And this isn't all about the advent of computers, the e-fication of lives, and how little babies are now seen playing with I-pads in their strollers, like we played with plastic rattles, and cloth dolls at that age.
It is about adornment of the individual and the endless public discussions.
Beauty parlours were looked at in my time, as places someone else went to. That too, possibly for a haircut, or when you were the type that attended New Years Balls. You did not comment on your mother's greying hair, or how it was thinning. Her facial skin was not yours to comment on. And moisturising of the homely type always happened, for everyone, via things like Kokum oil etc, when winter set in.
Many decades later, folks my age got conversant with eyebrow threading, blow drying of hair, facials , manicures, and pedicures, without getting habituated. Though today, people make it a regular thing, in an effort to look , say, permanently 20, with , as they say, 20 years of experience....
While one normally goes now for haircuts , and eyebrows when things tend to resemble unruly jungles, I still get mortified at the thought of sitting with the feet in a tub of water, with assorted folks rubbing,brushing,cleaning, and bathing your feet in a pedicure, and so have never gone for one.
But thanks to LDI (Local Direct Investment) and FDI in beauty, today, the daughter keeps seeing huge grey strands in my hair where I do not, and keeps talking about open pores, closed pores, moisturizing, creams and stuff. Split-ends cause mental agony, hair needs to be shining and straight, and she breathes a silent sigh when I finally decide to go visit a parlour for a haircut.
Today, hair can have different colors and even a mixture of colors, just like lips and nails. There are folks my age , who do regular parlour visits every month, and are greatly admired They get their hair re-colored at the slightest change in shade to grey. They stare at themselves in mirrors, and fearlessly notice sags and droops, and rush in for monthly facials. Strangely, the ages of people who do this keep getting younger and younger .
I applaud them, for their attention to detail.
Because, I always end up looking at the forest and miss out on the trees.
But some experiences on the rare times that you visit a parlour have given me a wonderful idea for a commercial ad.
I wonder whether Aishwarya (Rai, that is) will do it ....
I had recently gone for a haircut and eyebrows to my neighborhood place, which had renovated and got some newer young employees.The owner is a friend and always does the haircut herself. Then I moved to another station and another person, for the eyebrows.
Leaning back on the head rest, she raises my eyebrow and says, "hold here". Closes my eyelid, pulls it downward, and places my other hand there , saying, "Hold it tight here" ......
Nothing happens. Then she shifts my hands a bit, so the skin stretches. Once upwards. Another hand, stretches it downward. I feel the thread doing its thing. Then she stops,
A moment later, another young girl, appears. My eyebrows and eyes, are now stretched by my own fingers as well as hers . The thread begins doing its stuff. At one point, while repositioning the thread and brushing the eyebrows clean, the younger girl, mentions to the other one, "Aiyyo! Kitna Loose Skin .... kitna odhnaa padta hai ! (~ what loose skin...you really need to stretch it so much!)".......!
By and by , after much stretching , they complete the job, things look a bit organized, but it has given me an idea for a commercial, about anti aging.
It is sure to beat all those commercials about 7 signs of aging, mothers looking like daughter's sisters, and Saif Ali Khan acting disbelieving when someone doesn't look like a mother, but is !
Scene 1 , screen window one shows someone like me (or even me) , getting my eyebrows threaded.
Then in a adjoining window, Screen 2, you show some one like Kajol,Aishwarya Rai, or Katrina, sitting in a chair, being asked to hold their eyebrows with the fingers.
Beauties with wonderfully firm skin (using XYZ cream, that they are), they simply raise their eyebrows themselves, without hands, with their facial muscles, in a very filmy questioning style, the eyebrows stay up, and get nicely threaded.
I wonder if L'Oreal, Ponds, and Lakme will be interested.
Will be a great change from those fairness creme ads, don't you think ?