The warnings were there probably. But I didn’t look at them. Maybe I wanted not to! Looking at men around me with receding hairlines, widening crowns and hundreds of them with visible signs of deforestation, I was in a wonderfully self confident world of mine having an abundant growth on my scalp which not even a stubborn dandruff virus could overcome.
I don’t remember the exact day. I don’t want to either.
And the wife says, ” ..My ..my.. what?s this? ..you got a white hair.”
I was not worried. What is one ?white? hair compared to an inherited stock of a few hundred thousand?
“Not white” I said, ..”It must be grey ..no..not grey..I’m sure it’s silver..Yes!
silver it is ? the royal color.”
“Grey ..silver ..whatever” she said but she didn’t stop there.
One thing I sure don’t like in women. Serve them a chicken or mutton dish and they do not know when to stop eating. It is not just the meat that gets eaten. More than the meat it?s the bone that seems to be the main dish. It’s licked, chewed, the marrow sucked, then the bone is cracked open, then crushed, then crunched, mashed, pulverized, powdered and chewed… If they decide a subject is interesting they’ll not leave it unless it is properly and fully chewed..
“Look there’s one more” With my head firmly in her hands she continued the count “..and that’s 3, 4,5 ..10..28..oh there must be at least a hundred and fifty white hair here”
“SILVER” I said.
“huh” she said.
“You have become OLD”
Now the bell started ringing in my head. It was not just an alarm bell. It was a siren.
“I am not old …It must be Kuwaiti water which is not agreeing with my scalp ..” Moreover I said triumphantly, “Even the bible says it somewhere ..grey hair is the sign of wisdom ..age has nothing to do with it!”
“Then why are you looking so worried?” she shot back “..you are sure going to get more wisdom now… I bet within a year you’ll be FULL of wisdom” she was now laughing! What a laugh! The same hearty laugh which I always admired now sounded like the laugh of a hyena to my ears. But I didn”t say it aloud. I knew she’d think she really succeeded in upsetting me.
….Head is like the command and control centre of a man’s being, as it holds his brain…..
Head is like the command and control centre of a man’s being, as it holds his brain. But more than the insides he is seen worried about the outside. How many hours does a girl spend in front of the mirror? Boys may spend lesser time comparatively but if you take the length of the hair and divide it with the number of hours taken the boys will stand nothing less than equal with the girls. A girl may start standing in front of the mirror combing her hair at age 10 or 11. The boys these days start it at age 5!
Men as they grow up may not spend as much time in front of the mirror but the subject of ‘hair’ is not far from their mind. I don’t know why women mostly do not get fully bald or whether it is a secret carefully and successfully hidden from men till now. The only bald women I have seen are the ‘beauty queen’ types in the glamour world or the ‘brahmin widows’ back in Mangalore.
For the teens even ‘sex education’ is not the most important subject. It’s ‘pimples’ and ‘hair style’ both 50 ? 50. They worry the abundance of one will scar them for life frightening the girls away and the lack of the other make them less popular, leaving them only the short choti?d oily complexioned girls for dates. At an age when they should study the reasons for Shivaji Maharaj’s popularity or Tughlaq Mohammed?s stupidity, they are banging their heads worrying if they should indeed commit suicide over their hair which are not sitting in the proper place.
As they move into their thirties the ‘hair-fixation’ seems to lessen along with the lessening number of hairs on their heads. But in the secret and in the quiet the amount of money spent on ‘Minoxidil 2%’ would have been enough to provide drinking water to the entire Sudan region for at least 6 months in a year. Is it possible to have new hair growth? Well the answer to that question is simple. Are UFO’s real? Who knows?
Is it possible to stop hair from turning grey or silvery? Well, I am reminded of the story of a man who had two wives and a head like mine. Whenever he spent time with his younger wife, she would lay his head on her lap and lovingly pluck the grey hair one by one. And every time he went to be with his older wife, she would do the same plucking out only his black hair!
Why do men worry so much about their hair? Well, ask a balding unmarried man and he will tell you sad stories of ‘seeing’ girls for years. You can even visualize planes landing on the runway and taking off one after the other. Unmarried for years?the only hope is if the baldness can be compensated with the prosperity of the boy or the desperation of the girl.
After marriage it is the ‘married-and-getting-old’ syndrome. As long as the wife doesn’t want ‘my-husband-looking-older-and-balder-than-Sevrins-husband’ the ‘hair-fixation’ continues. Of course the money spent earlier on Minoxidil now has to be spent on shampoos and lipsticks so a range of home remedies are tried. Newton’s law applies not just to apples. Number of remedies goes up. The number of hair remaining comes down. But failure is the stepping stone to success so the attempt goes on till the head becomes as bald ad the tombstone under which it is laid.
As for me, I am happy. My 1358th silver hair was found yesterday. But the count has stopped since yesterday.
Yesterday morning I found on my wife?s head a shining white hair.
Author: Clifford DSouza- Kuwait