Our Village’s Barber; Life in a city is busy and active. Hardly anyone gives importance to such person as the postman and barber. It is not so in a village. There, leaving aside the landlord, the barber is also an important person.
Our village has a small population where nearly all know one another including the village barber. Barber is distinguished not because he is well known. He performs certain functions that are considered important in village life.
His name is Abdul Qadeer. He is, no doubt, a professional who knows his trade very well. Villagers come to him to have a haircut and their beard shaved. But getting one’s hair dressed by him is no dull affair.
Our Village’s Barber
He is a good conversationist. He knows how to amuse his customer with jokes, maxims, and anecdotes, he is well aware of the incidents happening in his and the neighboring villages.
The causes of domestic quarrels and disputes between the villagers are not hidden from him. He usually sits in the village center called “Daira”. Where men of all types gather and express their opinions, discuss matters, and exchange gossip.
Thus, he knows almost everything one can think of about the village and its people. He can be rightly called the village encyclopedia. Usually, he is the unofficial surgeon and physician of the village.
He is not necessarily a quack though very he is. But the surprising thing is that the villagers have full faith in him. He is considered to be an expert at setting the broken bones.
His famous ointment for boils and wounds is said to be extremely effective. He knows something about herbs. He uses his limited knowledge wisely. At times, his little learning may prove dangerous.
Our Village’s Barber
He plays a prominent part on ceremonial occasions. On the occasion of a marriage, he has complete charge of the cooking business. If he is a good cook, and there is no reason why he should not be, he receives a handsome payment for his services.
The rites of circumcising a newly born baby are performed by him. Sometimes, he himself starts the process that culminates in marriage ceremonies.
He has accurate information about marriageable youths of the village and acts as a match-maker. If his suggested matches are accepted by the parties. He is sure to get a good reward.
The duties and performance of the village barber make him indispensable for the villagers. Every villager needs his services. He humors everyone and is liked by all.