The other day I was standing at the Shampoo rack in Big Bazaar scratching my beard when I stumbled headlong into this rather poor joke. It was so poor that I felt inanely ashamed I possessed the indecency of such an intellect. It was, but, a mere reflection of my frustration and agony.
"What is the difference between a hunter and a day trader? Simple. One shoots at hares and the other hoots at shares."
This story of the aforementioned frustration is almost 23 years ago and actually runs for 23 years in chronology. It started with my Patti. My Patti is a hardcore homeopath - no pills attached. According to her Rapidex English-Tamil-English dictionary, Clinic translated to chemical which in turn translated to evil MNC fluid. She believes that the Earth is a single life-form where we exist symbiotically to preserve each other. This does seem similar to Cameron's blue film - Avatar; but I trust my patti more than than the guy who taught the world that pencil sketching was the way to get into anybody's pants. Her recipe for a hairwash was simple - a sticky, greenish brown and completely vegan sludge.
It can also spook the dickens out of a sloth bear. Twice weekly, I was subjected to a head bath where stinking, green goo irrigated my forehead. Somehow, my hair follicles loved it. They gorged on the green goo and reproduced like the Whores of Babylon. Soon enough, my head was covered with a dense, outgrowth of dark hair. I was happy, my Patti was happy and my friends were green.
And as all good things go, so did my hair. It began the day that my patti found out that she can control me no more. My hormones overran everything on its way including sincere advice and sly referrals to my Dad's pate. All fell on dead hairs. Going on a shampoo spree, I experimented wildly before zeroing in on Pantene since it was the most fragrant smelling and was proven to dispel, nay, eliminate dandruff.
By the time my Patti pointed out the obvious, quite condescendingly, most of my hair had dislodged themselves. I did not believe my Patti, simply because I could not see what she was saying. Only when my friends started pointing and jeering, did I know something was wrong. The very next day I went to an eye doctor.
That I chose to believe I went myopic before I went bald, did me no good. I was still losing hair by the millions. Additionally, I also discovered that my follicles had hit a rough patch and stopped reproducing altogether. It was like China had suddenly discovered birth control. I had to do some damage control immediately. I turned to the only other person whom I knew would empathize. My dad.
He did not. He first proceeded to laugh at my insecurity, delivered a long sermon and finally put forth a juvenile recommendation which was further endorsed by many women of my time. ("juvenile" is not a pun; Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo was, is and always will be juvenile). Them women ooh-ed and aah-ed over the fact that I had started using baby shampoo. Probably, if I had tried I could have scored a few.
But I was more bothered about my hirsute than her suite. Sadly, the approach was effectively ineffective. Its impotence could be matched only by the presence of Badrinath in the CSK team. The amount of shampoo that I used was neither directly or indirectly proportional to anything that even remotely resembled a strand of hair.
I finally came full circle. I mean, my head resembled a full circle. There was nothing there that would encourage a barber to charge me more. There was only one other option that remained. I swallowed my pride and went and bought Meera Herbal Shampoo. It still smelled horrible and was more or less green goo. But at least, I did not go the way of Cho Ramaswamy.
My patti was ecstatic.