The one thing I envy my friends from Kerala is their luxurious crop of hair. I don’t know if this has anything to do with the abundance of coconut oil there, but I’m yet to see a Keralite thin at the top.
Once when Alfred Hitchcock saw someone according more than a casual look to his hairless head, he had remarked, “Once upon a time I had a lot of hair. And all three of them were black.” Bald humour, yes, but losing one’s locks is not amusing.
As I approached the forties, my hair started deserting my pate faster than rats in a sinking ship. The more I pampered them with conditioners and vitalisers, the faster they vanished. It helped that being a cop I could hide my poverty under the cap.
But on being posted to a non-uniform assignment, my uncrowning glory was out in the open. So, I did what most people my age do. I asked my hairdresser to give
my thinning hair a fashionable look. His reaction I followed in the mirror. Viewing my skull as a critic does a poor work of abstract art, said he, “mushkil hai”.
In golfing terms, it meant there was not much green to work with. Adding insult to my penury, he even advised that it would do if I visited him less often. Was he trying to get me out of his hair? Taking it as a challenge I let my hair grow long.
Three months later, it was good enough, I thought, to give a second chance to the hairdresser. I went to him again. Marshalling all his art, he tried to style them into an acceptable shape. But when he had finished, I could not bear to see myself in the mirror. Dismayed, I asked him to restore my old look. This he did in no time.
As I was about to leave, Himesh Reshammiya came on screen on the TV in the saloon. His cap caught my attention for a fleeting moment. Seeing this, my hairdresser gave me an understanding look.
Pretending that I had not seen it, I beat a hasty exit.