I am 38 and was born and brought up in Chennai. For four generations we have been running a barber shop in North Chennai. Earlier, we had set up shop in Old Washermenpet, now I have shifted in PV Koil Street.
I have been taking care of the shop after taking over from my father in 2003. Now, many parlours have come up in the locality which is affecting my business.
Earlier, I used to earn Rs 2,000 per day and now it has reduced to just Rs 1,000. But, I somehow manage to make my ends meets with it thanks to a few regular customers. During Puratasi, Aadi and Sabarimala season, usual customers don’t show up. At that time, I end up borrowing money on interest.
Everybody thinks that this is an easy job. But only people like me who are in this profession are aware of the difficulties involved. I don’t have any proper timing to have lunch as often customers come in while I am eating and I have to attend to him, interrupting my meal. I do not have anyone to help me at the shop, hence running it is a bit difficult. If I keep an assistant, however, it would mean a cut in my profit.
Also, I have to keep my shop open from 7 am to 10.30 pm and I hardly get time to spend with family. Unlike other fathers, I neither drop my kids to school nor do I pick them up. We also can’t afford to have family get-togethers as if I don’t work for even a day, we will face financial problems.