Sometimes in life, similar things can have exactly opposite effects. These days, my life is one such irony. An irony I like to call ‘The Curious Case of Receding Lines’.
Two lines on my body are receding. While one is a harbinger of joy and opportunity, the other is anything but that. My waist-line is receding and so is my hair-line. Now, which is better and which isn’t is as easy a question as who is a better role model, Rahul Dravid or Shoiab Akhtar.
It all started a few months ago, at a hair salon where I get my monthly 50 rupee hair cut. But price of the service is beyond the point. In the stuffy A1 hair saloon, the barber a.k.a ‘the man who knows everything’ said words whose intensity was lost on me back then.
‘Sir, aapke baal toh jhad rahe hain!.’
He meant that I was losing hair. Who??? Me??? Impossible!!!
I quickly assumed that the man was trying to make a quick buck out of me, by trying to sell me henna hair pack by Shahnaz husain. Laughing it off, I stuck to the cheap hair cut. But it seems the neighbourhood barber is now having the last laugh.
There are few things you never forget in life. Your first crush, the first kiss, the first pay check and the first time you realize that your mane is eroded. The memory of that fateful morning is crystal clear in my head. Like every other day, I was looking at the mirror. Usually a pretty sight, it was during this narcissistic act that i noticed my scalp closely. And like they say, life has never been the same again. There it was, staring right at me. People have moments of epiphany, I had a surface of it (epiphany, I mean). There was a bald patch on my head.
At first, I dismissed it as a bad hair day. But clearly that wasn’t the case. Then I denied it. It was me after all, the one who was blessed with eternal youth. The one who was not supposed to age, at least not in his thirties.
It took me a few days to regain the purpose of my life. My receding waistline was no competition to the erosion on my scalp. I would look at the consistent retreat of my belly, and as my esteem rose, the sight of my balding scalp would induce its freefall.
I had to accept it. Yes, very soon I would not be the man everyone knew. The man with thick hair and bushy hair brows. Just imagine, having bushy hair brows, but no hair? Can there ever be a greater tragedy in life???
But like they say with acceptance comes progress. So these days, I accept that I am losing hair and tell everyone about it. Family, friends, bosses, colleagues and girls(except the ones I am hitting on, of course).
The more difficult part though is the silent death of my dreams. From planning to travel to the US to date Jennifer Lopez to walking the ramp for Rohit Bal, all of these opportunities seem to have passed me by. Why will any of these dreams happen to a bald man? I am certain they won’t.
Progress is what I had expected, but resignation describes my situation best. Not so long ago, when my mother would bring up the dreaded M word during weekends, my fangs would make an instant appearance. M means marriage, for all of you who live under a rock or still use a dumb phone. My response to my mother, Sunday after Sunday was the same. Thirty, according to me, was no age to get married or commit suicide.
My fangs have now suddenly disappeared. Sermons on marriage are but met with a meek resistance. Karma truly is a bitch, I used to laugh at balding men marrying pretty women. Thinking it must be the moron’s loaded bank locker which led to this shopaholic cat to settle for a hairless prick. I mean, why on earth would otherwise a hot number marry a man who has already lifted his foot towards his grave. Moreover, in my imagination losing hair equals to losing libido.
Now the joke is on me. I am losing hair and I don’t even have the back up. The loaded bank locker. You know intelligence can take you only that far.
And then someone told me some magic words, ‘hair can be saved’. Pour a bucket of coconut oil on your scalp every night before you go to bed, he said. And so I did and started waking up in a pool of blood…errr…coconut oil every morning. That was okay too. But the sticky oil, made my scalp look like a zebra crossing. Stripes of hair, accentuated my growing bald patches.
I think my client noticed my impending death(read bald scalp) and decided that launching a hair gain tonic was a great business idea. Now, what could be worse than that? In moments of solitude i brood over my balding with a glass of DSP black whisky. As if that wasn’t enough, I cannot escape the misery at work either. My job is to come up with ideas for the hair gain tonic brand.
Something had to be done. To lift my spirits, I have started playing a small game in my head. I ogle at every person’s scalp and pass a sinister smile when I find a bald one or the one which is proceeding towards that irreversible state.
Something tells me, my near future will be filled with hair(talk of hair, I mean). Dr. Batra might come to rescue or may be a trip to the amazon for some voodoo magic should help. If you have suggestions, please send them over. For I promise to evaluate each one of them, for my own good.
But on the bright side, I have realized hair loss is a great metaphor for life. You know time and things both change. It only indicates that there are things to be done, bridges to be crossed and life to be lived. So in conclusion, I feel I should use the time ahead of me to do things that I always wanted to. Like go walk up to that girl and tell her I like her. Actually I already told her a year ago and she surprisingly discouraged me. But I could go up to her again now and maybe she has different thoughts. Mass media tells me women love mature men and what could be a better sign of maturity than balding. I guess it is time to bring out the bucket list out.
Now I tell myself – get up and do what you got to do, time is running out. For you know, you are hair today, gone tomorrow…