City Landmark – Sibu Unisex Hair Cutting Salon, Palam Vihar, Gurgaon
A cool parlour.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Roadside hair stylist shops are like roadside chai shops—full of atmosphere even in their raggedness. Each establishment, along with its owner, staffers and customers tells so much about the locality in which it is situated.
But what to make of Sibu? It’s tucked on a Palam Vihar roadside in the Millennium City of Gurugram, in the Greater Delhi region, along with small groceries and eateries, and so different from what one would expect in such a setting.
The salon has no posters of filmstars. Hair don’t litter the floor. There are dainty plants and pots while the mirrors are, in fact, a bit too clean—one is decked with the hand-drawn diagram of a hair, the kind you must have encountered in your biology school textbook.
And to top it all, it’s a unisex salon, a rarity in this particular part of the city where such facilities are as gender-exclusive as multiplex restrooms.
Owner Karan Yadav simply smiles.
“My stall has been here since October,” he says. At 27, the gentleman is already a veteran of many professions. A commerce graduate from Delhi University’s Aurobindo College, he first worked as a salesman and a call centre staffer in Gurgaon, then joined the merchant navy, then he became a waiter and a cook in the Malaysian town of Sibu—it was there he learnt hair dressing from a Chinese friend. Later, he made his way through a series of big and small haircutting salons in the Delhi region. And eventually established his own hair styling parlour with money drawn from “bank loans, relatives, friends and my own savings”.
To trust such a pair of well-travelled hands with your hair is probably worth the price. Just 50 rupees for a cut—same as in any grubby barber ki dukaan.
“The charges are so low because this is old Gurgaon and the clients are not used to giving more than that for normal haircuts,” he explains with a shrug.
Whatever, just to slouch on the comfy sofa-like chair is relaxing. And the polite Mr Yadav is an excellent time-pass talker.
One, however, wonders how long this salon will last for “I’m trying to move to Australia,” he says.
It opens daily from 9am to 9pm.
A unisex landmark, via Malaysia