Looking back at old photos brings me back all those nostalgic memories of those moments I shared and the people I shared it along with, but also what I miss the most is those days when I had a lot of hair on my head. Yes, there has been a steady disappearance of hair from my once richly blessed mane, and that loss is rubbed in by my parents where this current phenomenon of my receding hairline is brought out in every topic of discussion which is sadly limited to - job, commute, and friends who have gotten married.
And out of the blue my mother quips....
"Shaadi kara do, iske baal jhad rahe hain!" she warns my father. (Get him married, he is getting bald)
I have not blogged for over a month now, and it had been irking me. Apart from a few movie reviews which I had planned to do, and a poorly constructed poem that is stored in a draft somewhere, and a book review of a nine-hundred page novel that would be as tedious a task as reading that book itself, I could not find anything worthy to blog about. Even Indiblogger has no interesting topic this time, no offence to their competition going on about "What does real beauty mean to you?" where hundreds of not-so-good-looking bloggers will opine that "Real beauty lies skin deep". But let’s face it - that is just an excuse for ugly people to feel better about themselves. (Psst! Guys at Indiblogger, please don't delete my account, I took this liberty to diss you guys because I know bloggers have a good sense of humor. And also, I have recommended your site to quite a few bloggers.)
So, when I ran my fingers through my hair wondering on what to write, I suddenly had my Eureka moment when I looked at a few solitary strands of hair that were stuck to my palm. "Why don't I write about my extending forehead and transform into a beacon of light, a ray of hope–a Dr.Batra of the virtual world to all bald men?"
Well, I may not suggest any cure for baldness but I will share the confessions of a soon to be bald man as I look back at my hairy days.
I too used to have hair on my head, you know. I had curly stresses of hair as a child, I was a year old when my mother used my pigeon nest of a head as an excuse to make neat locks of it. After a lot of oiling and combing my curly locks would be neatly plaited, pictures of mine in that avatar are rotting somewhere in an old photo album.
I was a trendsetter too, a few years after the movie “Topgun” had been released that catapulted Tom Cruise to superstardom, I had aped his haircut in school that was named by my local barber as the “Cruise Cut”. Heads turned, jaws dropped and enquiries were made about my haircut that had school kids queuing up at the local barber’s shop. Needless to say, the barber laughed all the way to the bank withdrew some cash and bought himself a set of new razors.
When my head was filled aplenty with hair I could do whatever I wanted to do with it. I gelled it, I watered it, I spiked it, I shaved it, I would comb it to the left, I would comb it to the right with gay abandon knowing that the hair that goes today shall come back tomorrow. I had never grown my hair upto shoulder level ala Anniyan for it was considered as a Sanniyan, and moreover made me look like a ragamuffin.
Science has proved that excess stress can damage your stresses of hair and increase your hair-loss dramatically, I had never faced excess stress in my school and college days thanks to my easy-to-please attitude that was happy with scraping through subjects rather than top the class. Although, what’s the point of living a life where there is no stress involved? And that is why I had been facing quite a strenuous time at the corporate world. When faced with pressure, some tackle it, some crumble under it and there are some who lose their hair while doing both of it. I belong to the third kind.
I have always believed in looking at the positives even when things have not been working my way. In this case where with every passing month I could see my forehead extending, instead of panicking and googling for cures on how to battle hair-loss, I had actually taken it quite sportingly–unlike my parents who right now are plagued by a fear that would any woman be willing to marry a man who has gone bald even before he is twenty-six, I have taken my premature baldness as a corporate sign. The sign that I am the Chosen One to be designated into a management role. Think about it, how many bosses do you know are bald? Quite a few right? My baldness could get me that managerial post which even my M.B.A degree could never get me. I don’t even have to work hard to scale up the ladder. I could walk right in and say “Hey! I am bald and I want to be a boss!” (Now you know where the term “Mottai Boss” was coined from?)
Baldness is a symbol of authority, it brings that aura of bad-assery which men with hair do not have. You fear the bald man, you give him your seat in a crowded train, you make way for him to stand in front of you when you are in a queue at the grocery store. There is a reason why we have so many important bald figures in our pop culture. There is Shakaal, Goldfinger, Bruce Willis, Professor X, M.S. Dhoni, L. K. Advani and let’s not forget the grand daddy of them all–Mahatma Gandhi. Had the Mahatma been a mama’s boy kind of a guy with ample hair on his head that was well oiled like a Yamaha-RX100 and neatly combed to both his sides would the Brits have given a rat’s ass about him? No, they wouldn’t have!
Ask those skinheads from American History X or Romper Stomper would the Jews and Asian immigrants have really pissed their pants if they were bullied by regular men with immaculately combed hair like the Italian Mafioso that smelled sweet? No! Bald is Bad! Bald men are the quintessential Alpha Male, nobody messes with them. They do not have to go the gym to have a six-pack and look tough, the absence of hair acts as an extra muscle that shouts out loud –“I am bald! Do not mess with me”. When they have to go out on a party or a on a date (assuming that women date bald men) they do not have to worry about how their hair should look. They just have to decide that their shirts do not match the color of the skin of their head. They do not have to even worry about buying those conditioners and shampoos and hair gels that are loaded with chemicals and acids–mugging the names of which gave me a hard time during my school days.
Apart from being a symbol of authority the Bald Man is also a sign of intelligence, a trait on which I have to work no more thanks to the sun rays bouncing on top of my head that affirms my baldness. For what the Bald Man speaketh is true! Nine out of ten times a bald man always wins an argument, the only occasion when he loses is when he is arguing with another bald man.
When put in a room amidst a bunch of hot blooded individuals with a lot of hair on their heads who are discussing about a serious topic like “Is fast unto death the right way to press for your demands?” the regular people would be expected to explain a lot. They would have to state examples, they would have to quote Rajdeep Sardesai and Arnab Goswami, they would have to point to statistics to add more validity to their statements. But a bald man does not have to do all that, all he has to say is “Yes” or a “No” and you could see the participants agreeing with him, the bald man with that single word gives a direction to that rudderless argument going on in the room. And he didn’t even try to adjust the sails. He does not have to try hard. And why? Because he is bald! He is the learned one! He is the enlightened one. William Shakespeare, Greek and Roman Philosophers, your Professors and the Dalai Lama how do you think they lost their hair? It was over excessive thinking and wondering on the kind of question paper to set for your exam.
At the end of the day, it’s much like that quote from that Batman movie: “You either die with a lot of hair on your head, or you see yourself become a baldie”
Image Sources: http://news.icanhascheezburger.com/2008/06/05/political-pictures-dalai-lama-classy-tibet/