Lockdown Diary: Mumbaikars missing their hair-cut but reluctant to go out

A dip-stick survey finds upper class Mumbaikars reluctant to go out as and when the lockdown is lifted. They will avoid films, concerts, bars, shopping malls they say, and shun outdoor activities

Photo courtesy- social media
Photo courtesy- social media
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Devasis Chattopadhyay

After facing one of the harshest lockdowns in the world for over 66 days, what are urbane upper- middle-class Mumbaikars thinking? What are they mentally prepared to do or not do as and when the lockdown is lifted?

A majority of them confided that they would avoid rushing to the movie theatres or go out and watch a play or musical concert, something which Mumbaikars, irrespective of class, caste, or income level, are universally fond of. It would seem Shoojit Sirkar’s decision to release Gulabo-Sitabo on the OTT platform is appropriate.

A very interesting aspect of the dip-stick survey showed that a staggering 90 percent - both female and male respondents included - are aspiring to have a haircut. However, only about one fourth of them are prepared to visit a barber shop or a beauty parlour. May be Urban Clap will have a field day, as and when they resume their services. But upper-middle class Mumbaikars want to be very cautious about having any other beauty treatment. Any skin care regime is not on the agenda at present.

Junaid Shaikh, the young and enterprising third-generation owner of the 70 years old, very popular ‘Precious Hair Dressers’ of Kemps Corner confided, ‘I have been receiving calls from clients for some time now enquiring about resuming home service’.


47.5 percent of health conscious Mumbaikars are hesitant about going to the gym or attend Yoga-classes. They want to wait and watch. Instead, all of them will prefer to go out for regular walks, and even prepared to run and jog individually in the open air.

Mumbaikars above the age of 40 are contemplating personalised one-on-one home tuition of Yoga in a controlled environment to remain fit. Youngsters below the age of 20 prefer cycling. May be a time is approaching for Mumbai to have safe and secured cycling lanes and zones.

As many as 42.5 percent are not planning to visit pubs, bars, discotheque and cafes. However, around 45 percent, most of them being less than 35 years of age, would like to enjoy their drink at a pub that practices superior healthcare safety norms and are not too crowded. Mumbaikars between 21 and 35 years of age will also like to visit cafes and bristos with very close friends.

A high 60 percent of Mumbaikars admitted they are not very comfortable visiting crowded shopping malls and 55 percent will skip dining out. 12.5 percent are yet undecided about their life once the lockdown restrictions are lifted. 60 percent of the Mumbaikars are undecided about visiting people’s home or calling friends over, except family members.


Dr. M. S. Shah, a very well-known city based senior medical practitioner attached to Jaslok Hospital opined, ‘Attack of Coronavirus and the resultant lockdown is not only a health scare but a major trauma for the entire human race. It has affected people all over the world, including and especially city dwellers, by suddenly disrupting the rhythm of everyday life they had. We will suffer the longer this virus lasts unchecked. We should focus our national priority in fighting this pandemic unitedly,’.

Till a vaccine is in the offing, it is but sure that like everybody else, life of Mumbaikars will alter considerably in the near term. Outdoor activities are unlikely to attract as many people as they did earlier.

The message in short is that much of the city’s economy will have to be rebuilt from scratch. It is a scary prospect.

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Published: 07 Jun 2020, 2:00 PM