How the highlights became lowlights

If the kind reader would care to throw their mind back to distant blog posts, wherein one has spoken at length about the hair being slapped with peroxide and wrapped in metal foil, to me emerging like a mottled tabby cat at the end of it all, the kind reader would do well to know that those days are now in my distant past. I would henceforth refer to those days as the days of my youth, when I shimmied forth in highlights and red lipstick and was lucky enough not to be arrested on suspicion of soliciting. I am now a mature woman. This I say with temporary amnesia and consequently no recollection of the jumping up and down stomping feet and squalling hissy fit thrown yesterday when it was discovered that some sleazeball (any guesses who?) had surreptiously, in the cloak of the night and under the pretence of needing to use the loo, had finished off the remnants of the chocolate fudge icecream tub, secreted in the way back of the freezer, hidden from view behind packets of frozen peas and  smileys. Hissy fit, above, thrown by self, not by brat.

Therefore this mature woman doesnot highlight the hair anymore. If truth be told, the hair was getting quite shrilly insistent about highlighting itself. Only, one wasnt quite in agreement about the choice of colour. One does not quite fancy oneself an Anna Wintour quite yet. And I have a preschooler. Horrors. Imagine the poor child being asked if the fat woman accompanying him was his grandmother. Hopefully, the enquirer would ease the pain by stating that the grandmother looked too young to be a grandmother, but I digress. Therefore, when one woke up one unclear and foggy winter morning and stumbled into the bathroom, with spectacles and not them contact lenses, which strangely do bad things for detailed vision, one saw in great excruitiating detail the outcrop of grey along the hairline. “Ha,” laughed the mother mirthlessly, like she often does when she begins pointing out the flaws in my perfection. Like the paunch. And the tyres hanging over the waistline. She is ruthless. I guess she freelances for a beauty pageant judging competition on her off days as retired housewife to expect perfection from her nearing forty year old daughter. “I told you not to highlight and colour your hair so much. This is what happens when you dont listen to your mother.” Having succeeding completely in reducing me to age six, cowering in a corner, moping miserably, she then dispensed sage advice. “Go natural. Its okay to be grey. Even college kids are greying up these days.” I looked at her rather the telephone receiver aghast.  “Mamma, I really dont care who is going grey. I refuse to grey before I hit forty.” But obviously, my hair has a mind of its own. I had to concede though that she had a valid point. Prior to my fiddling around with peroxide and colours, one and a half years ago to be precise was when the urge to highlight hit me, inspired by the fake blonde perfection embodied by Avanti Birla and Roohi Jaikishan, one had no grey hair. Not a single one. And one was bored to tears of being a good black haired girl. Black hair equalled boring. Equalled behenji. Or so one thought mistakenly. One did not then see Catherine Zeta Jones as an admirable role model. Therefore, one spent good hardearned money on making one’s hair, as the good and kind mother in law put it, “Look like the village kids in her native pahadi land, who dont have enough money to put oil in the hair.”

Therefore started the vicious cycle of highlighting, and greying a bit, highlighting again to make the greys blend in, and then greying some more. Finally, me emerging more grizzled tabby cat than sleekly feline with the abuse I have subjected my hair to, the little that is left of it, I have decided to stop. And go natural. Therefore yesterday at the supermarket, I picked up one packet of original Rajasthani mehndi, broke in a couple of eggs, squeezed in some lime juice and poured in some black tea and gooped the mixture onto my head. And sat and waited patiently, for the greys to be coloured naturally. Without chemicals and other such stuff that had brought my crowning glory to this sad state of affairs. I sat and waited. Noticing with the air of a long suffering martyr the incredible lengths the family was going to to give me my space, and put some distance between me and my henna headed stink. And then after I had perfumed the surroundings for an hour I dipped my head in the basin to emerge, a red streaked tabby cat.

Therefore, if the kind reader sees a hitherto blonde headed woman now covering her head with hats and scarves and such accessories of camouflage, they would do kindly not to ask why, and shut up and leave above said woman to figure out her next course of action for damage control.  


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published eight books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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6 Responses to How the highlights became lowlights

  1. childwoman says:

    hey comon now!! I am sure its not THAT bad….


  2. Kiran Manral says:

    It is Tara, but now have decided to flaunt it. Like a deliberate style statement. And no one would have the courage to tell me to my face, I’m looking like a red striped tabby cat…LOL


  3. Silvara says:

    LOL – I don’t use products in my hair except for Livon, and dye my hair maybe once or twice a year and STILL one week before my wedding, I discovered bald patches on my scalp. Had to sit through my mother telling me it was ‘probably’ all the crap I do to my hair and then getting it diagnosed as alopecia areata. Am currently on steroid pills to help it grow back again and it’s made me gain weight and break out in acne 😦 So tabby cat is sounding good to me right now 😛

    You’ll definitely get through it and it probably looks better than you think 🙂 Create your own style 😀


  4. Kiran Manral says:

    Silvara: Yup, I will. I got through an Afro perm once, and nothing could be worse than that. And dont worry about the alopecia, went through that once really bad, but homeopathy helped. This was when I was 22. Got it all back within a couple of months….I had two huge bald patches on the crown of my head. And looked like a clown. This man still stood by me. LOL. Steroid pills are scary, they do bad things to the hormones too.. you take care. *Hugs*


  5. sraikh says:

    We need a picture. I just turned 30 and started noticing silly things like fine lines and counting the whites. 🙂


  6. chandni says:

    see, the best thing to do if it really is very bad, is to pretend otherwise!

    trust me, if you flaunt it, others will appreciate it anyway 😀

    humans are quite daft that way 😉


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