Rahad Abir’s essay tries to answer the question- What’s in a beard! weaving literature and day-to-day life together.
I arrive in Dhaka with my two-month-old beard. “Didn’t they (immigration) stop challenging you as an extremist?” jokes my wife. Being away from my family for three months in Britain, now back in Dhaka, my four-year-old son barely recognizes me. He mistakes me as his mama (maternal uncle) instead of his father.
In the evening, I visit a barbershop. The tiny barbershop on the main road, five feet by eight feet, can house only two chairs; though generally it serves one customer at a time. Not long ago the shop came out of the womb of an ageing building.
The building, back then, was a shabby, old three-story house. After some renovation overnight, the place ended up having a virgin look. With glossy rustic tiles on the front of the building and a large reflective stainless steel main gate, the place stood across the road like a seducing concubine. And it would blink at the passing passers-by. Soon, a media office, a new daily started by the local parliament minister, took up the first and second floor of the space. Also, some shops were rented out on the ground floor. The barbershop happened to be one of them.