If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?
Ever since I was 10 years old, I’ve never had hair shorter than my shoulder-length. There have been times when I go bonkers completely and hit the salon to chop it all off. But even the shortest of short hair cuts had left me with enough hair to tie a pony-tail.
But this time, I was sure I would cut it short. You know, like, a boy cut!! 😀 Neck-revealing!! I wanted to do something really, really crazy. It was the mighty 30 coming up. Yes, I was going to be T-H-I-R-T-Y years old! Okay, it isn’t as bad as it sounds. But the whole world was singing 30..30..30…so I was kinda in the spirit. And no way, was I going to sit back and retrospect and count my mistakes and my blessings and the grays on my head. 😛 I wanted to either pierce my nose (again! Yes, I had done it before. Another story. Another post. :D) or crop my hair. H was all for the hair cut. Nose piercing didn’t excite him as much. So we brainstormed about it for a few days and he was encouraging as ever. I mentioned it to a few of my friends and they were like- “ya, ya…sounds good…” Just that they never thought I would do it. 😀
So, on the eve of my birthday, I went in for a haircut. Ok, at this juncture, I need to mention that I had hair just below my shoulders then. The hairdresser refused to cut my hair. She gave me all the reasons she possibly could think of- “Madam, your hair is very thick. It won’t look good on you. It will take more than a year to grow back. You will have to blow-dry everyday. Why do you want to chop it all off!!? I can’t do it. It’s such nice hair”. I almost felt I had asked her to slit my throat. 😀 After I threatened to walk out, and after she consulted her manager and just about everyone else in the parlor and everyone trying to coax me out of it, she decided she would do my hair because I wouldn’t budge and she had no other way out. I wanted my hair SHORT!!
I watched as my locks fell to the floor. It was liberating, truly. I thought of all the things I let go. I thought of the changes I had embraced. How my last decade was. The major transformations. It took her about an hour and a half. To cut, clean, wash and blow-dry. For me it was an hour and a half of soul-searching. I was excited about what H and Du would say and of course, how the world would respond. And the thrill of doing the forbidden!! Whoa!! Amazing….
Now, as to why it is forbidden. 😀 It’s really funny and unbelievable how your hair isn’t just your own. It’s your mother’s and your mother-in-law’s and your cousin’s and your son’s and even the maid who comes to your house!! 😀 I imagined all of them frowning at my haircut, but was only imagining till they really did it. My mom was anything less than amused. She spoke to me in a serious tone- ‘I don’t like you cutting your hair. Now that you’ve done it, I don’t have anything more to say’. Okay. Over to mom-in-law- ‘Why did you have to cut that all off?’. She was much nicer than my mom, thank God! 🙂 Okay, Next comes cousin- ‘what on earth is the matter with you. You had such good hair!!??’ And she didn’t speak to me until New Year! Friends on and off Facebook- ‘Go away. I don’t know you anymore. Don’t even try to talk.” And I was like- “Oh my God! I didn’t know my hair was an IPO and everyone held shares in it!” 😛 (crude joke!) The intention behind it wasn’t bad, I know, but the tone of it pulls you down. Not that I expect everyone to say- Wow! But at least one can remain neutral- Like say, ‘I don’t like it. But your wish is more important.’ Or ‘if it means so much to you, go ahead and do it.’
Well, that’s just one side of the story. There were a lot many friends who said they loved it. Mostly people like me, who were struggling with kids or their hectic lives, that they knew how much a small gesture can go a long way in cheering you up. 4 of my friends were inspired and they went ahead and got their hair cut. 😀
I couldn’t help realizing that such a small act could like keep me energized for days. I did manage to put up a pic of Facebook and was amused at all the comments that poured in. I am not in a phase of my life when I am relaxed. Neither is H. We have a toddler and an infant, who require a high deal of attention every minute of the day. We have zero help. Plus we need to take our lives forward. We don’t party. We don’t go to the cinemas. Our social life is just about zero (minus at times!). And with two kids, even dining out is a dream! This is so not like people from our generation!! So we’ve limited ourselves to the small-small pastimes and joys we can find, within our constraints. Like for example, I blog. I maintain a food blog as well. H loves photography and spends a lot of time experimenting. So for us, a new camera lens or a new hair-style or a friend stopping over at Dubai during international travel is like the biggest joy ever!! This isn’t like a justification, you see! Just spelling out the recent phase, which will pass soon, I know! And I will have all the time in the world. 🙂
The short hair is convenient in terms of maintenance, but in terms of styling it isn’t. But I don’t wanna look good either. 30 is that age when you are more confident of yourself in your own skin, I guess. I realized its ok to step out in tattered pants or looking unkempt. Or probably, its coz the priorities have changed. You would rather see your children spic-spec clean even when you know the last time you washed yourself up was 2 days back!! 😀
I wanted a change. I wanted something to be excited about. And that was the deed!! 🙂