A Close Shave for the Piglet


Late last month, we decided it was time to shave the Piglet’s head. It is a custom among South Indians – part practical and part religious. It’s practical because it removes the scanty, raggedy, baby hair and allows the newer, thicker hair to grow. It’s also religious as the baby hair is usually presented as an offering to God, in our case, Thirupathy Balaji.

This ceremony usually happens when the baby is either 11 months, or 3 years. If we had missed the boat last month, then we would need to wait until he’s three without cutting his hair at all. It’s not something I mind, I rather like the thought of him growing out his hair until he’s three. But the usual family pressure happened (what nonsense, he’s a boy, he can’t have long hair. What if he gets confused? and so on and so forth), and so I caved in, and we decided to tonsure him before he turns 12 months old.

The customary practice (something we did with the snubnose) would be to go to Thirupathy and get him shaved there. Unfortunately, with K’s mother’s critical condition, we decided to skip the journey and take him to a local beauty parlor instead. We can always go to Thirupathy later and present the hair.

My close friend who is really knowledgeable about stylish places highly recommended Mirrors & Within. I decided to go there for two reasons:

  • The place is really spacious and bright, and clean looking
  • It’s unisex, and so K can come inside and help hold baby

Because the branch in Leela Palace was closed for renovation, we made the trek all the way to the UB City branch. Now, this is a very chi-chi place, full of socialites, the atmosphere heavy with air kisses and perfume. We immediately felt out-of-place and wondered whether we had made the right choice.

Thankfully, our allotted hair dresser approached us almost immediately and took us to a quiet room. He took his time getting to know the piglet before actually starting the shave, and this made a huge difference. Instead of screaming his head off (like the snubnose had done for her tonsure), the piglet was left free to roam about and play in between. We played youtube videos to keep him distracted, and within an hour, the piglet had a trauma-free tonsure.

It was such a hassle-free experience, we managed to squeeze in a trim for the snubnose as well. Highly recommend this place. It was buzzing with activity, and yet so organized. We were expecting wait times upwards of 20 mins, but we were pleasantly surprised. The attitude of the staff was also lovely – professional, yet warm and down-to-earth. I am definitely going to visit this place more often. The prices are also fairly reasonable.

Here are some pics…

Giving a sexy look just before the parlour visit

Giving a sexy look just before the parlour visit

And another one

And another one

A Peaceful Tonsure

A Peaceful Tonsure

After the tonsure, they placed a multani mitti pack (similar to a mud pack) on his scalp to reduce itching and irritation.

Tonsured and sandalwood pasted #baby

A photo posted by Nishita Kumar (@nishitak) on

All comfortable a couple of days later

Rusk time #baby

A photo posted by Nishita Kumar (@nishitak) on

After the tonsure

A photo posted by Nishita Kumar (@nishitak) on

This was a great experience for all of us. We did miss the religious aspect of the ceremony, but nothing beat it for comfort and these days I am all about comfort.

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  • Reminds me of my little brother and me years ago. 🙂

  • What a gorgeous little bubba! Its so hard to believe they grow so quickly. Glad it was a positive experience for you all.

    • @Becky: Thanks so much. It really was a relief to get it over with painlessly. Whew!

  • Too, too cute.

    • @Jenny: Thanks 🙂

  • So adorable. I googled tonsure after I saw your pics on Instagram because I am woefully ignorant when it comes to cultural rituals like this. Really interesting. I always think it’s particularly fascinating when a religious rite includes practicality. Some pretty darn cute kiddos you have there. 🙂

    • @Jenn: I am pretty ignorant generally about rituals too. I just do them. If you ask me why precisely we need to donate hair to the God, I don’t know. But we do it anyway, and the temples make wigs out of it and sell them.

  • Interesting post! I didn’t know anything about this custom. I love his beautiful before-hair, but I’m sure it’ll grow back soon. How nice that the hairdresser took his time with him. That really helped, I’m sure.

    I learned something new: you can’t take a man to a women’s hairdresser’s? Here that is no problem at all because no one gets into an indecent state. 🙂 I think your society is a little stricter in keeping men and women separate, maybe?

    • I wouldn’t say ‘strict’ per se, I think it’s an odd amalgam of ‘oh that is bad’ and ‘oh beware you might be sexually harassed’ and ‘it’s not right for men to touch’ etc. There are ‘unisex salons’, but what I’ve noticed is that they have women for the women and vice versa. (And, here I am ignoring the uber professional stylists who charge an obscene amount of money for the services.)

  • He looks so damn cute with those lovely pink lips!!! *hugs* n *kisses* to the sweetheart!!

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