Honey’s Beauty Salon – Part 1

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.¬†‚ÄúMother,¬†can‚Äôt¬†you¬†tell¬†the¬†other teachers¬†to¬†ask¬†for¬†a¬†shorter¬†holiday?‚Ä̬†She¬†asked¬†hopefully¬†each¬†year.

‚ÄúSilly¬†child!¬†Your¬†classmates¬†are¬†enjoying¬†these¬†five¬†weeks.¬†You¬†should¬†too,‚Ä̬†her¬†mother would¬†reply¬†with¬†a¬†laugh.¬†But¬†Honey¬†was¬†not¬†convinced.

‚ÄúMother,¬†most¬†of¬†them¬†go¬†on¬†cool¬†trips.¬†Like¬†Aditi¬†is¬†going¬†to¬†Goa¬†and¬†Jit‚Äôs¬†parents¬†are taking¬†him¬†all¬†the¬†way¬†to¬†Thailand.¬†We¬†never¬†go¬†anywhere,‚Ä̬†she¬†complained.

That¬†evening,¬†Honey‚Äôs¬†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‚Äôs¬†hair.¬†Even¬†her mother‚Äôs¬†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.¬†‚ÄúWhat¬†happened,‚Ä̬†she¬†asked.¬†‚ÄúDo¬†I¬†look¬†nice?‚ÄĚ

Honey¬†giggled.¬†‚ÄúYou¬†look¬†so¬†beautiful,¬†mother!¬†Where¬†did¬†you¬†go?‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúYou¬†remember¬†where¬†you¬†got¬†your¬†haircut¬†last¬†time?‚Ä̬†Her¬†mother¬†looked¬†amused.¬†Honey said¬†yes.¬†‚ÄúWell,¬†I¬†went¬†to¬†the¬†same¬†place,‚Ä̬†her¬†mother¬†explained.¬†¬†‚ÄúI¬†have¬†to¬†attend¬†a special¬†lunch¬†tomorrow,‚Ä̬†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,¬†‚ÄúDaddy,¬†may¬†I wash¬†and¬†comb¬†your¬†hair¬†today¬†please?‚Ä̬†Her¬†father¬†looked¬†surprised.¬†He¬†asked¬†her¬†if¬†his¬†hair looked¬†dirty.¬†She¬†said¬†no.¬†‚ÄúI¬†just¬†want¬†to¬†practice,‚Ä̬†she¬†said.

‚ÄúPractice¬†for¬†what,¬†Honey?‚Ä̬†He¬†seemed¬†confused.

‚ÄúFor¬†my¬†beauty¬†salon,‚Ä̬†she¬†told¬†him.

‚ÄúWhich¬†beauty¬†salon?‚Ä̬†Her¬†father¬†was¬†very¬†serious.

‚ÄúMy¬†own¬†beauty¬†salon,¬†Daddy.¬†The¬†one¬†that¬†I¬†will¬†start¬†soon.‚ÄĚ

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‚Äôs¬†practice¬†customer¬†sat¬†down.¬†She¬†placed¬†a¬†big¬†towel¬†around¬†him,¬†wrapping¬†up¬†his arms¬†somehow.¬†He¬†could¬†not¬†move¬†his¬†arms¬†now.¬†‚ÄúThis¬†isn‚Äôt¬†how¬†they¬†do¬†it¬†at¬†other¬†beauty salons,‚Ä̬†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‚Äôs¬†hair¬†and washed¬†it¬†out¬†too.¬†‚ÄúAm¬†I¬†doing¬†it¬†correctly,¬†Daddy,‚Ä̬†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‚Äôs¬†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)

Mending Broken Hearts

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” It was a big question. The little girl was still too young and wise to have the perfect answer. Still, she got all excited with her best grin spreading to her eyes. “I want to be a doctor,” she said. The reply satisfied her parents. That is, before she added, “A doctor who fixes broken hearts.”

Finding Beauty

“If beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, then I guess everybody thinks I’m ugly,” the young girl told her mother with no emotion in her voice. She was sick of feeling like she didn’t belong to the world. And she knew the reason. It was why she hated buying clothes and would kill all mirrors if she could. But her mother said something that made her think: It all starts with you, honey. Why don’t you see your own beauty?