As far as lesson-learning is concerned, this was already my biggest of the tour.
It’s an off-day as far as the 2016 World T20 matches in Nagpur are concerned, but that doesn’t mean I have one. Have a couple of press conferences to attend.
First things first though and I think it’s that time of the month when my hair needs a snip. More than just a snip if you are one of those who think Raghu & Rajeev have a really hot hair-style.
Ask for directions from the receptionist at my hotel and head off to what I expect would be a decent-looking saloon.
What I find, instead, is a shop that has a couple of chairs in front of a long mirror, manned by two guys. One of them, presumably the owner, is speaking to the other, who is definitely the guy who would go on to make an attempt on my hair.
The owner seems to be keeping a track on his accounts. The other guy doesn’t seem to be keeping a track on his temper.
Things get a tad animated but the feeling I get is they aren’t having a go at each other, but at a third guy, not present there.
The words are the choicest, and since I understand a reasonable lot of Marathi, I cannot help but feel for that third guy. Unless of course he took off with the shop’s entire kitty.
So ‘my’ guy continues screaming into my ear, which is strange because he is neither speaking to me, nor is the guy he’s talking to more than a couple of feet away. And lest I forget, I have been sitting on one of those chairs for a good part of five minutes but am yet to be attended to.
After what I think is the end of his rant, he asks me if I need a hair-cut. I am almost afraid he will kick-start another one if I refuse him.
I say yes, as a result.
He kick starts his job.
I heave a sigh of relief.
A minute later he asks me if I need a shave too.
“Umm, no, just a hair-cut for now.”
And he leaves the shop.
Just like that.
I wait for a minute thinking he’s gone to get a dry piece of cloth or something.
Nope, it’s tea time.
He must take his Test cricket too seriously. Someone needs to tell him even the ICC has now allowed umpires to extend play in case the ninth wicket has fallen just before tea.
Thankfully, his tea-break doesn’t last 20 minutes.
He’s back in about eight minutes. Resumes from where he had left off.
Thankfully he isn’t one of those aggressive hair-cutters who drives his pair of scissors through the hair in the fifth gear. But that still doesn’t make him one I would back to.
Because by the time we are done, he has made a mockery of whatever hair-style I had.
I half-think of giving him a piece of my mind. The other half considers the risks involved. And whatever mathematically remains considers going to another saloon to get my hair back in shape.
In the end, I just go back to my hotel room. I know my hair and my day is ruined.
There’s a press conference I attend to later, and make acquaintance with a radio guy from Hong Kong but all of that dims out in the face of that hair-cut.
“I have nightmares of that man dancing his scissors down my hair while snipping them away,” could well be my version of what Shane Warne felt after that fateful 1998 tour of India.
I carefully lock the door of my room that night before I sleep.
It’s that fear of the unknown.