KOCHI: On the Market Road at Ernakulam, a 71-year-old man is chipping away at a customer’s hair. There is no sign of fatigue or lack of enthusiasm, despite him being many years in the profession. In fact, P Sasidharan who runs Premier Salon, has a very optimistic approach to life and is still raring to go. What makes Sasidharan standout, however, is he has been cutting hair for High Court officials for the past 40 years. Judges, advocates and other top-notch officials have been frequenting Sasidharan’s salon for many years now. And even today, he continues to be their favourite barber.
Starting as anodd-jobs person
Sasidharan, who hailed from an economically backward family in Gandhi Nagar, Kadavanthara, started as vendor selling pens at the railway station, working in cycle repair shops. He also dabbled a bit helping out at a tailoring shop. It was a while before he began cutting hair for people. However, on some days he would only get Rs 4 to make ends meet.
“Those days, I would sleep on the footbath and pray for the rain when I could take a decent bath,” he said. “The police would catch me. Today, these same policemen are my friends,” he said.
However, when Sasidharan realised that his clients were happy, he decided to make a career out of it.
So, what's the secret? “I do whatever my customers tell me. I also take much pain to ensure that they are happy and I have satisfied them. I don’t want them to step out of my saloon disappointed,” he said.
Top notch advocates have always maintained a friendly air with Sasidharan. “They come here after an hectic schedule asking for a facial or head massage. I do my best,” he added.
Sasidharan says his customers have always repayed him back with love. Five years ago, the doctors told him he had to undergo a heart surgery. The surgery would cost Rs 1.5 lakh. Learning of his trouble, the officials pooled in money and paid for his surgery.
Apart from Sasidharan, there are two more who run the Premier Salon. There are some customers who arrive from various parts to get a hair cut from the veteran. One of his dearest friends Unni krishnan, an engineer at Guruvayoor is one such customer.
Sasidharan plans to open a new salon soon which he hopes will be bigger and spacious than the current one.