BENGALURU: Want to wear your saffron heart on your sleeve, or in this case, the crown? Head to ‘RSS Hair Style’ in Rajajinagar, where Adhinarayana (65) trims hair and beards — and it doesn’t mean that you can’t get a Bieber cut here.
But the man who opens his saloon in Lakshminarayanapura layout at 5.30 am every day to a long queue of customers, only recently got his own hair trimmed. Adhinarayana had taken a vow 27 years ago, ever since the Ayodhya issue pervaded the Indian consciousness, that he would not cut his hair or trim his beard until the Ram Janmabhoomi dispute was sorted out.
In November 2019, when the land issue was finally settled in the Supreme Court, Adhinarayana paid a thanksgiving visit to Ayodhya, and tonsured his hair and shaved off his beard. He had waited for this day for almost three decades.
Adhinarayana, who hails from Ananthpur in Andhra Pradesh, moved to Bengaluru around 46 years ago, after picking up his barber’s skills in his hometown. An ardent devotee of Lord Shri Ram, Adhinarayana is a frequent visitor to Ayodhya. He had gone there in 1992 with Suresh Kumar, now primary and secondary education minister, as part of a team from Karnataka. “I was in Ayodhya for 15 days, I had shut my shop and gone,’’ he said.
During his stay there, he took a vow not to cut his hair till the Ram Mandir issue was sorted out, and did not put scissor to hair for 27 long years. “I would trim my customers’ hair, but never felt like cutting mine. I finally tonsured my hair in the name of Lord Shri Ram at Ayodhya which I had kept growing,’’ he added.
Though he often got an earful from his family members over his matted look, he refused to break his vow. Of his three children, one has started helping him in his saloon.
Adhinarayana is an RSS worker, and looks every inch the Ram bhakt with his saffron shawl and tilak running up to his receding hairline.
“Though I started my saloon in a petty shop, with no name as such, some 25 years ago, I later named it ‘RSS Hair Style’,’’ he said. It still wears an old-time look, its counters cluttered with the paraphernalia of his trade Adhinarayana now just dreams of seeing the Ram Mandir come up in Ayodhya, preparations for which are on. For him, it is time to seek another wish.”I am taking a vow again and will not cut my hair till the Mandir is constructed. I will then go back to Ayodhya and tonsure my hair,’’ he added.