The other day, my granddaughter, asked with amusement, ‘Dadu, how come you have suddenly got so much hair on your head?’ I ran my fingers through my hair, saying, ‘Excuse me, but I have always had plenty of hair, and it is all natural!’ Thanks to the coronavirus, my hair has grown long and unmanageable and I am now in urgent need of a haircut.
One day, when I felt particularly uncomfortable, I asked the cook to give me a trim. But since he is more adept at wielding a kitchen knife than scissors, he did not do much of a job. For the first time, I feel envious of friends who are a little thin on top, including the one who frequently pulls out a small comb from his back pocket and runs it through his limited hair. At first, I wondered what on earth was he doing. Then it hit me that he was actually rearranging the few strands he has to cover the bald patches.
I suddenly remembered a long forgotten incident when I had to have a haircut in peculiar circumstances. I had been travelling continuously for several weeks and my hair had become long and unruly. Immediately on returning home, and even before I could even think of a haircut, I was asked to accompany the PM the next day to New York. The next morning, I arrived at the airport with my hair all slicked, but with the wind gusting, my hair began to fly in all directions. Just then, the PM arrived and graciously greeted all VIPs who had lined up to wish her bon voyage. I was standing on the side waiting for her to board. Suddenly, she stopped in front of me and said in a stern voice, ‘You need a haircut.’ I was stunned.
In New York, I consulted the Consul General about the possibility of a haircut that evening itself. He sent me in his car to what he claimed was a posh hairdresser. Once seated, the barber, or should I call him hairdresser, asked me what sort of haircut I wanted. I would have liked to say a mohawk, but instead said cut it short on the sides and the back. Thanks to the jet lag, I dozed off while he clipped away. When he had finished, I looked at myself in horror. I could not recognise myself! He had shaved the sides and back and I had a springy kind of mop on top that made me look like a hedgehog.
The next day, I was summoned to see the PM in connection with a change in programme. When I entered her suite, she looked at me and said, ‘What on earth have you done to your hair?’ Mustering all dignity at my command, I said, ‘Madam, I had a haircut.’ She gave me a bemused look and said, ‘You could have gone to a barber and not cut it yourself.’
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