“Papa and his brothers got licensed to open a salon in Thimphu in 1971. While their family lived in Bihar, all the men slowly moved to Thimphu. I was studying in class 5 and in the next 2 years, I too joined them. In 2000, they all left for Bihar, leaving the whole shop at my care. The landlord was planning to tear down the building and I had to find a new space to set up a shop. Money was scarce and I was too young for the task. I barely ate for the next 7 days, while hustling to get the job done. Luckily, my brother’s friends were carpenters in Thimphu. I hired them to work during midnight and after 6 nights of no sleep, the shop was finally ready with all the mirrors and furniture. It took another few months to get it running and I was begging for money from friends to survive. Unaware, papa returned after 8 months to see the whole new transformation in me. I was working hard and managing the place well.
We’re not the only one in this profession in Thimphu. In 2000, we had competition and just like a kid in school, I strived to outdo them all and be the best. It took me 8 years to become an expert. Earlier, ladies too came to the salon but I was too scared to touch their hair. The names or haircut changes faster than the actual style. It was called go go and tin tin haircut. In 2000, we charged Nu.25 for a haircut and in 20 years of my career, it has risen to Nu.100. After working in the salon for their whole life, everyone in the family older to me passed away. As behari’s, we were foodies and drank occasionally. Back in the days, we’d drink everyday after closing the shutter of the shop in the evening. I’ve discontinued this trend since their untimely demise. At my shop, there are no class differences. A Dasho too stands in the queue and doesn’t ask for priority. Just like my family, I want to serve the people here through this profession.”

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