I don’t know if it is the practice everywhere but in Triplicane, if you order for a sweet and only sweet, they would give you a spoonful of some savoury like Mixture to counter the effect of the sweet on your tongue. I am talking about my days and I do not know if this good practice still continues. I am as much a fan of Aldous Huxley as I am of PG Wodehouse. During my travels while I was working for a Bank, I would carry a couple of Wodehouse novels and Perennial Philosophy by Aldous Huxley. When the Wodehouse novel got me laughing uncontrollably, I would switch to Huxley’s Perennial Philosophy and read some random page and believe me, it would sober me down in seconds. Don’t get me wrong. I like Huxley as much as I like Wodehouse though for different reasons. I have read almost all the books of Huxley though I can’t say that I understood them all. Eyeless in Gaza was one novel which was the greatest challenge in my literary life. If anyone asks me to write the synopsis of Eyeless in Gaza in one paragraph, I would act very busy and apologetically regret my inability and say ‘Why not next week?’ You may ask me why this sudden reference to Huxley when it is PG Wodehouse that engages most of my attention. Let me explain. I have been thinking about a subject for my next Rambling. I was then watching the Lalithaa Jewellery advertisement on the TV in which the owner made an eloquent plea to compare his prices with other Jewellers. What attracted me much was his perfectly bald head. It was almost as if he was my double. I also remembered my good friend and actor Kitty. I would write about bald heads I decided and when I was thinking of a suitable title for the blog, I remembered instantly Huxley’s Eyeless in Gaza. ‘Horrah’, I shouted. I know it is more difficult to get hold of a proper title than writing a meaningful blog! Let it be ‘Hairless in a Saloon’ I decided and rushed to my PC. The Saloon that I go to in my area has now become very trendy. I have been going there for over 20 years but then he had a lot more job to do with me then. He would spend almost an hour giving me a haircut and trimming of my beard. He has grown a lot now unlike my hair and charges a crazy sum for his services. I once told him that he was charging too much for the job he did on my head. He politely submitted that less hair meant more labour. “I keep searching for your hair which involves more labour than randomly running the scissors through the dense growth of youngsters”, he pointed out. According to him, it involved a lot of searching and once he found one, he had to cut it carefully without hurting the skin on my head. He almost made it sound like skull surgery. I visited him last week for the usual formalities. He greeted me heartily and enquired if I had come for trimming my beard. ‘Also a hair cut’, I answered. With great difficulty he buried his laughter beneath a polite smile and showed me my seat. Unlike in the case of others, he first wanted to trim my beard before talking up the head job. I gave him my consent for his suggestion and after running an electric trimmer for some ten minutes, he switched over to my hair cut. For the next ten minutes, he surveyed my head like Hercule Pairot in his usual whodunit job and let out a sigh. I knew that his sigh indicated his failure to find a hair the cutting of which would satisfy his professional pride. He suggested to me that I could have a haircut at the next visit. And that hurt my pride. ‘When I come to a saloon, I would like to have both my haircut and trimming of the beard’, I told him. I urged him to complete the job as I would not like to keep visiting three times a month. He sighed and ran the scissors vigorously over the head like Charlie Chaplain in a pantomime! At the end of all the procedures, I took out Rs.300 and gave it to him saying to ‘Keep the change’. He smiled and told me that he must ask me to keep the change as the cost of his service was Rs.350/- I just stroked my hairless head thoughtfully and thanked him! How does he know that my wife sent with me Rs.300 only?