Some days back I got a haircut. Having never experienced the joys of straight hair, I finally knew even if for a few brief hours – what it was like to have hair that can be managed, or hair that doesn’t knot itself like it’s trying to do various versions of the great Indian rope trick all at once. It would be fair to say that my hair has caused me much grief.
Out of sheer bad luck and other climatic factors, my communication with barbers and hairdressers has been limited to grunts and “Are you sure?”s. My dad’s trusted barber – Thakur was a nice man who gave me haircuts for a long time. The last time my mother let him touch my hair was when he inadvertently cut it very short. And I mean very short. The kind of hair that you see on Gentlemen Cadets in a military academy. You couldn’t hold it if you tried. There was nothing left to hold. You have to understand, my mother’s fond dreams of seeing her darling child in a pattu pavadai (silk skirt) with a string of jasmine swishing on long hair were dashed. Incidentally, I used to hate a particular advertisement that kept showing one annoying mother and daughter pair swaying their hair singing “Jhalke Jhalke“. (How am I supposed to translate that?)
My fundamental issue with long hair was the amount of time it took to maintain it. And on days that my mom was slightly pissed with me, she did a less gentle job of combing it. I tried quite a few haircuts in my lifetime. Most hairdressers would insist on leaving a lock of hair swaying on my face, which I had to keep spitting out of my mouth. Or keep tucking behind the ear while battling with a particularly evil question in the Mathematics exam. However, it provided for some settling of nerves, this constant adjustment of hair while debating and quizzing. It can look like you’re thinking, when all around you, people are shitting bricks of fear.
I finally got a haircut that I remotely liked for a few hours. After the first wash of course, my hair returned to that unruly self, however some dervish level brushing keeps it down. It is another thing that our man commented that I looked like an Afghan Hound. Here, this is what an Afghan Hound looks like.
The Afghan Hounds (check these lovelies at flickr) are so beautiful that I am not quite sure I deserve such heartwarming compliments. I can always try to wag my tail and look happy with such adulation I suppose. While I am at it, I might even make my tail thump the coffee out of the mug and on to his books.
Woof! (Btw, which dog says Woof! in the world. I want to know.) It being a dog’s world and all.