Keeri who loved humans

Keeri who loved humans
Something to say?

Sunday, 22 December 2013

This Brave New World

Recently I took the extreme step of surrendering my head and hair to a hair-dresser. Haven't done that in years.

   She worked on it for a long time, repeatedly saying, 'There is so much hair.' I felt I should tip her extra for the hair I had. 

   I insisted that she should not blow dry my hair. But, of-course, she was on auto-pilot and blow-dried my hair to hell and back. I emerged looking as though I had straw for hair. I went straight home, put olive oil on it, and washed it again. The hair stayed straw-like or a long time.

   So, one day, I says to my daughter. 'How do people with sparse hair get volume in it?' She said, 'Oh, there are creams and stuff. And they don't comb it to perdition like you do.'

   Of course. This is a definite trend of this decade. Very few women under sixty comb their hair. They are all promoting this sophisticated, disarranged look. Some succeed more than others ending up by looking merely untidy. When I see this I have a strong urge to find my bottle of coconut oil.

   Then there is the stance. Always slightly bent forward, head down, peering into a small screen of some sort. Soon they will discover a new 'app' (sounds like baby-food.) to straighten the necks of all ages and groups.

   In the sitting room the conversation has died. The concentration on the little screen is so complete, no one hears any one say anything. No one has time for conversation.

   Is thinking a casualty as well?

   In India there is much talk of the Aam Admi Party and the eradication of corruption. Now that's an ailment of long lineage and can withstand many aniti-biotics.

   Corruption is not restricted to politicians. What about contractors, engineers, judges, schools??? That little 'contribution' when you register a child in nursery school? What's the other name for it?

   I remember a group of defendants in a murder trial visiting my home at midnight. With one lakh rupees in bank notes in a small bag. I was ten years old. Their purpose was to persuade my father, who was then a Public Prosecutor, to go easy on the defendants. When he refused to collude with them, they threatened him. He was trembling with anger long after they left. I was scared for him.

   There was not much to get corrupted for then. Most houses had nothing beyond absolute need. We had no sofas, no wardrobes, no big mirrors... Achan shaved in a little mirror nailed to the pillar on the veranda. There was so little to buy in our reach that we did not think of it.

   I believe corruption is spawned and nurtured by the culture of too much to see and buy around you. I would love to go back to a more simple life. But then, I'd have to borrow a laptop. Mmm...

   I think the landscape has changed forever.

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