Of first haircuts and resultant need for a reviver – for the mom!

Waaanh… I want to go home… “ sobs a two-year old who normally never cries! Even injections do not produce too much of a reaction from her. But on this occassion, she’s really upset.

And so, trying to get her to finish our job (really not painful, I assure you!) for another five minutes, I couldn’t bear the very real distress in her voice and face any more and whisk her off… from the parlour where we’d gone for her first haircut!

With a head full of fat sausage curls, I really didn’t want to get her gorgeous hair cut at all but… it was summer and as much as I could do to keep her cool… or so I thought! It being a first haircut at the parlour for her, she had no clue what to expect. The ladies at the saloon made a fuss over her, bringing her sweets and a glass of juice – all of which she lapped up quite happily!

Then came business. She watched a little apprehensively as they tied an apron around her neck and her arms and hands disappeared from view. Stuck them out from under the apron to make sure they were not making away with her fingers! Slightly reassured, she sat back and watched interestedly.

The lady sprays water on her hair – this seems to be getting to be fun!

Combs it out. Uh-oh, not fun any more – only my mom is allowed to comb my hair, doesn’t this lady know even that? Forehead wrinkles in disapproval.

She spies a pair of scissors in the mirror. Are we going to do some paper- cutting?

The scissors approaches her hair. Closes on it. Some part of me is being cut off! And it is falling on the floor! What else will they cut off next?

Lungs fill. Lungs are emptied – at full volume and a roar of disapproval emanates.

We try to pacify her. The roaring subsides into sobs as more hair is cut. The mom can’t take the sobs any more.

Stop! We’re leaving.

“But, ma’am… we’ve cut only one side!”

“Never mind that. I’ll finish the job at home!” I say and take her off.

At home, we create a hair-cutting space – on her little stool with newspapers spread all around and working very quietly as I tell her stories and how cool she’ll feel after the haircut – like her head is airconditioned, I finish the other half! Not the most professional of cuts but thankful that curls are very forgiving to unseasoned hairdressers!

The very next time we go to the parlour – having primed her ahead… she is good as gold and enjoys the attention!

Me, my nerves need a cooler after that first haircut!

Here’s a ‘cooler’ curry – made with a most unusual ingredient…


  • Watermelon rind – peel and cut into 1 cm chunks – 2 cups
  • Onion – chopped  – 1
  • Tomato – chopped  – 1
  • Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Chili powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  • Asafoetida – 1 pinch
  • Amchur – 1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala – just a pinch
  • Milk – 1/3 cup.
  • Salt
  • Ghee – 1 tbsp
  • Chopped coriander to garnish

Heat ghee in a pan. Add the onion and fry.

Add all the masalas and fry for a few seconds.

Add tomatoes and stir till tender.

Add the watermelon and salt and cover and cook till almost done.

Add the milk and continue to simmer till watermelon is cooked. The milk might curdle – that’s fine. If you’re vegan, omit milk altogether.

Switch off. Serve with hot rice and papads.

P.S.: I forgot to take a photo after the curry was cooked – only halfway through the process – the colour deepens!