An Unfair Affair?

This is Classic Hair Dressers, a local gents-only hair dressing salon in Karachi. Thanks to its popularity, the salon was recently upgraded from three seats to five seats. Akbar, to whom this small but growing business belongs, hails from Sukkar and is quite a friendly and polite soul.

Lately I noticed that Akbar has put up drapes between the first three and the last two of the seats. When I inquired about the purpose of these pardas, he said that this is by popular customer demand who come to him for a ‘fayshal‘ – the local short term for a facial treatment. The facial treatment aimed at lightening up the complexion of the facial skin, is not limited just to bridegrooms only. The job, that includes something called ‘polishing’, can take at least a couple of hours and costs anywhere from Rs 300 to Rs 500. Akbar discloses that his facial customers include young men who are not necessary very close to a grand event such as their own marriages. Getting fairer is a secretive but popular affair with Akbar’s customers.

SRK phenomenon
notwithstanding, the region seems to be acknowledging the indigenous idea of male fairness desirability. But for now, the practice seems to be sort of a taboo and hence the need of curtains in Akbar’s salon!

40 Comments so far

  1. What the heck? (unregistered) on October 10th, 2007 @ 5:11 pm

    Get a life, I mean really, wake up and smell the coffee. There are people dying in the streets and this is what you come up with. This is shear abuse and misuse of resources available to you. Start reading newspapers and perhaps you may find something worth writing about for on your own you failed miserably this once.
    Take care ..

  2. IUnknown (unregistered) on October 10th, 2007 @ 5:27 pm

    no , TM is rite. if u open u r eyes n brain , u can find that even guys are doing wat girls are supposed to do. isnt that misuse of money?

  3. Neena (unregistered) on October 10th, 2007 @ 6:05 pm

    A facial cleans, exfoliates and nourishes the skin to promote clear, well-hydrated skin. Goras too get it all the time.

    I’m glad Akbar is benefiting from the market demand, it’s good for all of us when comunity business flourishes.

  4. Huzefa L (unregistered) on October 10th, 2007 @ 6:52 pm

    I don’t think this is a new phenomenon. Its been happening for years. I hope the stigma goes away soon, there is nothing wrong with wanting to feel good. If someone feels better with a little fairer skin, good for them – IMHO

    happy people = more productive people

    White people like to get tanned, no one screams at them for wanting to get darker.

    @What the Heck? – Don’t be so judgmental. You have lots of resources available too, why dont you go do something about the people dying in the street?

  5. Syed Johny (unregistered) on October 10th, 2007 @ 6:56 pm

    common man ! facial cleansing for men is done in almost every proper Saloon ! which numbers in tens and thousands in Karachi!

    and people go there do have this cleansing ! it is also recommended for health ! The dusty environment also supported by thousands of development projects in Karachi gives rise to many skin allergies and disease ! and face being the most sensitive and prominent part of body should be taken care of ! (if one can and needs)

    and these Facial cleansing is of several kinds ! starting from simple cleansing @ 50Rs to luxurias beauty treatment [:D]

  6. Zee (unregistered) on October 10th, 2007 @ 7:37 pm

    @WhatTheHeck: I do not see anything wrong with this post though I am sick and tired of political posts. If you want to read politicsl news and views head to News websites or use Google to find the latest news. Spare us with your political bullshit!

  7. br0ke (unregistered) on October 10th, 2007 @ 7:55 pm

    Men are the new Women!

  8. muhammed (unregistered) on October 10th, 2007 @ 8:46 pm

    hetro-sexuality ppl there is nothing wrong with tht i wud think. It comes as one off the perks associated with the big jobs in the west. I dont think there is anything wrong with someone trying to look good, now is there.

  9. ALAM (unregistered) on October 10th, 2007 @ 10:50 pm

    I think its a gay parlour. Something happens behind the drapes, which gives a rude meaning to ‘facial’ :)

  10. Reality_Check (unregistered) on October 11th, 2007 @ 12:00 am

    This story is like a fantasy tale for people living in Bannu and Swat, their barbars are vanishing in thin air.

    So enjoy the view while it lasts…..just a joke!

  11. IUnknown (unregistered) on October 11th, 2007 @ 11:14 am

    @alam and @reality_check, y u alwayas think so weired???

    has that bad thinking being builtin to ur mind when u weere born??

    @alam: the crack head. y u always wanted to look nude in front of every body??? probably the secular mind thinks like that, doesnt it?

  12. mantissa (unregistered) on October 11th, 2007 @ 1:09 pm

    Some people really need to reign in the language on KMB – just a demonstration how KMB is NOT family friendly otherwise.

  13. IUnknown (unregistered) on October 11th, 2007 @ 1:52 pm

    yeah if some ppl stop spreading shit here

  14. DB9 (unregistered) on October 11th, 2007 @ 7:35 pm

    I dont see anything wrong with it. It is helping local business and making people look good which is very important for the economy.

    No country want to do business with shabby looking people. Especially “Men in Karachi” really needs to do something about their looks cause they look more like Indians/Hindus. They must wash their face and take help from these type of parlors and marry russian muslim females to make Pakistan beautiful.

  15. Balma (unregistered) on October 11th, 2007 @ 8:40 pm

    Especially “Men in Karachi” really needs to do something about their looks cause they look more like Indians/Hindus.

    ARe you talking about Zardari (Budnazir’s husband), Arbab Rahim, or Mumtaz Bhutto (Budnazir’s chaachoo) as your sample of Karachi men?

    And, what is wrong with looking like the way they look or looking like Indian Hindus? Zardari did find a wife (albiet a stupid one), and he did make billions (in dollars), so I guess he should be imitated. Don’t you think?

  16. ALAM (unregistered) on October 11th, 2007 @ 9:42 pm


    DB9 thinks Arabs are the real caucassians and he is spawned by the horny Arab invaders !

  17. RIZWANA (unregistered) on October 11th, 2007 @ 11:09 pm

    I disagree with those who disagree wiht the idea of men’s facial.

    I think personal grooming should be FARZ (obligatory) on Pakistani men since they look and smell nasty.

  18. Balma (unregistered) on October 11th, 2007 @ 11:28 pm

    * Rizwana write:

    I think personal grooming should be FARZ (obligatory) on Pakistani men

    I hate to be funny but unkempt beard on an ungroomed face is a Sunnat (according to some people). I see a “faraz aur sunnat kee jang” on this!

  19. ShahidnUSA (unregistered) on October 12th, 2007 @ 12:53 am

    DB9 said:
    “people look good which is very important for the economy”

    @Balma Salma
    You usually are the most funny one
    Can you top that? :)

  20. KHICITIZEN (unregistered) on October 12th, 2007 @ 1:27 am

    Beard has got nothing to do with personal grooming. Dont drag religion here, you sick hindu.

  21. Balma (unregistered) on October 12th, 2007 @ 1:36 am

    DB9 seems a bit racist, Shahid-un-Nissa.
    Employing ‘tujaahil-e-aarifaanah’, I gave him some example of KArachi men….. he for sure didn’t mean that. Laikin mai’n chaahtaa hoo’n keh yeh khul kar saamnay aayae aur khul kar apnaa racist venom (zeher) uglay.

    Also, his or her logic was pretty flawed. He probably does not know much about foreign capital being invested directly (corporations) and indirectly (through inv in stocks) in India. If you ask Balma, I would say everyone in Karachi and Pakistan should imitate Indians in order to progress.

    Aur batao, Zardari kee party mai’n Friday night kaun kaun jaa rahaa hae?

  22. Neena (unregistered) on October 12th, 2007 @ 1:38 am

    Especially “Men in Karachi” really needs to do something about their looks cause they look more like Indians/Hindus.

    LOL we are all from same gene pool.

    Pakistani Punjabi look alike Indian Punjabi (Sikhs)
    Pakistani Sindhi look alike Indian Sindhi
    Pakistani Pathan look alike Indian Pathan (Shammi Kapoor)
    and so on
    Karachiites are already proud with their Indian heritage, so no need to explain it.

    BTW, it’s a misconception that all Indians are small and dark. From where do you think Bollywood Actresses come from – outer space.

  23. ALAM (unregistered) on October 12th, 2007 @ 1:55 am


    >> From where do you think Bollywood Actresses come from – outer space.

    Are you telling me that Shilpa Shetty has not come from havens? get out of here !

  24. Balma (unregistered) on October 12th, 2007 @ 2:05 am

    *From where do you think Bollywood Actresses come from – outer space.

    I don’t think most Bollywood actress these days are that cute. Aisviryaa Rai kee shakal say to jaisay mujhay chiR hae. Kyaa satiyaanaas kyaa iss nay umrao-jan aur devdaaas kaa. Apnee rekha zyaadah achhee thee.

    Also, lots of Indian movie actresses have been Muslims: starting from Nur Jahan days, to Radhika Bai (Begum Khurshid Mirza was real name, daughter of Shaikh Abdulla of Aligarh, for whom the college in NAzimabad is named, Khadda market vallah college is after Abdullah HAroon, I believe)

    Anyway, then we had NArgis, Waheeda Rehman, Mina Kumari, Madhu Balla, and then the glamor girls Zeenat Aman and finally Parveen Bobi, Balma’s all time favorite, and belonging to Navab JunagaRh family. No, Nadira (Mughal-e-Azam) was not Muslim, but a jew.

    I don’t know why not many Muslim girls in Indian Movie these days(I think Farah Khan is now doing amma jee type roles)….. who else…oh that Sharmila Tagore’s daughter could be considered half Muslim, daughter of Navab MAK Patodi and great-grand daugther of the last ruling Navab of Bhopal…..any other famous muslim Indian actresses these days?

  25. ShahidnUSA (unregistered) on October 12th, 2007 @ 2:15 am

    @ Balma Salma
    Pakistanis should nt imitate Indians. They should innovate their own originality and boost their native culture.
    I laugh when I see Indians imitating west in their movies.
    If you guys think west is prettier,I kid you not,west think you guys are more attractive.
    Grass is greener I guess

  26. Balma (unregistered) on October 12th, 2007 @ 2:19 am

    *If you guys think west is prettier,I kid you not,west think you guys are more attractive.

    Hmmm, you are discussing which guys are cute with Mr. West?

  27. ShahidnUSA (unregistered) on October 12th, 2007 @ 2:29 am

    Guys is a unisex word
    Common Balma be nice.

  28. Ajeeb (unregistered) on October 12th, 2007 @ 6:52 am

    Wow! I am really wooried about all this Indian influence on karachiites. There was a time when they (indians/hindus) wanted to look like us, now we r doing that. Shame… We are a different nation and should not loose our identity like this cause Pakistan & India were never one nation, u must read “the ture” history.

  29. Tariq Khanani (unregistered) on October 12th, 2007 @ 8:14 am

    Ajeeb bhai aap ki is ajeeb baat se ajeeb ajeeb log ajaen gay ajeeb batain karnay.

    Waisay if you are worried, then jaldi se jao aur Sony/Starplus ke channels hatado apnay TV se.

  30. ShahidnUSA (unregistered) on October 12th, 2007 @ 8:33 am

    I agree with Mr or Mrs Balma, pakistanis can learn lot of good things from India and ignore the bad.

  31. IUnknown (unregistered) on October 12th, 2007 @ 1:21 pm

    @blama, @alam .. u all sound so “sissy”

  32. Zee (unregistered) on October 12th, 2007 @ 4:16 pm

    ALAM, BALMA… dudes, seriously, you really need to get your act together. All you do is talk crap here and hardly ever make sense or talk out of rationale!

  33. Balma (unregistered) on October 12th, 2007 @ 8:13 pm

    What was so sissy about my commetns here?

    Zee: “talk out of rationale” what does it mean, bad sentence format?

  34. Balma (unregistered) on October 12th, 2007 @ 8:14 pm

    Dont drag religion here, you sick hindu.

    Say what?

  35. IUnknown (unregistered) on October 12th, 2007 @ 8:21 pm

    @balma: try some facial and then talk to me

  36. ALAM (unregistered) on October 12th, 2007 @ 11:42 pm


    I hope u didn’t get the definition of
    “facial” from selazy movies, u (used to) watch after iftaar or taraweeh ;)

  37. Zee (unregistered) on October 12th, 2007 @ 11:46 pm

    Balma: No, not at all. ASK native English americans and they might explain it to you better :)

  38. ALAM (unregistered) on October 13th, 2007 @ 12:13 am


    BALMA is right. I just asked some “Native English Americans” here. They say they usually “talk out of their asses” but never try talking out of rationale

  39. balma (unregistered) on October 13th, 2007 @ 10:24 am

    ALAM and Zee: you can fight it out among yourselves. I have never claimed expertise in English. I am more comfortable with Urdu.

    I was thinking of that sissy comment you made. On second thought, I do think I am a bit nazuk mizaaj:-)

    Have fun guys:-) You are all very cute.

  40. teymour (unregistered) on October 14th, 2007 @ 10:32 pm

    all of us should go to akbar’s for a facial

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