no one to check if we had an army cut or not. We grew long hair and after the summer vacation when we reported back, Class XI took over the charge of POD as per the tradition of the school. We were lucky that Class XI was not much strict with us and we enjoyed the moment we entered Class XI after dinner in dinner break. They used to make us sing, dance, act and mimic, so it was all fun filled. It was in the month of August or September, POD asked us to get our haircut and they gave us a deadline. We didn’t take that seriously and thought we would escape as we loved our long hair. After the deadline expired, we were called in Class XI and we were quite scared that today we are going to receive the blessings of not following their instruction. We entered Class XI with heavy steps and saw three seniors with scissors in their hands were ready to welcome us. Before we could make out what was to happen, we were asked to sit on chair and a middle-sheet of newspaper with a hole cut to pop out our heads were put on us. And we could visualize that probably this was JS Dormitory Corner of Abbas Ji, and Abbas Ji was ready to do his job. All we could hear the sounds of scissors blades fighting with our hair and we could see our hair being brutally massacred and martyred in front of our eyes. And when we came back to reality, we found it was Class XI and seniors were barbers for that moment. Now, came another instructions, rather this was a sincere advice that if we didn’t like our haircut, we have the choice to take appointments from our new barber- Shakeel Ji. And they stressed that the choice was completely ours.

We directly ran to the toilet to look at ourselves in the mirror, and we looked like Jokers with different features. We had no other options except to visit barber’s room as early as possible. Now the very next thing on our minds was a wish that the real barber’s room would have been open. And in that moment we truly realised that yes the choice to take appointments from barber was ours, completely ours. Somehow, we slept and whole day passed, just before the tea bell, we ran to barber’s shed. That was the best way to give instructions for haircut. We often remember that moment and we couldn’t stop laughing. Indeed! those were the best days of life full of fun and learning.

– Modassir Mushtaque


This article was shared by Modassir Mushtaque (School Vice Captain, Patel House Captain & School Cricket Captain, Session 2009-10) on April 30, 2020.

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Oakgrovians Young & Old @ 2020

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