|A Barber with Healing Fingers (standard:non fiction, 721 words)|
|Author: Juggernaut||Added: Dec 07 2013||Views/Reads: 2707/569||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|In anacient India, the profession of barbering, body massaging and playing drums in a band were all bundled into one barber caste. How that happened?|
A Barber with Healing Fingers Subba Rao Hair gets dirty pretty quickly in hot tropics with sweat and dust. Handling hair is considered dirty in Hindu culture. Giving body massage was also considered dirty job since not everybody is clean, some may not take bath for days, and few camouflage their body odor with perfumes. Similarly, handling hides is also considered dirty since hide comes from dead animals. Since animal hide is used in making drums, drummers were relegated to the lower end of the Hindu society. In a calculated way, people in the trades of barbering, body massaging and playing drums were bundled into a designated caste at the lower end of the social hierarchy in Hindu culture at least until the recent past. Generally, a barber during day job gives a haircut and then offers as head massage for free and as a second job plays drums in the bands that perform in weddings, funerals and in other occasions. Boys born into the designated barber caste learn all three trades from childhood from their elders. Juggernaut during his recent visit to Pineappleville, his native town known for growing pineapples on southeastern seacoast in India visited a barber shop. Unlike the old time barber shop at the street corner, this one was a fancy one with high chairs and mirrors. The barber was in mid thirties with a nicely shaped mustache as if it is attended on a daily basis. “Do the persons born into barber caste still practicing barbering?” asked Juggernaut. “Not everybody but most of them still stick to their caste trade of barbering for living though some smart ones went into other professions like doctors, engineers, scientists bankers etc. We also run massage parlors and play drums during festivals,” replied the barber looking at the Juggernaut's reflection in the mirror. “You know I always wondered why people born into barber caste play only percussions not other instruments in the band, I am sure they could play other musical instruments with training,” Juggernaut wants to explore further into their profession. “It is true we play mostly drums but many members our caste also plays other instruments particularly wind instruments like trumpets.” “What instrument you play?” “I play drums, all kinds from traditional Indian tabla drum to Click here to read the rest of this story (69 more lines)
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