Macchars don’t wear sweaters


Posted on: February 19, 2007


Is it possible that the texture of your hair can affect your personality? Is it possible that the texture of your hair may influence your approach towards life and your self image? Yes it is. People with smooth shining hair are sprightly and confident. People with bright blonde hair are gregarious. People with short hair are humans-of-action. People with long hair are suave, intelligent and charming.

Me, I have strange hair – hence I’m doomed to live a life of strangeness. As a schoolboy, whenever I visualized myself, the first thing that stood out was my mop of thorny disheveled hair, so awkwardly perched on my head, reflecting the sun in a zillion directions, and I imagined a certain heaviness shrouding my personality, a lack of cheer, a moroseness. The eyes on the small face beneath that huge mop were big and droopy, the mouth formed in a slight downward curve. And I guess, this visage of me that I saw, also crept into my everyday transactions.

Whenever in new company, the first question asked was invariably “Do you have naturally curly hair or have you gotten it curled” – (ah if I had the choice), soon followed by a snickering “you are lucky, you never have to comb your hair” – (I desperately wanted to tell them that I religiously spent five minutes in front of the mirror every day smoothing out vagrant branches {as opposed to tresses} which had chosen to shoot out like a solar flare from the sun.) The stake was driven deeper through my soul when the two compulsory sentences were followed by “your hair looks like a bee’s hive” and the cruel last straw “how come you’ve got pubic hair growing on your head?” . I desperately wanted to retort, defend my position, but my rebuttals rarely sounded convincing to me as I had a sense of already having been othered, set aside, differentiated.

I was not spared even at the barber’s as he couldn’t help venting his frustration at having to handle the difficult assignment of my hair, as opposed to the smooth and silky patients he would usually get. And yet, the day I got a haircut, and imagined myself with nicely cropped sideburns, closely cut and evenly distributed mop devoid of any rebellious strands, I felt as if a burden had been lifted from my soul. 

I wonder if people noticed the extra spring in my step and the enthusiasm in my voice that day.


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