Fiction Fragment: Her Hair

She didn’t have a hairy head when she was born. Her parents were suitably scared. But after her first and only tonsure, her hair grew out dark and thick. Like all good mothers, hers obsessed about her hair. Her pride and joy was heavy and mostly oily. Her mother oiled it everyday. Her hair seemed to sap out all her energy at one point. It weighed her down. She never grew very tall, and she blamed it on her locks.

It was drawing out everything from her. It stopped her from playing on the street. It was a local sport – the other kids would pull her plait and pretend it was a cow’s tail. She hated her hair.

On her wedding day, her hair was dressed with flowers. Strands of jasmine on top. The hair almost stapled with a thick pad of rose and jasmine. And some shiny things. Perhaps she looked prettier from the back side. They were taking photographs. She was posing with her nine yard saree. A strange way of tying what was supposedly a graceful garment. She felt like a sumo wrestler. After making her smile with the relatives, friends and other assorted acquaintances, the photographer decided to capture the bride’s beauty. He instructed her to pose as though she was wearing her earrings. And then smearing eyeliner. Even admiring herself in the mirror.

She was smiling, radiating the joy that brides are supposed to. Then, they made her face the wall. So they could photograph her hair. She stood, five inches from the green wall of the chattram, her hair the glorious superstar. They gasped over it and the photographer kept clicking. Such long and dark hair. The local beautician couldn’t remember any other bride who hadn’t needed a souri. The bride thought she was going to find this humiliating. Having the whole world stand behind her and inspecting her. Instead, for the first time in her life, she’s grateful for her hair. You see, when she stands facing the wall, she doesn’t have to smile at anything.

13 Comments

Filed under Photographs, Poetry and Fiction

13 Responses to Fiction Fragment: Her Hair

  1. :) The bane and the boon of tresses. Nicely done.

  2. Vi

    Coincidental timing. I’m about to take away my lengthy locks myself later today, much to everyone’s dismay.

    Your fiction fragments have more truth in them then fiction. :)

  3. Heh, lovely. Though isn’t it believed that Indian brides never smile? I would like to see the number of posts across Blogs dedicated to hair or the lack of it! :D
    The Bharatnatyam dancer style of posing pictures were really funny, as also were the nine (3×3 tiny squares making up one photograph) headed bride and groom pictures.
    And what a header photo! Most cool.

  4. aparna

    She didn’t have a hairy head when she was born. Her parents were suitably scared. But after her first and only tonsure, her hair grew out dark and thick. Like all good mothers, hers obsessed about her hair : this sentence is so meeshu and me! ONly, we have tonsured her head twice and still no sign of ‘thick’ hair!!!!

  5. you should see the pic of the google ad that was placed below your story when i read it. it was hilarious!!! see it here – http://picasaweb.google.com/ckguruprasad/Assorted1/photo#5157837410549150370

  6. and finally when she was sent to her bedroom she just wanted to take off everything and sleep. but she knew she would not be be able to sleep with a stranger sleeping next to her.

    she had only seen ramesh once when he had come with his parents to ‘see’ her. and then they had spoken often on the phone. he sounded like a decent guy.

    but she couldn’t reconcile the picture in her head with the man she was supposed to have been married to today. did they switch ramesh with someone else?

    would he be pleased with her sweet-smelling hair? which is what the jasmine flowers was supposed to have done! and do all men smell so strange? and she wondered when she could remove all the paraphernalia on her head? and open up her hair and let it free? before or after the ‘first night ritual’?

    would ramesh like her better if she cut her hair short? would he assume that they had switched her with someone else?

  7. Nowadays even guys have longer hair than mine ;)

    Lovely. Great pic too!

  8. Is that mottai picture on the header a coincidence!!??

  9. “Instead, for the first time in her life, she’s grateful for her hair. You see, when she stands facing the wall, she doesn’t have to smile at anything.”
    How true!

  10. ohmygod, ohmygod. me, i was born with exactly three strands of hair on my head! it only grew when they tonsured it off in tirupati. it has always been my dream, to grow it long and get pictures of it taken. this story was like a tiny part of me.. wow. i’d’ve never thought someone would actually put it like this, so perfectly.

  11. rads: Thanks. :)

    Vi: Let me also express dismay. But it does save a lot of time – having shorter hair. I can sometimes attribute my abysmal performance in Maths exams to having slightly long hair during the board exams.

    Primalsoup: My favourite laughter-inducing photograph is always the one where the groom has to point upwards (in broad daylight) to show the bride the Arundhati star. Nobody can see it. The ones getting married have no idea what they are to see. And they both look upwards with the groom’s hand extended towards the sky. Hilarious!

    aparna: It took more than seven tonsures on my head. So there’s hope afterall!

    guruprasad: I object to the name Ramesh. I don’t know why – but I do.

    bhumika: I don’t mind long hair on men – but it annoys me that they don’t condition it and let it fly about – most annoying when you’re on a packed train. I also feel very uncomfortable when they have hair on their face and I can’t see their eyes. Reminds me of “Cousin Itt”.

    gooddaysunshine: Complete coincidence. I assure you. :) But it’s hard to find a picture of me in those years without a mottai. It’s all bald headedness – in its complete glory!

    Deepika: :)

    sita: Please grow your hair – I will gladly take pictures of it. But can we do a “rettai-pinnal” on it first? :)

  12. duh?

    how about sukhdev? :)

  13. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

    Maybe I should write about the real non fiction experiences after all :P :P. Did you ever sport long hair as well BTW?