Royal People

A dedication to those wonderful people who served Royal Primary School & Royal College, in Sri Lanka, since 1835, and, who will be remembered for their committment, sincerety and unselfishness.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Tonsorial Treasures

Edwins Barber Saloon

Do any of you fellows remember Symbo Abeysinghe? He was in the RCH for a short time. He was a ‘60 Grouper. He used to sweat all the time. His mother was closely related to the Bernard Botheju knit wear pioneer family.

Symbo's Haircut at Edwin's - Dehiwala

Edwin's Hairdressing Saloon at Dehiwela, as it was called, had all modern equipment of the day, for a gentleman's haircut. Shampoo, Singe, Massage, Washing while seated, Hot air blow-dry etc etc.

The entrance, a small sitting area with swing doors beyond where 4 barber's tilting seats werfe located with a wash tub in front of each comprised Edwin's. Patronized by elite of the town and many from far away as Matara. (Metha should vouch for this).

Edwin the burly barber, white sarong, white shirt, broad black belt and no slippers(duck foot), who would chat for hours non stop even with a corpse, was the proud owner of this prestigious establishment.

It was a Saturday, our friend Symbo went in and sat at the reception area. After about a quarter hour, Edwin appeared through the swing doors said, "Enna Sir" (Come Sir). Edwin must have had telepathy to sense trouble, anyway asked one assistant to attend to Symbo, Abe. Our man was duly seated, a clean sheet was wrapped tightly around his neck which covered the barber's chair and all.

A quick trimming, by clak,clak barber machine and scissors, followed by razor and dettol spray, wiped clean and he finished the job.

The assistant then asked Symbo "Sir Shampoo". Symbo nodded. Shampoo finished.

There was more, "Sir Singe". Nod again. "Sir Massage" , OK.

At the end of the massage Symbo was snoring, only to be woken by the assistant with a bill for Rs.7.50 on a tray.

Symbo said "I only have 35 cents." (that was the cost of a haircut those days)

Listening to all this was Edwin the Barber, took Symbo by the hand and asked "Where do you live?".

"Kawdana Road" was the answer.

"OK, Come", and the duo were walking down to Kawdana Road and finally came to No 63 where Symbo lived.

Symbos mum was drying the daily washings on the line and seeing he two, asked" Mokada?" (What?)

Edwin expecting the Rs.7.50, poured down the saga from A to Z.

The wise lady asked Edwin one single question.

"Kawda me podi lamainta oya magul karanna kiwwe."
(Who asked you to do all this fancy things to a child of this age)

Edwin the Barber - "OK, H@#$%^& Putha, let me catch you at Dehiwala Junction."

To this day Symbo avoids walking on the land side of Dehiwala Junction.

Hapu - May 13 2006


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