Like every Indian kid, I am grateful to my parents for a few things: For giving me their unconditional love; for letting me choose my own career (A difficult choice, considering that the options were engineering, medicine or selling vada pav on trains) and for imparting life lessons such as ‘Study now, you will enjoy later’ which is actually their version of saying ache din aayenge. Look how that turned out!
One thing, however, for which I am not so grateful to them, is what has been passed on to me as inheritance, and has now become a part of my personality, of who I am and how I exist.
My receding hairline.
Actually, the drainage-level water quality of Surat, the city where I lived during my engineering days and which has taught me that true education means paying for your own Old Monk and Mary Jane in college, is also a handsome contributor to my balding spots. Yet, numerous studies have revealed that genes play a very important role in why you start losing your hair at the first place. Its simple: If anyone in your family has it, you will eventually have it as well, much like stupidity or Alzheimer’s disease. At this point, I would like to take a moment here and appeal to My Lord and Saviour Anil Kapoor, Peace be upon him, to accept me as HIS worthy son.
I, for the record, would like to believe that the reason for my hair loss is not genes or environment, but hormones. Fun fact: It has been proved with alarming degree of precision that balding men are better in, you know, how do i put this, boom boom. They have the libidinous extension of the size of Khal Drogo.
Yet, whatever might be the reason for it, hair loss is the worst thing that can happen to someone. Its as bad as a being a Bihari and then getting invited to a Marathi wedding or pushing out a human being through your uterus. People start behaving differently with you in social gatherings. When I stop at traffic signals these days, little kids run to me saying “Aye uncle, paise nikaal na, uncle, UNCLE”. Ah! Those poor, innocent little kids. After all their sufferings and the pain they go through, I sometimes wish that they at least get to have a good night sleep on those dirty street pavements. I also wish that Bhai decides to go on a long drive that night. Don’t judge me. *insert evil laughter*
The whole trauma of getting bald begins, when a person, one day while taking a shower, gets hit by the ‘Twin’s Curse’.
What’s a Twin’s Curse, you might ask. Legend has it that many years ago across the Great Desert, a woman gave birth to two boys. Even while they were children, everyone around them could see and tell that they were destined for greatness. As they moved into their teens, they started fighting evil-doers, stood up for women’s rights and sent out tweets like You suxxxx! Teri maa ki ch*&%! Finally, when the time was right, they decided to follow their destiny, travelled to the east, joined MTV and started Roadies. The rest, they say, is THE TWIN’S CURSE.
It is seen that if the Curse hits you, you will eventually end up looking like the bastard son of Rajat Sharma and Dr. Batra. The speciality of the Curse is that it doesn’t kill a person instantly, but slowly manifests itself on to his mind, soul and head. Gradually over the years, it turns him into a slimy bag of low self-esteem and confidence. If you scroll through the photo albums of such people, you will get to witness their transformation from being Legolas to Gollum, who are trying to protect THEIR PRECIOUS with a hat, from their greatest enemy, a gust of wind.
Once a person starts losing his hair, everyone around him behaves like a hair expert from IIN. Over a period of time, I have come to realise that most of their advices are pure, unadulterated bullshit, much like everything that Rahul Gandhi says. I kid you not, but I have been asked to do a variety of things to regain my once-luscious mane, like use of special ayurvedic oils (said to contain Nitin Gadkari’s urine) or rubbing my scalp with the more natural ‘Made in India’ pigeon droppings mixed with Baba Ramdev’s toe nails.
A handful of people sympathetic to the ‘diseased’ come up with solutions like, “Go Bald. Shave it off! Embrace your baldness.” To me, it seems like a weird way to solve the problem. Much like if you say to an engineering graduate, “You know, you have started to smell a little funny these days. So, go take bath in dog shit or something. Embrace that stink.”
That is the reason why, after giving the idea much thought over 8 bottles of beer, I once decided to visit a hair implant clinic, hoping for a miracle.
Doctor, at the clinic: Hello Nazgul! I see that you have lost your hair, but you want to look like Khaleesi. You have come to the right place. I will be your saviour.
Me: What’s a Khaleesi?
Doctor: *rolls his eyes and lights a spliff* Our hair transplant technique is a highly complex procedure where hair roots will be plucked from one part of your body and reattached to your scalp.
Me: That sounds weird. People do that?
Doctor: Absolutely! Harsha Bhogle did it, Himeshbhai did it. In case of Sehwag, we could not find enough hair on his upper body, so we reattached his crotch hair to his head. So, he ended up looking like Sachin Tendulkar.
Me: Totes Legit, Man! What do i pay for it?
Doctor: *snorts a row* Your Soul. Plus, there is a LOT of money involved, which I’m sure you don’t have. So, go sell yourself to a homeless guy.
Me: Can I kick you on your man bags right now? Also, where do I find such a guy?
The most embarrassing phase of a balding man’s life comes when he reaches ‘that’ age, where he has to take all important life decisions like buying a LIC policy or registering on matrimonial websites to find a girl with similar life goals of growing fat together. Meeting with a girl becomes awkward, because she often mistakes you for your father. The conversations usually begin with “Aapka ladka nahi aaya?” to which I have a very traditional, sanskari, Indian-culture laden response of “Fuck off.”
In essence, what I’m trying to say here is that being bald ain’t easy. And going through the process of losing your hair is a very painful thing, even more than signing up for ‘Friendzoned for life’ programme with your favourite girl in the world. So, stop giving advices. Stop with the sympathy. Stop treating us like a bad session of chemotherapy. Stop calling names to us which highlights our baldness, and then say, “was just kiddin’, my man!”. It would turn ugly if we retaliate by giving you nicknames which describe you as “biggest dickfaced non-contributing-to-earth piece of shit ever”. Oh, btw, I was totally kiddin’ about that. You guys, with your livon-conditioned, dove-shampooed hair, are really sweet.