Given the current state of the mane, which has depleted itself from leonine to horse’s tail in the span of the past few months, I have been in a state of deep dank depression so severe that I have often been tempted to hang around at hair salons and cellotape cut and fallen strands to my scalp.
Every morning by the bathroom basin, I tremble to run the comb through my hair (always wide toothed, always after applying hair serum to avoid breakages), then I gather my fallen glory gently and consign them to the dustbin with almost full state honours. Of course, I draw the line at the gun salute, given that the child on premises would love to be in charge of said 21 guns, and create an infernal racket while he gets the chance. And probably kill some action figure in the process.
Now, after indiscriminate shedding which I would have welcomed had it been hair from other extremities of the body, the scalp peers cheekily at me from random spots. Therefore the mater has pressed on me the urgent need to use a special hair oil, not the vanilla coconut oil I normally stick with. Yes, I oil my hair almost every other night. And wash it off the next day. I also believe in alien abductions and ghosts.
I was given a bottle of an ayurvedic concoction by the grandmother, who felt my pain or more likely, was anguished by the trail of shedding hair I left through the house. It was a sweet thoughtful gesture. I did the decent thing, and put a clothes clip on my nose and applied said oil. Diligently. All over the scalp. And tied my hair up. And wandered out into the drawing room. The speed at which the room cleared up of its regular inmates namely the grandmother and the child, convinced me that this could be patented for use for those who want clear access to the doors of suburban local trains in Mumbai. I had, for a rare hour, complete undisputed access to the television and the remote at prime viewing time. This in itself was cause enough to keep the bottle of said hair oil in the locker for preciousness.
The husband looked at me strangely when I meandered into the bedroom, with my book du jour in hand, hoping for a nice quiet, winding down bed time read. “Whats that smell?” The man would never have made the cut as a diplomat. He would be sent to negotiate with terrorists and he would say, “You need to be shot dead right now.”
“Hair oil.” I replied. “How do you expect me to sleep in the same room?” he squawked in pure anguish. I think this here said hair oil could also be roped into the National Family Planning Programme. I saw the husband slowly edging around the bed where he had been lolling around carefree until a moment ago, ensuring he carefully positioned himself windward.
I ignored such undignified behaviour from a grown man and read my book unperturbed. And drifted off to sleep, no doubt aided by the cooling and calming herbal constituents of said hair oil. The husband tossed and turned through the night, muttering to himself at regular intervals and was sternly ignored by me, and finally at around 3 am, I was vaguely aware of him storming off, pillow under the arm to sleep on the sofa, muttering stuff about how a hardworking man is not allowed to sleep in peace in his own home. By morning, I was undergoing the fisherfolk syndrome, I couldnt figure out why noses wrinkled when I drew near and why folks turned purple in the face trying to hold their breath. And the child pushed me away with a violence he reserves for best friend he loves to hate, when they are in their enemies for life mode.
And then I went in for a bath. And found that the numbers of hair shuddering violently and giving up the ghost in dramatic Hindi film fashion was no less than what it was the previous day. But I did see the advantages of said hair oil. Guess what I’m slathering on my head, the next time I need some me unwinding time. I can even do the Germanic accent for the “I just vant to be alone.” If my family is smart, they will stock up on clothes clips.