Ganesh Salon, one of the oldest salons in Guwahati, few yards from the Assam Secretariat on the Beltola-Basistha Road has been serving the people of Guwahati since 1972. Owner of the salon Ram Thakur, presently 67 years old, moved from Bihar to Shillong in 1956, when it was still the capital of Assam. Now the Secretary of the Guwahati Salon Union, he had actually quit his government job to work in a saloon back in the 60s.
When he was in Shillong, Ram Thakur did not own a shop; rather he would roam around cutting hairs of people at their houses. He did the same while he moved base to Guwahati. He eventually opened his own shop and catered to people from across the city. Even though business was good back in the day, the present generation share that it doesn’t pay as much as it used to. Surendra Thakur, youngest in the saloon business said, ‘I used to work as a teacher, but I gave up and joined the saloon because twenty years back, the income from the business was thrice the salary. But now I earn less than a school teacher. At times I feel sad about that, but again I think that it is my family business and a kind of responsibility.’
The new and fancier salons opening up in the city is also a cause for concern ‘A lot of modern salons have come up, and it is affecting our business. But, we have been serving the people of Guwahati for more than forty years. So, we don’t need to worry too much. Back in the 80s, many MLAs used to came to us for haircut. We have sustained this business for years and we shall continue to do so for years to come,’ he said.
The city has lots of establishments that have their own story to tell. Ganesh Salon is one amongst them, on the verge of completing of 50 years, a big deal for any business.