Monday, February 01, 2010

Snip Snip

It all started when MiL said to me, you must cut your hair; it’s the best way to stop hair fall. What she meant, of course, was, you must get your hair cut, but I mistook (what can I say? I wasn’t thinking) the passive voice for the active, and reminded myself that I had successfully snipped off an inch from the edge in the past. It was the easiest thing in the world.

At least that was what I had meant to do initially – lop off the split ends, no more. But a slight error in judgment proved to be my undoing and before I knew it, I had become a scissor-happy monster. There was something strangely cathartic about the whole business of going snip-snip.

I held the tips of all the strands together and let my scissor do the talking. Halfway through the scything, I made the mistake of stopping the exercise to drop the fistful of hair onto the paper. That was when I wished that life had an Undo button.

The face that looked back at me from the mirror had a rather asymmetrical finish. But it was too late to do anything about that now. The next few seconds saw a repeat of the ancient fable in which the monkey, seeking to equitably apportion a chapatti among two quarreling cats, proceeded to demolish bits of chapatti, reasoning to the foolish felines that this or that cat’s portion was larger than the other’s. The monkey justified his actions staunchly under the aim of doing justice by both.

Fortunately, I had the good sense to stop before the chapatti vanished completely. I was quite pleased with the results. But my husband was rather horrified. If he were familiar with the work of Greek dramatist Euripides, he would have said to me, “Whom the gods wish to destroy, they first drive crazy.” Or if Indian mythology were his thing, he would have said, “Vinash Kale Viparit Buddhi.”

Being a man of few words, he just goggled at me. Taking pity on him, I assured him that it would grow back. But he, satisfied as little with my chopping skills as with my assurances, has ordered me to go to a hairdresser and get professional help.

In the old days, men used to be happy if their wives displayed a new skill or talent. I guess the '00s man is made of different stuff.


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