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My Hairs Cost Me Thousands

You might think I am exaggerating everything. But it’s true. My long hair cost me thousands. Not because I bought a lot of cosmetics to clean my hair and pamper it, but because of society’s notion that a long hair freak uses marijuana.   You don’t understand how hard it is for a teenage male to grow his hair long in this country with CCTV’s everywhere. I am not talking about the CCTVs that are fixed electronically, but the one which is created by the society to do surveillance and punish who is not following society’s rules and regulations. They can be found literally everywhere, including houses to local shop and passersby. In this socialist country, people have found some formulas (these are mentioned in the society rule book) which everybody follows, and who doesn’t follow would be given severe punishment. I got to know one of them. The formula goes as follows,


I have gotten to know the side effects of not following this formula. The funny thing is that my parents don’t have a huge problem with my long hair as long as I keep it neat. And I don’t think that’s not too much to ask from their son. But I don’t understand what’s the matter with the rest of the world. Why do they even care about the way I keep my hair? If you don’t like something about me, come to me, convey the matter. That’s it. I decide whether to follow what you said or not. If I am disturbing you with some of my habits (example: loud music, stinky dress, etc.) it’s a lot other story. But this is my head, my style and my wish. What have you got to do with this. Maybe you are jealous your parents are not so cool as mine. But that doesn’t give you any right to pester me with your dirty looks and comments.   My cool grandmother said to my face, “naan vicharikum, ingene mudi valarthi nadakunne kuttikal okke mattethaan enn, kanchaav. Ente swantham peere kutti ingene ayerom elle manasilavunne.” (I’d always think, these teens with long hair are the ones who uses marijuana. Now when I see my own grandson like this, I understand.).  But she still thinks the same when she sees any other teen with long hair. She said she understood. But she doesn’t change the way she thinks.

Knowledge is useless without practicing.

I had to go renew my passport to go to Bahrain to meet my father. And the renewal procedures include me going to a police station and the police officer verifies if I am eligible (in the sense there’s no pending court case and stuff) to go abroad. And this police officer even took my room address where I stayed when I studied my degree. For what? Because he suspected that I use marijuana and I am not a worthy citizen. I am suspected only because of my hair. No other issues. I had to cancel my flight tickets multiple times because their checking procedures weren’t over. I even had a situation where a police officer asked me “Enthada ninte mudi ingene?” (Why is your hair like this?). I don’t get it. I believe they have never heard the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Even if they have heard, they wouldn’t mind being so cheap as to ask why your hair is like this. Damn this society’s rule book. Isn’t it time to change. Trends come and go. From Dubsmash, to Musically, to TikTok, everything changes. Not this dirty foolish way of judging people by their looks. I wonder what all other rules are disturbing many innocent lives. I know a friend who has curly hair who hasn’t touched a cigar in his lifetime, yet always gets suspected for this. Will this change? Does the people really think this change is not needed? Or are they too lazy to do something.   First of all, it’s hard to literally grow hair. There’s an uncanny Valley where it looks weird and dumb where even the most optimistic would think “Let’s leave this plan!”. And after cautiously crossing this valley of self-doubt of whether it would be worth the fight or not, this thing with society comes. There comes negativity, bad omens related to long hairs, what not. And if you cross all this, the ultimate villain comes HAIRFALL.

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