Honey was the only person in her family who hated the summer holidays. Her mother was happy because she did not have to go to school to teach French classes. Her father was happy that all of them could play Snakes and Ladders together. And even Veeroo the dog was pleased. It would be nice to have everyone’s attention on him all day.
Honey believed that the long vacation was a waste of time. “Mother, can’t you tell the other teachers to ask for a shorter holiday?” She asked hopefully each year.
“Silly child! Your classmates are enjoying these five weeks. You should too,” her mother would reply with a laugh. But Honey was not convinced.
“Mother, most of them go on cool trips. Like Aditi is going to Goa and Jit’s parents are taking him all the way to Thailand. We never go anywhere,” she complained.
That evening, Honey’s mother went out. When she came back, she looked different. Her skin was glowing. Her hair was shining. It was tied up like a movie star’s hair. Even her mother’s feet looked unusual as the nails were painted dark red. Honey could not stop staring.. Her mother was not acting different though. She came in and put her bag on the counter. Then she took out her phone to check for missed calls and messages. After replying to one, she looked up at Honey. The sight of her shocked, round eyes, made her laugh loudly. “What happened,” she asked. “Do I look nice?”
Honey giggled. “You look so beautiful, mother! Where did you go?”
“You remember where you got your haircut last time?” Her mother looked amused. Honey said yes. “Well, I went to the same place,” her mother explained. “I have to attend a special lunch tomorrow,” she added. Honey nodded. She wanted to grow up as soon as possible so that she could do such fun things. Haircuts were never this interesting.
So when her mother was out for her lunch invitation, Honey asked her father, “Daddy, may I wash and comb your hair today please?” Her father looked surprised. He asked her if his hair looked dirty. She said no. “I just want to practice,” she said.
“Practice for what, Honey?” He seemed confused.
“For my beauty salon,” she told him.
“Which beauty salon?” Her father was very serious.
“My own beauty salon, Daddy. The one that I will start soon.”
Her father patted her head and left her for a minute to get towels and his comb. Then Honey asked him to wait. She guided him to the bathroom sink after she had kept a chair in front of it. Shampoo and conditioner bottles, a hair serum and the comb were arranged in a line. Honey’s practice customer sat down. She placed a big towel around him, wrapping up his arms somehow. He could not move his arms now. “This isn’t how they do it at other beauty salons,” Honey thought. Then she removed the towel and wrapped it around her father properly. She felt grown up.
In the next ten minutes, Honey put shampoo and conditioner in her father’s hair and washed it out too. “Am I doing it correctly, Daddy,” she asked him more than once. He nodded each time. Honey used her fingers to massage his head just like they did at the beauty salon that she had visited last time. When she was done, Honey wrapped another towel around her father’s head. She was trying to follow the few magazines that her mother read. They had lots of pictures of grown up girls getting their hair set and makeup done. There were also pictures of them exercising and eating fruits and vegetables. She liked those pictures.
First published in TeleKids (An ABP Group publication)