Friday, June 10, 2005
The nine-hour-long load-shedding black-outs in Murud,
The humidity and warm weather in the coastal belt (where Murud is located),
The reluctance of some of the people involved,
As of now, we are scheduled to go to Matheran (near Mumbai) on Monday. Let’s see how that turns out. Until then, this means that you’ll have to bear me for a couple of days more.
I shaved my head again the day before yesterday. I had a cold, and my head felt very heavy. I wanted to cut my head off, and my parents were all for it, but my sister convinced me to remove just the hair. While the barber was using the electric shaver, I thought of keeping a line of hair all down the middle, just to annoy my parents, but I didn’t.
I first had my hair shaved when I had my thread-ceremony (I don’t remember when that was, because I make a point to forget religious occasions), and I liked it enough to get it shaved again in the summer of 2000. More recently, I kept a shaved head from November 2004 to May 2005. Then, I grew my hair for my cousin’s wedding. Now that that’s done, I decided to go back to being comfortable but slightly unseemly.
Having a shaved head is somewhat odd. It’s a bit like being a Goth. People notice me, which never happened before. I remember one incident in particular – I wasn’t wearing a cap, I was wearing a saffron kurta, and I was riding my Scooty. I came to one of those random traffic police checkpoints. A havaldar came out into the road to stop me, but I glared at him, and he moved away to let me go. He probably didn’t want to take any chances – a bald young man in saffron can mean many things from Buddhist monks to Sena activists.
On the personal front, a fourth of my (extended) family thinks it’s odd, a fourth pointedly ignores it, a fourth thinks it’s cool, and the last fourth doesn’t really think about it – ‘Aditya always does stuff like that’ is what they think. Among my friends, the males are all indulgent, basically because I freely joke about it, and the females want to touch my head, which is always nice.
So why did I do it? I don’t really think it’s ‘daring’ or ‘different’ – that would just be silly; there are thousands of people out there doing things that are actually outrageous, and not just what people think are ‘weird’. I did it because I feel more comfortable this way, but also, I now feel, because I wanted to stretch the definition of ‘normal’ a tiny bit, although anyone calling me normal would be called faintly deranged by most people who know me. But what surprised me was that I actually succeeded – in the six months I’ve been this way, four of my friends followed my example. Which was nice.
I’m going to keep it this way at least till someone actually manages to convince me not to. It’s certainly better than having to comb it. (Not that I often did that, of course.)
After shedding hair, my next project is to shed clothes. Let’s see how people take to that. Next post from the Yerawada prison compound.