Friday, January 13, 2006

Black Wednesday...or should I say white?

It's finally happened.

My first white hair.


I am 21. On January 11th, 2006, a day I shall never forget, I found a white hair in what can only be described as an otherwise full head of black hair. Yes, I know, It isn't quite black. Years of daily shampooing (no conditioner, I hate the greasy stuff) and blow-drying and hairspray, tons and tons of hairspray, have finally taken its toll.

This is me, Lavanya R N, young, vibrant, spirited, passionate, ambitious, hot-headed, et cetera et cetera et cetera. This is NOT me, Lavanya R N, suffering from early onset of mid-life crisis and white hair.

To be fair, it isn't fully white. One gloomy, completely uneventful Wednesday evening, as I was idly flipping thru the pages of a magazine, completely unaware that a bomb was about to be dropped on my head (pun unintended!), my mother walks over with all the swagger of Attila the Hun and smugly proclaims 'My dear child! I do believe you are now white-haired like the rest of us'. (Oh alright! It was more to the lines of 'You stupid cow, how many bloody times have I told you to stop putting all that muck in your hair! You've got white hair now and you'll prob be bald by 25!' but that doesn't really make for interesting reading, does it?)

Coming back to the hair in question. It is not completely white, oh no, which is not to say that it's silver (God forbid! No, it does have the audacity to stand picket-fence-white in stark contrast to the rest of my *cough cough* tumbling locks of raven black hair). It is rather a half-n-half.

White at the roots, unapolegetically, defiantly white right uptil the silver lining (oh, i wish!) after which it turns an innocuous strand of deep reddish brownish blackish hair. Doesn't look very menacing at first glance, you know. Sort of throws you off with its inconspicuous dark-brown tint till you travel midway up and reach the tumultuous battle between the divine dichotomy of the ages. Good vs Evil. Black vs White. And then... and then.. then.. the dark clouds part, the struggle ends, the turbulent times of shadowy grey make way for shining, brilliant white. Good sense prevails in the form of a white-haired old sage, or in this case, a twentysomething unmarried working woman with wisps of white hair, which, really is much much worse.

This is my battle scar. And despite the subtle, eloquent words of dissent from my close friends and family (Are you bloody mad then?! Just cut the damn thing off!) I wear it proudly signifying the end of an era.

I suppose what I am so upset about is not the appearance of wisdom(ha!) per se, not the dawn of another epoch in my life, but the closing of one of the best, most memorable and in fact, the ONLY sort of life that I have thus far been privy to.. Student life. Unabashedly young and reckless with all the diplomacy of a shipload of blood-thirsty Vikings. Oh yes, and one mustn't forget the tumbling locks of thick black hair cascading down my taut, distinctly student, back.
But like the scores of cuts, scrapes and bruises left behind by an eventful childhood-

(Exhibit A: Inch long mark on right knee caused by fall in the 4th grade down the stone stairs to the Assembly hall and then subsequent wound inflicted on same area caused by overzealous game of Dogdeball and then AGAIN, same area, pushed by a somewhat giant-sized 5th grader.
Exhibit B: Half-inch long deep cut in left shin caused by monkey bite during 6th grade while attempting to communicate with said primate species by extending a peace-offering in the form of a Frooty tightly gripped between knucle-white fists.
Exhibit C: Thin, long mark on wrist caused by razor sharp nails of fellow student during a proverbial cat-fight in 7th grade all-girls catholic convent. To my credit, I walked away with sizeable clump of opponent's hair.
And so on. )

-I refuse to dye, cut or camoflauge in any way, what I take to be the result of my hours of preparation for irrelevant questions on outdated technical subjects and a fitting tribute to my glorious black-haired college days. That is to say that I will not be taking my grandmother's stoic conviction to heart (You youngsters these days, always shampoo and hairgel and whatnot! Put parachute oil everynight ma, it'll make your hair so shiny and black you can see your reflection in it. Put egg and henna once a week and take oil massage on Sundays. None of us ever got white hair till late in our 40s.) Incidentally, my father started going grey at 21, both my aunts in their late teens, my brother at 14 and finally, my family legacy has caught up with me. Just a little FYI

No, I will not hide what Mrs.Indira Gandhi proudly strutted down the corridors of Power with(Although I sincerely hope it doesn't come to that. One half-white hair, I can handle! Any more isn't very promising in these turbulent times what with all the good men seeking 'tall, thin, fair [and implicitly understood black-haired] bride wanted for ') But I'll wear it with pride and dignity. My final battlescar.
Behold! Exhibit D.

(Hold on, whats that.. Is that a wrinkle?! Oh Good Lord!)

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