Spreading the joy
The last week of Ramazan brings thriving business for salons as women line up to prepare for Eid. But as we wait in overcrowded salons for our turn, we forget that those putting in the extra hours, working their magic seemingly tirelessly to bring out the best in us, are also women who would like to prepare for Eid.
A couple of days before the festival, when I was waiting for my turn at a salon, I got talking to the women working there. They told me that in the days before Eid, they work 12 to 15 hours a day. One of them, Nazia, said she attends to 60 to 90 clients a day in the week prior to Eid. These work hours mean that she has little time left to do her own shopping or indulge in beauty treatments.
That would be fine, as they also get additional business during this time, if only we appreciated their hard work more. Another beautician, while admitting that the financial incentives of working the extra hours are good, said that the pressure to deal with so many clients can be brutal at times. They have to speed up their work and in case of any little mistake they have to face the clients’ wrath.
On chand raat, when families line up for mehndi, the arguments about who has been waiting the longest and whose turn is next makes one wonder if people have forgotten that Eid is a time to share and spread goodwill.
It is a sad fact that those on whose excellence salons depend and who help make women feel good about themselves are often overworked, underpaid and sometimes badly treated. The services of beauticians should be acknowledged by their employers and clients both and they should be remunerated fairly, not just in terms of monetary payments but also basic courtesy. A simple thank you, a smile, an Eid Mubarak would go a long way towards spreading the joy.
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