Goldilocks and Bald Spots

Hair Equals Circulation

Hair equals circulation
Image credits — Calvin Neil

I was wondering what my van driver did after dropping us off to college, when my bald biology professor suddenly said, “If you don’t have hair on your feet, no circulation in your body. Body unhappy.” I snapped out of my thoughts and lifted my feet onto the plastic chair I was sitting on, to see if I had any hair on my feet.

Vishnu sat next to me and pretended to look away while I was critically examining his feet. He had a few strands on each of his toes and two patches at random corners of his feet. The boy next to him had the same amount I had on my head.

Govind raised his arm and asked, “Sir, you say hair growth is a sign of good blood circulation. So, there is no circulation in your head?”

His Hairy Hands

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Image credits — Vikas Viru

“Bhaiya, why are you not holding Didi’s hand?” said the boy who tried selling them roses.

They were new to this, and it got awkward after he said that. They continued walking down Brigade Road and reached the crossing. Three boys on a green bike sped towards her and almost knocked her down. That’s when he grabbed her hand.

Three irresponsible teenagers managed to do what they failed to do. They crossed the road and he didn’t let go. They continued speaking about board exams and incomplete organic chemistry portions.

She looked down at their intertwined fingers. Her skin was pale and the lavender on her nails made her green veins pop. His hands were rough and ended with short stubby nails. The hair on his hands tickled her enough to make her giggle every few minutes. Every time she giggled, he wondered why.

Boy Braids

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Image credits — Shahram Janahi

Mama used to braid my hair in the morning while I drank milk with Milo and watched Jimmy Neutron on Nickelodeon. I had two long pigtails. Dada used to say my horns grew so long that they started hanging.

In school, the other girls said they wanted long hair too. The boys always tugged at my pigtails, like they were another entity altogether, hoping that braids would come off and they would be able to swing them around.

Fast forward to twelve years later, to my second year of college. He was this boy who always kept smiling when I saw him outside college. I first saw him outside a few times and then one day he was at the canteen talking to my friend. He didn’t look any different from the usual boys I knew, until I found myself standing behind him in the canteen.

He has three long, thin braids running from the nape of his neck all the way to the middle of his arm.

And I always thought only girls could have braids.

Don’t miss the bald spot

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Image credits — Tanya Manavalan

During the college elections, each candidate was required to make a speech. I had never been up on a stage for anything, not even to adjust the height of the mic.

“Bad idea”, I made a mental note to myself for the future. There were at least one hundred and seventy students cheering on different candidates. I decided that I would just keep looking over everyone’s heads while moving my own head from left to right.

I started my speech. Everything was going as planned.

Head moving from left to right — check.

Crowd looks like they are listening — check.

But wait.

My gaze stumbled upon a bright, bald head. I didn’t try to look away. It glowed when the sunlight hit it and it looked blurrier still because I wasn’t wearing my glasses.

I liked how it looked.

Just like a glow ball that future tellers used.

The boy with the curls

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Image credits — Tanya Manavalan

When I was in the fourth grade, we had a pink colored Gul-Mohar English textbook. I liked pink. I remember a part of a poem. The Poet wrote about a little girl with curly black hair that looked brown when the sun kissed her hair. As a child, I pictured the sun leaning down over the girl and kissing her hair. I imagined it would catch fire but the poet hadn’t mentioned anything like that. Why didn’t anyone ever write about the grown man with curly black hair that looked like the sun kissed it? I know a boy with curly black hair that looks brown when the sun kisses it.

Beyblades and Barbies to Beards

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Image credits — Vivek Reddy

He never let anyone touch his Beyblades. They were his prized possessions. She never went anywhere without her Barbies. She wasted three birthdays and two Christmas gifts buying her Barbie’s friends and furniture.

Thirteen years down the lane, Beyblades and Barbies turned into Beards. He wanted that Nivin Pauly Beard. She wanted a man with one.

 

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Tanya Manavalan

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