Delhiwale: A Khan Market haircut, at Gole Market rates
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Delhiwale: A Khan Market haircut, at Gole Market rates

This saloon retains its old-world charm even while surrounded by new wealth

delhi Updated: Jul 17, 2017 11:03 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Mayank Austen Soofi
Hindustan Times
Delhi news,Delhi wale,Khan Market
This salon opened in 1952, a year after the setting up of Khan Market.(Mayank Austen Soofi / HT Photo)

The old Khan Market exists in memories alone.

Sovereign Dairies is gone. Raj Sweet Shop is gone. Empire Stores is gone. Caryhom Ice Cream is gone. Modern Hair Dressers is gone. Pat a Cake is gone. The Music Shop is gone. The Book Shop is gone. Bharat Hair Dresser… no, it’s still here!

This salon opened in 1952, a year after the setting up of Khan Market, which remained a homely neighbourhood bazaar until the 1990s — when it transformed into a high-end shopping destination.

Like the last man standing in the wake of a nuclear holocaust, Bharat Hair Dresser continues to retain the character of a shop-around-the-corner. The Hindi-speaking barbers gossip about the morning headlines and the price for a shave is ₹80 – you’ll pay more for a glass of orange juice in any of the restaurants next door.

Prahlad Ram, a migrant from Haryana, founded the shop — his portrait hangs on the wall. His younger son, Kashi Ram, says, “So much has changed in Khan Market. The rented space on which our shop stands has had four owners. Not one of them raised the rent. We are also lucky to have a constant stream of clients – many of them live in the surrounding government colonies. Some of our customers are so faithful that although they retired years ago and moved to Gurgaon, Noida and other faraway places, they still come to us for haircuts.”

In Khan Market today there is new wealth and new crowd. As rents soar, more old-timers will vanish, and more familiar storefronts will disappear. Can Bharat Hair Dresser survive as a small business establishment?

Before the inevitable happens, come here to get yourself groomed for ₹100.

First Published: Jun 22, 2017 13:13 IST