Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Perfect Head

"Hair by hair maks the carl bare", says an old Scottish proverb. The head of hair is homo sapiens' crowning glory. It is for this reason that even a little loss of hair on the crown or its whereabouts, makes the young man under it panic. Panic, because this 'thinning process' is famous for its irreversibility.

Baldness, or alopecia, is a gift handed down through the genes. Though it is a harmless physiological disorder, its virtue of giving an illusion of oldness creates an odd feeling in the 'unfortunate' person. Medical science is yet to find an effective cure. In spite of this, we hear of ads with 'before and after' pictures having fooled gullible men. But a shallow "cure" is on the market - the wig!

"Baldy" is a popular pet name for a bald-headed or even a balding man, often referred behind his back. It sounds so nice and smooth!
Baldness is a scourge and nature's malediction, having a potential to affect wedlocks. But when you look at the positive side, it can save the worry about hair-do, hair oil, shampoo and combing time. The head-bath becomes far smoother! But the tall baldy will curse his height when he bumps his vertex against a doorframe.

Baldies make the job easier for the barber but there are no concessions on offer. It is hard to identify a hiding-under-a-wig baldy because those wigs look so very natural. But some wear that shame-proud look.

Naked pates are concealed with unique methods. My friend Haridas has grown hair on one side of the head, long enough to arrange those available strands neatly to cover his shiny vertex, from pinna to pinna. He is always armed with a pocket-comb because his enemy is the sudden gust of wind. I have seen another dark middle-aged 'bold' baldy in a crowd. Believe me, he had conspicuously black-dyed his entire head, yes, entire head, to imitate a crop of hair. There are some who start wearing a cap once they notice the receding hairline. It only contributes in hastening the process. The more it is thought of, or looked at in the mirror, the speedier it recedes, up, up and behind! My pen friend Prabhakaran sent his second picture, five years after the first 'hairy picture'. His top had "blown off". He had given an explanation: "…due to too much study…". He had become a professor.

One middle-aged Nayyar from Delhi and I meet for our respective cricket teams, annually. But last time round, his appearance cheated me! After some teasing, he revealed with a wink that he wanted to look younger and so he had undergone a complicated fifteen-thousand-rupee-3-month-"weaving" treatment to his pate. A few others 'run for cover' and buy themselves a wig.

When I was a kid, I used to fondle my maternal grandpa's balding head, which had a traditional "juttu" (tuft). Why me, he himself was caressing it when he had nothing else to do. Just look at a baby's astonishment when it sees or lays its soft palm on the hard and smooth surface when the bald grandpa plays with his grandchild! To kids, most bald men are 'tata' (meaning grandfather). But agree they wont, even if that poor young fellow is a 'victim' of alopecia. Guess what my balding friend Ravi's most treasured thing? It is his own photograph taken in his "hair-days".

The bald pate is a good site for tattooing too.

There are a few 'bald men clubs' like this one in active existence, enjoying their commonness. Hair or no, what is of value is the content inside the cover, much like a coconut.
Curves are naturally appealing. Ask any cartoonist how they enjoy drawing a Gandhi, Yul Brenner, Churchill, Lenin, Seshan, UR Rao, Anupam Kher, or a Brian Close…. The list goes on. Brian Close, the England Cricket captain revealed when he was bald enough to say that his childhood dream was realized: he had always wished to go bald whenever his mother pulled his hair.

Samuel Hoffenstein in Songs of Faith in Year After Next says:

Babies haven't any hair;
Old men's heads are just as bare;

Between the cradle and the grave
Lies a haircut and a shave.

God only made so many perfect heads. The rest he covered with hair!


Here is a league of bald headed men.

There are jokes and cartoons too about the subject!

Famous photo-journalist T.S.Satyan has his blog on the same subject here (scroll down to get that)


Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Hair today..gone tomorrow! LOL on the pictures, funny article and I enjoyed it. Thanks Dinu.

Achyutha RN said...

Very nice and funny article, hi, one more thing, you can embed the YouTube videos in to your blogs!!! (better choice than giving hyper links).
Good luck, keep writing. Can we expect some think on "Talkad and the panchalinga darshan" in your blog, with some nice photographs, and some tips to visitors.
Achyutha RN, "Mrigashira" Bogadi,Mysore.

paddu said...

Gud one on Circle of Trust.