An experiment (especially the ones which involve hair) cannot be exhaustive without subsequent retrospection with varied degree of repentance. More scientific is the method of evaluation, the less dramatic is the emotional outburst. However, someone whose IQ level has always been a subject of intense debate, would invariably fall back on a trial and error method, even while studying the probabilities of survival after falling on the road…from 20th floor, as research suggests that past results usually don’t have any bearing on the possible outcome of a fresh project. And hence, the hair experiment also goes through a similar ordeal.
I am sure, the mere thought of another hair-transformation project following the disastrous results of the previous one would have sent a chill down the spine of any self-respecting person, and I did fall in that category for a very brief period. The dinosaur in me, however, was keeping a tab on the activities in the hair styling world. Unfortunately, almost all the hair care centers were still relying heavily on that straightening product which revolutionized the cap industry…until one day, when a popular and revered brand emerged on the scene.
God’s house has delays but not darkness…Bhagwan ke ghar der hai andher nahin.
Initially it appeared to be a regular, routine day as I hit the road in pursuit of some roadside tea; which eventually resulted in a 3-kilometer walk, the tea still eluded me. I looked at the sky and shrugged, “I have been searching for a tea shop for past half an hour, would you like to help me…for a change?” and the heavens opened (I am not sure whether God has outsourced his work to some call center or not because his solutions usually have no relevance to our queries much like the ones provided by those customer care executives). I immediately took shelter in a building, but not before a speeding car splashed water on my face and I followed that with an acrobatic stunt by stepping on a banana peel and traveling couple of feet without any additional effort from my end.
My eyes fell on the signboard of a popular beauty and wellness clinic, adjacent to a ‘lift out of order’ notice. An arrow pointing towards heaven read ’4th floor.’ Common sense plays a very insignificant role in the decision making process of those suffering from impulse control disorder. I ran towards the lift and then towards the stairs and reached fourth floor. Once in their …ummm…office, I exerted the residual energy and spluttered, “I need some information and water; now!” My voice echoed through the walls and disappeared somewhere as no one looked in my direction. I made my query a little more specific, “I would like to know about your hair straightening service.” Like long lost brothers and sisters in Kumbh Mela, 5 – 6 people came running towards me (an all too familiar feeling of a railway station when you step outside and scream, “AUTO!” and find yourself surrounded by auto rickshaw drivers, cab drivers, hotel guys and other miscellaneous guys).
Body language is an integral part of communication and we understand the significance of that when exchange of thoughts via other form of communication becomes ineffective e.g. when 6 people try to convey the same message simultaneously. However, few scattered keywords did manage to pierce the air of ambiguity and reach my eardrums – “privileged customer,” “no prior appointment,” “discount,” “only today.”
Having stormed into the premium segment for the very first (and only) time in my life, I walked towards the chair with a gait which would have made Alexander III feel insecure.
Zaheer Khan, the champion strike bowler (according to Ravi Shastri and…yup, Ravi Shastri) started the proceedings for India on television as I got ready to embrace a new look. One of those rare occasions when I had to sacrifice an entertaining Indian bowling session (an in-form Sanath Jayasuriya facing Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar, Ashish Nehra et al used to put a smile on the faces of millions of cricket lovers across the world [barring those who judge someone’s batting prowess by his hairdo]). You must be wondering if the television set was just 4 feet away from me then what on God’s green earth was stopping me from watching it. Dear reader…if your head is pushed down beyond anatomical limits and further movement of that is at the clemency of the hair expert, then you might not find yourself in a strategic position to watch the match on that stationary television set kept at a height of 10 feet (unless you have eyes all over your body). The hair expert, however, had no such obligation as he was enjoying the match and was doing live commentary as well e.g. – “Agarkar bowled a brilliant ball, you should have seen that!!!” Indeed a historic moment with Agarkar bowling within 22 yards.
Finally, I stood up when Ravi Shastri was handing over the ‘man of the match’ check to the recipient. We enacted an identical role-play in the parlor as they presented the bill to me with similar gusto. The desperation in the voices of the debt collectors of multiple credit card companies indicate that all the bills, including the one mentioned above, have been settled (as discussed in one of my previous posts that my bank account always pays a humble tribute to Aryabhatta’s invention and will always be indebted to him for all the recognition, and hence, it doesn’t have the ability or willingness to settle any bill).
I was advised that straightening of hair can lead to massive hair fall. However, not all the tips, advices, and warnings related to the process are discussed prior to the commencement of the activity, there can be a little delay at times. In my case, I was informed about an impending hair fall only after the payment was made. And immediately, my reunited brothers and sisters disappeared into thin air.
My hair fluttered in the air!! I flicked it with a toss of head and stepped into the world as a different person signing a song picturized on Arjun Rampal. I did not pay heed to the warning as hair fall was an alien terminology for me. And this confidence lasted for approximately three months.
With every passing day a new person was evolving in the mirror. My hair did not flutter anymore, and on rare occasions when it did, it preferred a vertical trajectory. People changed the phony warning for me from, “Watch your head” to “Watch you hair” whenever I walked under a low door or arch. Life was never the same again.
A deluge of memories came rushing into my mind as I stepped inside ‘deluxe hair cutting saloon’ again exactly three months after the event, when the situation was out of control. The barber, with a receding hairline, recommended a hair treatment which would permanently stop hair fall. But by then I lost faith in humanity, and therefore, I asked him to run his scissor through, what I pretentiously called ‘hair,’ and get my original look back; which he did but with few empty patches on my head. An uncle with an identical hairdo gave me an empathetic nod; I acknowledged back and walked towards my house.
From straight to massive curls, my hair texture changed with every season; from crew cut to mohawk, I made the barbers sweat; and from purple to blue, my hair outshone the rainbow. My hair did have a gala time on my head.