I visited this hair cutting salon for the very first time.
There was just one customer who was having a haircut. One more was waiting for his turn.
I asked the barber, there is just one waiting right? Are you the only one available today?
There was a hesitance on my face that he read. A prompt reply with a smile followed “ there is one more person who has gone out to get tea”
I was a little relieved after hearing that. I assumed that I don’t have to wait for my turn.
Much to my dismay, after 5 minutes or so, the person who returned was just a teen boy, holding three teacups. I was taken aback.
The boy was just a support staff running errands.
And now the person who was already waiting had made himself comfortable on the barber’s seat.
It was apparent that I was told a lie that an additional resource will service my request.
The barber now smiled apologetically and said just give me 10 minutes, iske baad aapka turn”
Maybe he knew this situation arises all the time. His response had some finesse to it. A mixture of shame and apology.
He disarmed me. I didn’t know how to respond to him.
The situation was diffused. I wasn’t so bothered now as I became more aware of my surroundings.
I could see how 7 chairs were idle. The business had hit rock bottom.
On one corner, a note read “we are low on staff, expect a delay in service”
On one wall, there was a Shahrukh Khan painting with some quotes on fate. On other walls, there were nicely done sketches of Ranvir Singh.
The errand boy offered me a cup of tea as I sat there waiting for my turn.
Morality is a tricky area. The kind of morality sold to us through movies, books, religions are based on basic scenarios.
Morality is much more complex to deal with. The background and context matter.
In that barber’s shop, I digested a lie sold to me. I was in a dilemma, should I question it? or just keep quiet and never return?
Was it justified because he didn’t want to lose an impatient customer?
Who knows 🙂