Monday, July 16, 2007

A White-mare

It is amazing how the daily events of my life fuel the existence of my blog. Just when I think that there is nothing new to write for the next few days now, something unusual happens, and here I sit at my desk and type furiously.

I had just spent a Sunday afternoon talking to my folks for a couple of hours. For a change, dad remarked that I looked thinner and pale, my eyes somewhat sallow. Now this I would take as a compliment, given the way I have ballooned up the last few months. Even the air in the US has cholesterol. Stop eating, just keep breathing and still you will balloon up.

Post dinner, I ventured into the bathroom to brush. Now brushing is just one of those excuses for going in front of the wall length mirror, turning this way and that way, looking at myself first from the right, and then from the left. For a moment, I really thought that I had shed some weight. Then I bent closer to the mirror and looked into my face, I squinted a couple of times, displayed my teeth, made funny gestures, shot out my tongue, aimed a gunshot at my own self, and finally smiled into the mirror. I absentmindedly sifted my hands through my now shoulder length hair when I stopped dead in my tracks.

No !!!

I looked at it carefully. I changed angles to see if that was the reflection of the light on my head playing tricks with my mind.

No. No. No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Smiling back at me from the mirror was a single strand of hair, proudly separated from the herd, looking at me and mocking me. It seemed to tell me that no matter whatever way I moved, it would still make its presence felt in my life, marring the charm of whatever few years of youth left in me.

For it was none other than a strand of white hair !!!

White hair. Yeah, you heard me right. A gleaming, shining strand of white hair that seemed to look whiter amidst the black ones. The more I shifted to let the light fall on my head, the more it gleamed. It mocked me, reminding me of my misspent youth. Still single, not likely to marry anytime soon. Where did I have place in my life for my whiting hair now?

Suddenly, a hundred scary images conjured in front of my eyes. Here I was at my own wedding, draped in a gorgeous red Manish Malhotra bridal outfit. The crowd looked mesmerized while suddenly, a kid out of nowhere comes running and tells me, “Auntie, Super Vasmol kesh kaala for you”. Auntie? Kesh kaala?

And then I see images of me trying to teach my kid say “ma” when she winks at me, gives me a naughty, toothless smile, and says, “Granny”.

And just like every good looking girl from Perizaad to Rimi Sen used to vanish from Uday Chopra’s dream bike in Dhoom, I saw my figurative tall, dark, handsome man disappear from the bike, to be replaced by an aging, old, withered man. White hair. White clothes. A white life. Aaarrgghhhh!!!

I tried to tell myself that perhaps it was a random case of a gene mutation in one single hair strand. Perhaps my liver wasn’t working very well. Or perhaps, my eyesight was going bad. It was none of them. For the white strand of hair kept gleaming and shining against the light, mocking me.

I carefully separated the rest of the strands of my hair and slowly plucked the white one, so as not to damage the rest. It reminded me of my summers during childhood when granny would give me ten paisa for every white hair I plucked off her head. The hair strand looked thicker than usual, and definitely de-pigmented and white. 

Now, I am in a fix. The more I lose sleep over the white hair issue, the more my hair turns white. It was just one single stray hair strand amid thousands. A statistically insignificant sample size for sure. But then again, I cannot think of anything else but that cursed, unlucky strand of white hair.

And I am just 25. Not married, still looking for someone from the same zip code, and definitely not on the lookout for a walking stick. Suddenly, I had images of these young kids vacating the seat for me the moment I got on the bus. I suddenly had this vision of getting discounts for senior citizens everywhere. And all this for a single strand of white hair. I am sure I am not looking up the mirror for the next few weeks now. Or maybe the next few years. What a whitemare, I mean a nightmare.



simba said...

excellent title! very very apt! dont worry abt these stray strands. they are only there to remind u of the wisdom u posess.

mintykulkarni said...

Hey Sunshine, nice post as usual! You can make trival things look very special. Just dont worry. Keep writing.

tetracyclops said...

feel more mature!
i am roughly the same age as u and when someone remarked of such a strand on my head, i just couldn't believe i cud have something like that!

by the way, dont use kesh kala, just say u got a single strand dyed especially for some summer pyjama party/weekend hangout/welcoming freshers/next potluck/some random event to be different.


johnny said...

nice post. white hair is nothing to be bothered about if you ask me. i am the same age as you are and i have had white hair since i was in high school. Mostly genetic i suppose. My dad also has had white hair for a long time. Often people mistake my dad to be my mom's father, and most of my sis' classmates and teachers thought he was her grandfather. For me, when my cousins used to make fun of me back then saying am old, i would just reply "you are just jealous you are not as wise as i am, ~quote~Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life. - prov 16:31 ~/quote~". Sure got the whole lot fuming enough to make my day. :D
And as for the white hair itself, my mom tells me to use coconut hair mixed with henna and insists it will work. But i have theorized that the combo gives the white hair mirror like properties to reflect the surrounding dark hair and disappear in the crowd.

sunshine said...

simba- hehe, I love to read your comments, as much as I love my posts.

mintykulkarni- that is the best compliment according to me, seriously.

tetracyclops- arre kesh kala was just a reference... I am very wary of what I put on my head.

johnny- wow, some beauty tips, mm? Hey thanks buddy.

Aborigine said...

dont worry.everything will turn grey soon:)

ggop said...

My sympathies! I felt the same when I saw a grey/white hair. As a generation we are greying faster than our parents.

Sometimes I see women in their 50s and 60s dye their hair jet black in India and it amuses me.