CAUTION: Read the following with an open mind. And read it till the end, in case you misunderstand something.
The Dreadful Feat
I wiggled in the chair but I could not move. I had been tied down so expertly, my arms bound to either side of my body. I tried to free my dominating arm, the right one, but the attempt went in vain. I was covered by the thing that bound me. The only thing I could move was my neck, but what could I do with that?
The whole body was covered with a white sheet. They had done it well. Experienced as they were, however, they had failed to cover my feet. Maybe, just maybe, I could free my legs and somehow get the sweet release of freedom. As I continued to wriggle, I heard the scary looking man from before, my captor, approach me. He had a scary looking instrument in his hand. Perhaps it really was the time for the torture.
I waited for the onset of the attack with my eyes closed. And immediately, my mind sorted its thoughts and placed this particular memory on the top of its priorities. The words came clearly to me, and they had been uttered before I was bound: “Either do what I say or suffer the consequences” and I shuddered by just the glimpse of my past.
I opened my eyelids just a tiny bit, to see what the man was doing now, and I realized that he was standing beside me, facing me with a look of uncertainty. “Naye ho kya? Kabhi pehle aaye nahi?” he said to me in Hindi, which meant Are you new? Have you never before come here?
I shook my head fearfully. I pleaded to him with my eyes, but I knew that all my efforts were futile. The decision had been made. What decision, you ask?
Well, the night before, I had been betrayed by my own blood. My brother who shared my blood was mocking me, teasing me like a child. Even after the twenty three (or is he twenty four?) years of life, he had not lost his childhood mischief. And mind you, he is the older, mature one. And yet, when it came to me and HER, he always joined HER side. I should have known then, that he would rather once more agree with HER than me.
I placed my reasons for the choice (that had led me here to this horribly torturous nightmare) before HER yet she batted them away as if they were made of nothing but air. One after another, SHE countered my pathetic excuses (which I was running out of) with reasonable, hardened facts.
However a minute later, after sorting through my brain for a perfect method to win this argument, I found it. “But my brother hasn’t done it,” I said to HER with a smile of triumph. I knew I had won. If my elder brother hadn’t done something, SHE would never expect me to do the same.
That’s when this donkey, this so-called brother of mine, chose to send us a picture of his neatly shaven hair. Of twenty-three years on this Earth, half of them had gone in him convincing HER that the choice was right and now that I had made the same choice, suddenly, he had turned the tides on me and joined HER.
Then she placed the Dreadful Feat in front of me, and asked me in the sweetest, but actually “Saas-Bahu Vamp” style, “Are you going to do it or not?”
I knew the meaning behind it. After living so many years- actually all of my years- with her, I knew it meant only one thing: Either do the Dreadful Feat which was a physical torture, or don’t and suffer the mental torture. And my mind was already complaining from the months of the mental torture by HER. So I said yes.
Oh, SHE was clever. She had used all the methods of emotional torture on me. Ranging from using her clever lady-associates to persuade me, the picture of roadside beggars with long hair (although they were not at fault) and other vile options, SHE had successfully convinced me to do this.
And now I was tied to this cold, steel chair with a cruel weapon to my head. I hung my head in defeat as the scary man asked me “Kaise chahiye?” (Which means “How do you want it?”)…
I knew what the questions was actually: Do you want to take the short, painless one or the long, painful method. I looked at him and thought for a while.
I could tell him to do it quickly but that only meant that I would face another bout of Physical Torture again and very soon. Or I could tell him to take his time today and face the same torture later, very very later.
I chose the long, painful choice, but that meant I would see his face for a long time. As I told him my option, he attacked me brutally. Parts of my body, my lovely babies fell onto the floor. I wanted to scream, I wanted to claw at the man, I wanted to burst with anger and engulf the whole place of torture into flames. All I could feel was hate for HER. But I felt helpless.
And as I looked at the ground with sorrow, I realized that I was truly helpless. My hair was no more long, supple, shiny and beautiful. It was short, cold, hard and minute. After completion, the barber smiled at me as all the anxiety vanished. The anger dissipated because I knew there was no use of crying over spilt milk, or in this case my hair.
“Mummy ne bheja hoga, na? Callage shuru hora hoga!” he said to me, flashing his paan-stained teeth. I did not want to think of HER and HER associates (my neighbouring aunties) so I simply shrugged and left after paying him.
So this is for the beautiful hair that I had yesterday: YOU WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN. YOU WILL BE REBORN!!!! (…in a month’s time, though.)
I decided to write something a bit more comical for my next post, and so here it is. Some of the acts mentioned in this post are over-exaggerated and some are downright lies (eg: My brother supporting my mom in cutting of hair? HA! If anything, he would make sure my hair remained long and amazing. It suits me, he says.) But it added a comical effect, so lies had to be told and events had to be fabricated!
If you agree with me that having long hair is not a crime, support the noble cause by liking this post and sharing it! Only if we share it together can we convince THEM, our mothers, to let us grow our hair. And just in case someone misunderstands, I love my mom, my neighbors and everyone involved in the post and nobody was harmed …except my hair.
Most of the images found here are taken directly from Google unless told otherwise.