On ageing

Nobody knows a man better than his
1)Wife
2)Mother
3)Barber (Not hairstylist)

BTW, that list is in reverse order. I know that wives will not be thrilled about losing to his mother. But spare a thought for his mother. She lost to his barber!


It was my haircut day, a Saturday couple of months back. I was looking forward to the barber working his magic on my hair and transform me from nobody-with-lot-of-hair to nobody-with-little-hair . I have this special connection with my barber. We meet once a month and instantly connect.

"Come in! Come in! Had your breakfast?"
"Yeah!"
(I sit at the vacant chair.)
"short?"
"Yes."

For the next half an hour we connect like those two childhood friends who don't need to talk when they meet. We exactly know what each other wants.

I - less hair.
He - more business.

Before leaving I smile to acknowledge his skill. He smiles back conveying, "It was his pleasure." That is an example of great relationship. A relationship where there are no disasters of expectations that go wrong, misunderstandings that explode, insensitivity that hurts.

But something changed that day. He popped the dreaded four-word question.
"Do you want dye?"
"What?"
"Your hair. Do you want to dye your hair?"
"But.. But why?"

He pointed at that reflecting thing called mirror. He tilted my head to show my sideburns where the hair had caught the fresh

snow of the old age winter. If your life is not the basis of any docu-drama movies like Schindler's list then seeing your grey hair for the first time in mirror can easily be your most harrowing personal experience. But my barber, for some reason didn't understand that. He kept selling the idea of dying my hair. I politely declined, paid him and left without smiling that day.

You might be wondering why I had not seen the grey hair in mirror before? Allow me to digress to explain how men relate to mirror. We believe that mirror is something that supports and fills the wall. And it is something that one stands in front of
when they brush or comb , because there is nothing else better to stand in front of. But we really don't see what is on the mirror. Never! We have T.V to see what is on.

I went home that day and looked at my past photos to see when exactly the old age had crept on me. And I saw the obvious answer - old age was always creeping on me. If my hair color could be used to represent the demographics of a city - I have
decayed from NduguNdugu of Central Africa to Harlem of fifties to Madras of Pre-Independence era. And whites were winning every day. I will probably have a photo to represent Arctic Tundra within a decade.

But I am not going to go down without a fight. I am never going back to any barber who suggests I dye my hair.

From Funny Side Of Life

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