Your maid at the beauty parlour
Aspirational has now sported a new look. Literally. A number of house maids, in middle class areas are walking into trendy beauty parlours for shaping their eyebrows and painting their nails….
Liu’s is a parlour patronised by the creme de la creme. Not actually snooty, but it is where the old money comes to tone up, snazz up and all the things that money can cream over.
And that is where Sundari (name changed on request) barged in one morning and demaded that her eyebrows be attended to. For a mini-second there was silence, and clearly the beauticians did not know how to react.. Quite likely Sundari was nervous as well. I mean why else would she tell them, “Quick, my husband the driver of so–and –so ( a famous musician) is waiting downstairs,” she said, loudly.
And she got service, promptly. She left, quite satisifed with their service. And sent her friend and neighbour who landed up half an hour later. This one refused to give her name, so let’s call her Mala, was less sure of herself. She stood around, after asking for a particluar beauty attendant. The latter hid herself in one of the cubicles, and finally, when other patrons got restive, a trainee attended to her eyebrows. At the billing counter Mala bargained and brought the price down by Rs 5. That had the other patrons sitting up, and giving her a respectful eye. Money, after all , is money.
The minute Mala left you can guess wat the buzz was about. When it emerged that a number of girls and newly wedded girls from nearby tenements were making a bee line for the parlours, in many localities,many women did not know how to take it. Should they get aspirational and patronise `their’ parlours, a lady demanded, while her feet were getting pedicured.An old Chettiar lady, who had opted for hot oil massage cackled and said, “Now, they will want time out for parlour visits each time my daughter-in-law throws a party at home. I wouild love to watch the fun.”
However, a young wife, who turned down an offer to feature her lush hair in a product brochure had the best take on the entire issue. “I guess Chennai is obviously turning aspirational. If we guys are eyeing apartments priced at Rs 14,000 a sq ft, these servants will want to appear as if they have moved up in their jobs, and so they try to ape our external gloss. Who knows? My driver might turn up in a Peter England shirt for work tomorrow. And I would say, good for him.” Not many agreed with her.
But I know one thing for sure. The Tamil papers and magazines which used to run jokes (sic) on the man of the house lusitn after the maid will now have a fiedl day lampooning the `trend’.