Monday, September 12, 2005

Such Hirsuteness.

For the uninitiated, hirsuteness is the state of being hairy.

And a highly improbable event has occurred. I have decided to grow my hair.

Okay, people knowing me need not fall off their seats or stare agape as if the sun has just risen in the western sky. Yes, you heard me right, I am growing my hair. Naah! I am not getting married. And no, I’m not yet too bankrupt to be able to afford a hair cut.

I’ll give you a brief summary of the past 24 years as far as growing stuff on my head is concerned.

As a kid, I had very little hair and most people mistook me for a boy. Even in school, I couldn’t go beyond those really tiny ponytails. My faint memories of long hair go back to the fifth grade when mom would oil them and tie ribbons tightly after braiding them on two sides. They hung close to my ears all day and tickled me. And I am talking of something a little less than shoulder length hair.

And then one fine day, I chopped off my hair. Well, once when I was 3, I had unknowingly taken the pair of large orange scissors mom used to cut cloth with and chopped off the locks in a few bold blows. Every body was horrified. Thank God I hadn’t hurt my eyes.

But this time, the hairdresser did it with the assent of dad. And history was finally made. As my age in years increased, the length of my hair decreased. And I bettered my records with time.

Short hair was so very convenient to maintain. You could wash it regularly and still not catch a cold. You needed just 5 seconds to comb it if you were late for school. In fact, you could even sift your fingers through them and everything would be fine. No one could play a prank and pull your plaits in school. You wouldn’t tempt the guys to stick chewing gum on your long, beautiful hair. In school, you needed to oil them and tie them up with white ribbons. But short hair looked so very cool.

And you were all tagged a tomboy. So while girls naturally kept a distance, boys were easier to make friends with. Girls with long hair had the natural tendency to play hide and seek and pani denga while girls with short hair would usually go for volleyball and football. I saved my mom so much money on Lycil and Mediker by not bringing back head lice from school.

And those compliments you received made you go an extra step and chop off those locks further. “Hey, you look like Kajol in Dushman and Preity Zinta in Lakshya.” “Hey, you look like Priyanka Gandhi in a saree.” “Hey, are you planning to join the police force like Kiran Bedi?”

Naah, it was nothing but sheer laziness that made me hate oiling my hair and applying mehndi and eggs and what not. Short hair seemed so very convenient. You wouldn’t be spending hours before a party undecided about how to do your hair. You wouldn’t have to invest on those clips and fancy bands.

So from boys cut to wedge cut to mushroom cut to army cut to navy cut, my hair has seen it all.

My hair is naturally bouncy with a very faint brownish tinge that grows with exceptional speed. It is so thick that I’d have to trim it every month so that the tresses wouldn’t fall all over my eyes. People envy its thickness and the rate at which it grows. Even with the iron and chlorine infested water in this city, where I’ve seen people going bald even with scores of eggs and mehndi and reetha shikakais and tonics applied rigorously, my hair grows with minimum care and maintenance. It is like the joy of seeing a lush green garden when you’ve bought a house in the deserts. I just don’t worry about my mien... worry causes hair loss, you know!

4 times I’ve tried to grow my hair (unsuccessfully)! It’s always too much of a mess for me to handle. But now that I get my mind racing and calculate it, it’s almost been 5 months since I’ve had my last hair cut. The coiffeuse then had chopped it off so mercilessly that for weeks, I wasn’t able to show my face to any one. How I wanted to sue that lady! I’ve never entered her beauty parlor since then.

And then I had my exams for which I had no time to trim my hair. After the exams, it was the month end and I was suddenly broke and had no money to shape it. So I just let it grow.

And then one fine morning, I realized that I could make a tiny ponytail after 14 long years. I measured it and was glad that it had crossed the 15 cm mark. So I let it grow more. Tresses would fall on my eyes and ears and irritate the hell out of me. But suddenly the woman in me realized that if Susmita Sen and Dimple Kapadia could stand it, so could I. Suddenly, Kareena Aitraaz Kapoor and Aishwarya Devdas Rai appeared so cool to me. So I just shoved the pair of scissors inside the mattress and never visited the beauty parlor again.

At Present 

I look like a mess with hair all over my face. It is not exactly long enough to be tied up and not short enough to be let loose. It has given me such an unkempt and feral appearance. But suddenly I am in love with my hair, just like you suddenly fall in love with that guy next door you have hated all your childhood when he makes a reappearance in your life after spending 5 years in the Indian Army. I have to tie it up at home that makes me look so weird. And I balk at the prospect of putting eggs on it. Yuck! I have to oil it and comb it regularly now. I no more look like Priyanka Gandhi (as if I ever did!). But it is real fun to measure your tresses after a shower everyday. And those wet strands no more stand out like spikes as if I have been recently electrocuted. They rather cling to my shoulders.

People who haven’t seen me for months, please don’t be in for a shock when you do. I will give it a decent cut once when it is longer. Who knows, I might actually start looking prettier than I did in short hair. And then all those people who always claimed that “you will look so very better in long hair” and I argued can have their last laugh.

But knowing me and my impetuously impulsive nature, please don’t be disappointed if one fine morning I find those pair of scissors tucked inside the mattress again and go snip snip. I won’t ever be able to model for Pantene and Head & Shoulders, but I will at least get back my tomboy Romila Lakshya Dutt looks. Not to mention my freedom. So much for freedom from such chains, or should I say locks?



munnu said...

man , you do write hair-raisingly well !and all the best fr "khile khile matwaale baal , ghane mulayam kaale baal".dabur amla kesh tel , mere baalo ka raaz.( *fluttering eyes* *shy smile*)

Anonymous said...

you almost convinced me to cut off my hair....:)...however everytime I think about doing that, I falter..maybe it has just become an extremely high-maintenance sister (no offence meant to sisters:P)

sunshine said...

munnu....yeh to shuruwaat hai, aage aage dekho hota hai kya. Imagine the stars in my eyes when I mount the podium to take the Bookers. And then I will name the huge list of people I am thankful to. And all the while you shall wonder, "Mera number kab aayega?"

anonymous.....high-maintenance sister? Whatever that meant !