Updated : August 16, 2019
By U Thein Han (Maryland)
Ko Aye Pe has been my barber since my University days in 1947 till 1971. He also cut the hair of my two sons. He worked at Varsity Hair Dressing Salon in Bogyoke Aung San Market. We were friends till I left for USA in 1971. He was a kind and obliging person and whenever I travel abroad I brought a shirt for him.
On my first visit back to Myanmar in 2005 I wanted to see him and asked my friend U Hla Soe if he knew Ko Aye Pe’s whereabouts. U Hla Soe told me that he has retired and cuts people hair at his home and gave me his address.
Ko San Aung (Sydney Tin, Ko Pyu) and I took a taxi and went to search for him. We found him living in an apartment near the Old Central Jail behind Medical College 1. He was very happy to see me. He told me he’s retired and he’s working at home and the barber chair that I’m sitting on was given by U Hla Soe. I had a long chat with him and returned back to Winner Inn Hotel.
On my next visit to Myanmar two years later, we went to his apartment but was told by his neighbor that he had moved to Ahlone and gave us the address. We went there and found him living with his niece’s family. When we met him he was BLIND. His niece told him there’s someone to see him but did not tell who we were. I sat down next to him and asked him if he knew who I was. He touched my face with his hand to find out who I was. I then told him that I was Ko Charlie and came back to Myanmar for a visit. When he touched my face with his hand my eyes became wet and I was very sad to see him blind, he must be about 75 years then.
It must have been Cataract which could have been treated and cured, maybe no one told him to see an Eye Doctor or that he may not have the cash for the surgery.
Before we left I gave him Kyats 100,000 for being a good friend who was always willing to cut hair for my kids at home. We then said goodbye to him and returned back to Winner Inn Hotel.
Ko Aye Pe was kind to me when I needed his services and his METTA to me. In return I was able to share what I can with him when he needed it.
Editor’s Note :
- Ko Thet was a neighbor and friend of Yo Yo Gyi Zeya (outstanding actor in our younger days). He is a barber and a good story teller.
- One form of Russell’s Paradox involves a barber, who claimed “I only shave those who do not shave themselves”. The paradox is “Who shaves the barber?”