I have been forbidden to cut my hair for the first year of my marriage, not that I want to go for a crew cut, but it’s getting obnoxiously long now and is pretty much all over the place. Also, I have curls. Yes, it’s beyond beautiful (way to be modest!).
Although, beauty comes with a price. I have been in several minor accidents and major embarrassments because of my mane.
On days when I was at war with the mane, I was reminded of the simpler times when ma had full control of my life. I had fairly long hair back in the days, which I didn’t allow her to tie in any fashion she wanted to. She probably wanted to style it a hundred different ways but when you have an impatient monkey for a child, you give up. Ma once showed me a picture of hers where she had Rapunzel hair, she lost most of it after I was born. What a monster I was, I thought.
So what do you do with the untamed mane of an unruly child? You chop it off. I remember the day she took me to the salon, I cried as the cruel lady chopped it off. I looked like a boy and felt worse. I was 8 or 9 at the time. This atrocity continued till I was 15. I was pretty much scarred by then.
It was during this time that we had gone on a family vacation to Shimla. The brother and I were on horsebacks (could have been a mule or a donkey; certainly not a horse). The uncouth “horse” owner asked the brother, “Yeh tumhara bada bhai hai?” I wanted to punch his guts out so bad he could have spelt horse backwards. But I didn’t. What I did do was take matters and my life in my own hands.
The next visit to the salon was skipped. I dramatically declared that I no longer wanted short hair. My mother saw rebellion in my eyes and she let me be (exam time it was).
Adolescence can be difficult and adulthood can be worse, especially when you have curly hair and you earn your own bread (you can either eat or maintain your tresses). I have learnt to buy two bottles of conditioner and one shampoo; yes we need conditioning more than the cleanser. My friend thinks it’s crazy (she has straight golden hair, don’t ask how). Also, air-conditioning is my bae (picked up this “cool” word recently). So, the trick to have swooning curls is to wash and condition it well and then move to the air-conditioned room/car/bus/bullock-cart (whatever suits you best).
People have good and bad hair days, I have wild and Barbados-Monica hair days. I generally don’t make a pony primarily because I get a headache (a medical condition is a better explanation than looking egg-faced).
One time I chose a public commute without a scrunchie. That’s a brave thing to do, by the way. I was enjoying the wind in my hair when this dude beside me asked me to move my hair, it was in his face. I apologized.
Once I had a near death experience when my hair got stuck in the car door; thankfully I was inside the car.
My mane has also been my camouflage. So, when I wanted to hide from the boss or avoid small talk with some letch at work, I used my tresses. It didn’t help much because the boss was always catching hold us during the most random moments, like when we would spin people in the office chair to make them throw up (It was our tea-break sport).
The humid weather has never been too kind to us. On wild days, I could manage the world. It just meant keeping the hair from freshly applied lip balm or trying not to walk into a glass door or bumping into people. On Barbados-Monica days, I chose not to cross the street, or go near fire, or walk for that matter.
Life is tough, but so are we.
This one’s for all of you who don’t understand our plight and for all the beautiful women stocking up conditioner bottles.
Image courtesy: Google