Saturday, September 18, 2010

The knotty problem

I prevent solar radiations from hitting your skin; prevent sweat from falling into your eyes; prevent dust from entering your nose; provide more surface area to evaporate your sweat to cool your body; prevent body from radiating heat away when the surrounding is cold and so much more. But what do you do? You use me for silly metaphors like, “Pull a mountain by tying a hair to it. If you succeed you will get a mountain, if you lose you will lose only a hair”. Only a hair you say? Ask Harsha Bhogle and Virender Sehwag about it.

Some people say he is dead and he serves no purpose; some people say mankind lost the tail to evolution; but he is longer on us than any other animal, so just because we don't understand doesn't mean he has no purpose. I am not going to debate on this further. I am making a decision on behalf of Solomon Paapaiah, “Though hair is an integral part of human body, it is considered insignificant by our people”. Before I get to the point, let me narrate my experience with my hair.

As far as my memory goes I had very short hair as a youngster, growing up in the hot and humid climates of Pondicherry with “summer cuts”. My earliest memory of my hair is my neighbour telling me that I have two curls (tamil: suzhi) and that I would have two wives. It took me another two years to realize that it was a lie and what a disappointment that was. It was a matter of great pride for me when people admire the density of my hair. But, my dad was always there with a grin “your time will come, you have my genes” showing his balding head. I was hoping it was my mom’s genes outside my head and my dad’s inside; but nature had other plans.

I started experimenting with hairstyle only after I completed college. Drawing inspiration from Jason Gillespie and partly from my younger brother I started growing my hair long. I still can’t forget the look on my mom’s face when she saw my hair when I visited home after a long break. She did not like it, but didn’t want me to feel bad and she said “super kanna” when I asked her how it was. Later she slowly asked me as if to sound casual, “so, when are you planning to cut the hair?” Dad came to my aid saying “Paapaa, this is the age to experiment. After few years even if he wants to, there will be nothing left to experiment with”. I decided not to take that as an insult and looked at it positively saying to myself that my dad is supporting me.

My colleagues find it very enjoyable to ask silly questions, “What are you saving money for? By not going to a barber” “Is MindTree not paying enough money for even a hair cut” some of them even started a relief fund for my hair cut. Little did they know about my hardships? I stopped driving my bike to office since a helmet would spoil the hairstyle. I had to drive my car, which meant more fuel. I can’t keep the car windows down, since the wind would spoil my hairstyle. Window up, AC on, pocket empty. More the length of the hair, more the cost for maintenance. More itching, more shampoo. On top of all this, I had to cope up with these self proclaimed humor gods.

General reponse to my hairstyle

If people in Bangalore think I am a weirdo, what would people in Thippanampatti think? [Thippanampatti is a remote village in TamilNadu and happens to be my mom’s native.] I could see my younger relatives visiting my grandpa’s house discussing secrets, looking at me and giggling. An aged granny asked me innocently, “Is this how everyone in Bangalore is?” I tried Rajnikanth’s method, just smile if the question is hard to answer, trust me it worked. I had become an outcast to them.

Sleeping in the night and walking in the wind were the biggest challenges for me in life for long. I always end up with hair inside my eyes, nose, ears and mouth. I have no clue how the girls manage this without any fuss. Then there were some people; I had to hide behind trees or pillars to escape from. There is one in particular who till date thinks I have cut my hair because of his philosophical preaching.

There were many people who appreciated my long hair style and there were fans too. But, what fascinates me is to see that majority of my well-wishers were so disturbed by such an insignificant contradiction of mine to common societal belief. When Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo claimed sun is at the centre and not earth, they were considered outcasts [million times bigger than my case though ;)]; In reality all that people had to think was “Why is every heavenly body rising in the east and setting in the west and not even one in the reverse direction?” If a cop says he would not take a bribe, I have no doubts that his/her well-wishers would consider him an outcast too.


  1. a knotty post played with humour! lol :D

    -> periappa's supporting sentence.. he hee
    -> perfect sample pic! ur frien's xpression :D
    -> hmm.. u were outcasted like Kepler and
    Galileo, is it?!!

    Jas nd me were plannin to get u colorful hair bands :D
    anyways.. enjoyed the abv!

    must say, wheneva u were questioned, u were damn sportive :)

  2. Nice One!!! I like the way you explain the hardships of maintaining lengthy hair!! :-)

    If you were so passionate about having long hair, why did you chop it ? :-P [ I know the answer!!!]

    And stop drawing analogies to your story, by quoting Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo that is a bit TOO MUCH!!!

    Good Going EX-ML!!!

  3. good one gok!!

    i've got a better pic for u
    (tel me whether its possible to post a pic as a comment)

    i stil remember the look on my dad's face when he saw u in that hair style. (it was the look which Hermione Granger used to discribe Malfoy's mom)

    enjoyed your post than your hair style.. ha..haaa :)

  4. Thanks Ras.

    Thanks Pitha.

    Thanks Jas.