The Colored Version
I, chose to color my hair.
Not that it was a knee jerk reaction. I had been toying with the idea for quite sometime. After Chinnu* went and colored hers, it was only a matter of time. Besides, it was part of my new year resolution to do the deed after getting a job. Having a fellow mallu with the most garish hair color is sure to deflect whatever criticism my parents were wont to make when I reach home.
However, the conversion of Chinnu's respectable black to traffic stopping red had me twirling my hair again. What if
(a) I ended looking silly?
(b) Either of my parents got a heart attack? [ case in point : when I left home in 2003 for my job and subsequent MBA, I had waist-long, black, curly hair. Now only the curl remains. ]
And most importantly, how will the campus react?
I like to believe that I have a modicum of fashion sense. People have commented positively throughout my two years here on my attire and accessories. Should I leave XL as the girl who had a major fashion fiasco? I strategically delayed the exercising of my options.
ie; till I came to know that my Delhi trip is under heavy weather. Still on the waiting list, and the line is not moving forward. To top all this, my fellow eater CD - what else do you call a guy with whom you really have not interacted much but now has been sharing lunch and dinner with you for the past two weeks? Friend is too generic - is going home and has asked me not to sit and brood, but enjoy my time here.
Hence, I decided to get out to the town. And got myself CDs [ stop smirking, you monkey... I was not talkin abt ya :) ]. The nearby beauty parlor beckoned. I went inside, got myself ready for the Delhi trip and 15 minutes later, was about to leave. And then I noticed the poster; of a lady with jet black hair streaked with purple.
Many be it was the heat. Or the fact that I did not eat any food till 4 pm. Whatever, I decided to get the purple streaks. "We don't have that color.. " said one. " But we have these.. " said the more enterprising of them, and thrust into my hands a huge catalogue of beautiful women with different colors.
I picked one.
" This is for people trying to hide their greys." one of them told me snidely.
" What about this? Or this or this? " I asked the ladies.
"Too light. Go for something bold for the streaks. " they looked down their noses.
I took a sharp detour from what supposedly colored Chinnu's hair and picked a much more sober looking color.
After painting the hair and putting aluminum foil around the painted hair, I was asked to wait for 40 minutes. I looked like I was having the aluminum foil wrapped kit-kat wafers attached to my hair. Worse, I was looking like I was getting ready for a fashion show with all that wierdstuff on my head. A kid took one look at me and started bawling. Not - a - good - experience.
40 minutes , 2 Stardust and one Femina later, I was called to the chair. My hair was washed and dried, and withholding comment, I was led to my tryst with the mirror.
I looked like Jean Grey. The X-Men gal with psi abilities. I decided to eschew the facial and other works as I was sure that even if I had walked in naked, everyone in Delhi would be looking at my hair. It was the same color as Chinnu's, and looking spread over a wider area.
"How long will the color stay?" I asked.
" If you use L'oreal's shampoo, it will last longer. Here, I have it.." the enterprising one trust me a teeny shampoo bottle with a ridiculous price.
But having just made a resolution not to use anything which will prolong the blunder, I didn't even look at it, just nodded no. Then, taking several deep breaths, I left the sanctuary of the beauty parlor into the mad, bad world. Square the shoulders, look at the people as if you own them, and turn on your "If you as much look at me, I am gonna kill you " eyes. I jumped into the nearest auto and reached XL.
A bunch of my batchmates and juniors were standing some distance away. Under normal circumstances, I should have went over and chatted. But not now. I just wanted to get inside and lock myself in my room.Delhi be damned. I am not getting out of my room!
Then my fashionista friend, my fashion consultant - we MBAs don't use the word guru; we just consult - met me. " You colored your hair? And Chinnu's same color? It actually looks nice on you! " She blurted out at one go.
Oh thank you God... Thank you!
" Well... " I flipped my hair back casually, " I wanted to go for purple or electric blue. But they didn't have it there. "
We do not lie. We just selectively suppress the truth.
*name has been changed to protect author's health and enhance her safety from the mentioned.