A hair-raising story

I’ve never had the gumption to go really short on my haircut. Reason being I have a sneaking suspicion that 20 years hence when I look into a mirror, I might have to shield my eyes from the glare of my own head. Well, it doesn’t look too bad now; people have mixed opinions about whether I am going to end up bald or not. Maybe its time to start a bet. Might as well make some money out of it.

The closest I got was when I asked my friend to give me a haircut during student and financially challenged days in Australia. What I got was more of a trimmer at a fixed razor length run around my head. I guess it was a size 4, not so short as to scare me. However, when the hair grew back my head kinda resembled a football, not for my face’s shape, but for the fact that my hair was the same length all around, and male hair usually is kept longer on the top than the sides, else you end up looking like Rajesh Khanna during his last years in Bollywood. This was what used to happen to my hair and my trip to India rectified it. During the final days of my stay in Australia, I was financially more stable, paying off a good percentage of my fees and all, so didn’t have to resort to such measures for hair cuts (no pun intended).

Coming to the story, as I approached my 28th birthday, there arose a strange interest, which turned into some sort of forceful obsession. I wanted to get my head shaved. It started sometime in February and I had to hold myself from going to the barber’s before the 17th. On the 17th I promptly headed for a haircut after work. Waiting for my turn, I was confronted by a range of possibilities, more than a range, by an imagination of me hairless. I knew it would grow back, but somehow I wasn’t entirely sure whether I wanted to do it, all of a sudden. So, when my turn came, I went one level up and asked her to give me a “one”. The stylist freaked out and told me “ith wudh be thoo short”. I said OK, I want a “one”. She said, “I’ll give you a thoo and if you want ith more short I’ll make one”. It seemed a fair proposition and I agreed. Once it was done (she took less than 5 mins for the whole thing!), I kinda looked at my head and realized that my scalp was showing on the top, but not on the sides, whether that was because of the overhead light I did not try to guess and any ideas of going for a one promptly evaporated.

So there it was that I landed with the shortest haircut in 25 years. The last time was when I got my chaura done in Tirupathi when I was 3! The story would’ve ended there, but then after 2 days I realized it did not suit me any more than center partitions, mustaches or frenchies. But then, how do you grow hair you have just cut, all of a sudden. That is when I decided to a grow a beard. A beard I grew then. The last I had shaved was on the 15th, and so I let it grow and after a week started trimming it at a length of one, which suited my hair length. And so it came to pass that I wore a look with short hair and a full beard, the end result of which you see in the userpic for this post. Of course, embellished a bit with Picassa. And then, there were protests. People from all corners of the world, asking me to remove the pic on orkut and/or shave the beard off. Which makes me come to the point of the post.

Do we have something like facial stereotypes?
1. A stubble and most likely you were recently called a loser and dumped by your girlfriend and are drowning in misery.
2. A full beard and you are someone to watch out for. Not that you are the next best thing to happen to whatever, but there’s a decent chance you got trained across the border.
3. A mustache and you probably are married with a kid or two, have your BDA site, basically an uncle and a family man.
4. Long hair, and you are the cool dude everyone wants to talk to, and well you do have deep pockets as tending to it frequently is another hair raising story financially.
5. Properly combed with a partition on the left side and you are the stud. Probably a rank holder, and caught between two worlds, the cool and the studious. Add a pair of glasses and the look is complete.
6. Extremely short hair, am sorry mate you are going bald.

P.S: Kinda think I might want to get to the point straight away, but well, there’s nothing worse than a long story cut short, is there? Also, pardon me one of the most repeated clichés in the title when it comes to writing about the hair.


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