Baal Ki Dukaan: A Punjabi Girl’s Toxic Relationship With Body Hair


By Kusha Kapila

It was 2015. I had set out on an impossible journey, one that involved hunting down a posh salon in South Goa. The previous night, my bestie had announced, “We are going to Goa!” I shot her down immediately. “There’s no way! I am not waxed,” I cried. While most would dismiss my tantrum as an unnecessary one, my best friend knew the weight of my words. Assuring me that we would find a salon lady who would be kind to me, she booked our tickets. 14 hours later, my in-grown hair and I were scooting past bikes in a rented car.

In a remote lane of South Goa, two hours later, I did find a salon. More like a small room that couldn’t fit more than four clients — mostly Goans — at a time. It was called “Sonia Beauty Parlour”. A lady led me to small room, instructing me to take my clothes off. She, who had mostly attended to sparsely-haired Goans her entire life, didn’t know what was about to unfurl. I stretched my legs out and shut my eyes. Three… two… one… “Yeh toh baal ki dukaan hai!” she gasped.

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