Going back 14 years, like others I was a normal student at a not so famous University in the southern part of India. The college days were usual with most of my focus around studies and keeping myself happy by playing in the evenings, watching movies in the weekends, hanging out with friends. Like most boys, I too couldn’t resist looking at girls. My eyes also were used to scan around the class and sometimes beyond to look at girls, and at times talk to others about who was the best looking girl.
This was a time when most girls appeared very homely, with traditional dresses. I could still remember that it was only on special occasions such as college cultural or other events when we boys could see girls in denim. Needless to say, girls styled their hair in a very ordinary fashion. Thinking about it today, I would list down the usual styles as – braids and pony’s (yes – that’s it!!!). The only other thing which differed in every girl was the length and texture of the hair.
First year in the college went by in no time, as very soon, it was time for the end of year exams. Couple of months before the exam, my family had decided to let out the first floor of our house to an internet browsing centre, which was operated by one of our family friends. At a time when internet was in its early years since birth, this internet centre was expected to do a good business, but for some unknown reason, it didn’t do that well and was mostly empty. Most of us would have heard about the Chaos Theory, specifically the Butterfly Effect (Wiki would give you more insights about this). On a Tuesday when I was studying for my next exam , I faced with the initial conditions of the Butterfly effect, which till this minute – I believe is the reason behind me having become a hair fetish.
As I was studying, my mother, who was just about leaving to a family friend’s house heard the doorbell go off, as she saw a young girl with her father and mother at our doorsteps. The young girlâ€™s father introduced himself and told us that he had visited the internet centre in first floor to check on admission for his daughter in the nearby college. Coincidentally, it was the same college I was studying on & it was the same specialization which the young girl was looking for. At this point, I was still in the room overhearing this conversation. In a dull Tuesday afternoon, after a good meal, it is quite natural to feel sleepy. My dim attention on the study was further weakened by this conversation as my ears concentrating on the conversation. As the conversation went on, the girl’s father said that when they were discussing about the admission details as the chap managing the internet centre told about me. The girl’s father was hence looking to get some insights about the college and how good it was.
It was at this point that my mom walked into my room and asked me to step out. My mom introduced me and asked me to help them. She had to rush as she had a train to catch. I was left alone to handle the guests, and as the father of the girl introduced me to the girl, i got a chance to make an eye contact. She was about 5 foot 6, medium built, a nice round face, with slightly darker skin complexion. She was wearing denim and shirt. Her hair was different. It was silky smooth, spread out loose and easily reached her mid back. Her hair was neatly cut in a deep U shape, all combed back and secured at the crown with a thin brown toothed headband. It wasn’t anything spectacular that brought me goose bumps, but it was kind of strange to see a girl wear her hair loose for the first time. In the hot Indian summer, the ceiling fan was trying its best to run as fast as it can. With the girl seated straight about the fan’s edge, the ends of her silky mane was lifting ever so slightly (must have been bone dry, her hair that day). Anyway, back to the conversation, there were questions put to me about the college, about the department, about the area, transport, books, jobs uff.., what not. Although I felt like it was a job interview already, with the girl’s father asking all the questions, i did quite well answering all the questions and sealing the deal (which I came to know after a month).
First year exams completed, the short 2 week holiday went by, as college re-opened. It didn’t take long, as I saw the same girl now having joined the class. I met her in the computer lab on day-1 after the college re-opened, and the timing of this class was perfect as it was the last session before lunch. Thanks to the newly revised timetable that half of both the second year and first year students of a department attended the lab at the same time. She looked different this day, as I was trying very hard to see her, but was not helped by the fact that the lab was set in a square formation and I & Krishna were facing the opposite sides with our backs facing each other. A quick look at my watch and there was 35 minutes to go in the session. This was one of the longest waits i had in my life. 35 minutes felt like three and a half hours. But finally, the lunch time bell rang as i stood up with my bag and turned back to see her. I couldn’t have a formal introduction with her here in the middle of everyone else. As she came near me, I started walking with her. Before talking to her about her new look, i really felt the need of some privacy. I asked her if she was going for lunch, in which case can i join her too. She said sure. She asked me where I do my lunch normally. I never used to go to college cafe, as i took her to a quieter area, besides the parked college buses. I had discovered this area a few months ago when i was wandering around the college in the hunt of a place where i can sit down and relax my mind for a few minutes during the break. My earlier hunt now came handy. This area was in a corner where 3 of the college buses were parked. Behind the bus’s, were a series of trees providing a good deal of shade. Under the tree were old concrete columns which were handy to sit down.
We both sat and opened our lunch, as i took a moment to see her new avatar in full and in a quiet atmosphere. First of all, she was in a traditional Indian dress called the Salwar Kameez. Dull yellow in colour. Her hair was still loose, but unlike how it was a month ago when we first met, it was short. She had got her hair cut into a basic blunt bob just about to her shoulders. It looked fresh, I thought she must have been on the salon chair yesterday. She still had the brown headband on with all her hair pulled back. There was a beautiful inward curl to her bob at the ends. And every time she moved her head, I could see her hair dancing around. This new look was very different, unlike anything I had seen in the past few years. Suddenly I was feeling goose bumps, a bit excited all for reasons I didn’t know at that point.
You look nice in this haircut, I started breaking the cloud of silence between us.
Thanks. I was eagerly waiting for someone to tell me that since the morning, Krishna responded.
What followed was a general discussion about us and the college before I stretched out my right hand saying “friends?â€ She echoed and confirmed the start of our friendship.
That night, I felt very restless, I was often thinking about her, and more importantly her hair. I couldn’t understand the reason behind my excitement. It could be because I got to speak freely with a girl for the first time in my life, or maybe it was a feeling caused by her hairstyle.
The next day I college confirmed my suspicions. My eyes were stuck on the windows for most part of the morning hoping to see Krishna cross my class. But my mind also pointed my eyes towards the girls within my class. Suddenly I could feel my focus shifting to their hair. Assessing each and every girlâ€™s hairstyle and my eyes easily spotted two considerable changes. A girl with silky hair mid back up trimmed uncut with virgin ends as seen before the exams now had a neat shoulder length cut with longish bangs. The second girl who had curly hair till waist now appeared to have her hair straightened and trimmed neat. Ohh yes, it must be the hair stuff which is kicking me on, I told myself. And few more days of sleepless nights, spending some time in internet centre specifically browsing about hair, gave me the results which I wanted to see – I am a “hair Fetish”.
With the first week after college re-opening have gone by, I saw both Krishna’s hair and our friendship grow at a good pace. We became lunch partners, we exchanged our contact details. Over the next few weeks, thanks to more frequent internet hunting, I learnt more and more about hair. i learnt about the bobs, bangs, layers, and other basic cuts. (When I say I learnt, i mean I understood what they were). Krishna used to come to college day in and day out with the same style, most days with the toothed headband on. Some days loose hair. My personal favourite was the one style where she combed all the hair over her right ear back and secured it with a hair-clip behind her right ear. That way, only her hair on the left side flowed loose.
I used to occasionally talk to her about her hair, and she almost every time used to blush when i tell her how cute she looks or how nice her hairstyle is. Months flew by, Krishna’s hair grew till about shirt collar length. I was eagerly waiting for when she would cut it short next. The day arrived mid-way through the second year. I used to share most of my books to her since we were introduced. And one such request led her to call me that afternoon @ 2.30 on my mobile:
I have used your books for the assignments now. Shall i return it to you today, Krishna asked?
Sure.., actually, tell you what, my parents are away. I was thinking about stepping out to grab something to eat. So shall i collect it, if you are at home?
Krishna: sure, call me once you are outside.
I was very hungry that day, as i gave priority to food. After my meal, i happened to bump into couple of my other friends as i happened to forget about going to Krishna’s house. I finally remembered it at 6.15, and rushed towards her house. Her family lived as tenants in an individual duplex property. i vaguely remembered her telling me once before that she used to live in ground floor. i tried the calling bell several times, but heard no answer. i decided to call her, just as i thought i heard her voice from somewhere nearby. I decided to check upstairs. I knocked the door and the door was answered by a lady. She was in her mid-thirties I think, as she asked me who I was. I told her that I was here to meet Krishna. She asked me to wait for a minute as she disappeared into one of the rooms. Very soon she came out and asked me to come in. Once I was in, this lady secured the door and asked me to follow her. My heart beats were riding high, as even this lady who was directing me to the room appeared to have gorgeous hair. i wasn’t sure about the length as her hair was bundled and held by a giant jaw clip with the ends hanging loose. I could tell that her ends were neatly trimmed. What I was about to see would only increase my interests on hair exponentially. As soon as I entered, to my right I saw a salon chair with Krishna seated on it. Krishna’s hair was loose, I could see a cape, grey in colour laid over her body in front, but not secured, as I had interrupted the process.
Krishna: Hi Jay, this is my cousin Hema who runs this salon. With our parents also not home, we fixed this sudden appointment. Sorry, your books are downstairs. Let me get them for you..
As Krishna was trying to get up, i stopped her. No – thatâ€™s okay. Iâ€™ll come some other time perhaps..,.. or.., or.., i stammered, I’ll wait if its ok with you.
Okay, Krishna said.
She agreed but I could feel a bit of shyness in her tone. It was a bedroom converted into a salon. Two simple black leather chairs and a large wall fitted mirror in front of both the chairs. I stood beside the first chair facing Krishna’s left hand side. The room was air conditioned and felt nice. I felt luck was definitely riding with me that day as I had the perfect seat in the house to witness an unexpected transformation.
Hema restarted from where she left as she picked up the cape and secured it nicely around Krishna’s neck. I then witnessed for the first time endless amount of water sprayed onto Krishna’s hair as in moments it was dripping wet. Hema then sectioned all around and started the haircut at her nape. For the girls they were performing a big trim. Krishna’s hair was cut from below collar length to her mid neck. Definitely shorter than how it was 6 months ago. Every snip of the scissor was exciting as I was hearing the sound of metal through wet hair for the first time. Every now and then I saw Krishna looking into my eyes through the mirror. Strangely none of us spoke as the room was filled with sound of the haircut. As Hema moved to the sides I watched big lumps fall on Krishna’s lap. Watching Krishna’s eyes half closed as gram was brushing her hair close to the lips was mesmerising. If I had discovered my fetish 6 months ago, this day I made me think about learning the art of hair dressing. Soon the haircut was complete as Hema started drying Krishna’s hair. The final look was so nice that I continuously spoke to Krishna about in every single conversation that we had over the next few days.
Six more months passed by, as i was pleased to have the opportunity to witness couple of more haircuts of Krishna on the hands of Hema. For a guy to be interested in girl’s hair was unique in India during those days. And someone who even started knowing the internals of hair dressing was even rare. All of this amused Krishna a lot, but it really amazed Hema even more. During this time, I also happened to build a parallel friendship with Hema, who was into hair dressing for the last 3 to 4 years. Hema was married, in her mid-thirties and had a girl who was 8-10 years old. Hair dressing was her way of utilising her idle time as she used to hate the quite periods especially when her husband and child went off to work and school respectively. What stood out about her was her hair. It was silky smooth, and she always kept it long. During the last 3 to 4 occasions I happened to meet her, I happened to see her in a pony once, and was awestruck to see her pony reach till her waist. She had no fuzzy cuts in the front, as she liked the ends heavy and maintain her hair in a simple note.
After a few weeks Krishna was due for yet another trim as we discussed about it in college during lunch. Krishna told me that it would happen that weekend on Saturday. It was Friday evening as I messages Krishna asking what time was her makeover. She replied instantly saying around 3ishh. Saturday arrived. It was supposed to be the usual routine. I assembled outside her home at 3. I climbed up the stairs and knocked. Like before Hema opened the door. Today she was wearing a white saree. Her hair was bundled up and held by a large clip, with the edges left dangling out.
Hi jay, you are dart on time again. I presume you have no other work, she asked.
Yes, you can say that, I smiled. Hey where is Krishna, I asked as we both stepped into the room.
I don’t know. I thought she was with you, as Hema’s phone rang.
It was Krishna who informed he a that she had gone out with her family to a wedding but was delayed on the way back due to traffic. She was going to be half an hour or so late.
As Hema put the phone down, situation turned a bit nervous for both of us. I and Hema have talked to each other before, but mostly in the presence of Krishna. This isolated scene was curious as there were a few quite seconds and both of us stood still. She broke the silence.
So 30 minutes for us to know more about each other.
I think you may already be knowing everything about me, I commented.
Well, maybe not. I have never seen or heard about a guy who is this fanatic about hair, she said slowly walking towards the corner chair.
I was never put on the spot before. I blushed as my brain couldn’t respond in words.
Hema turned the chair towards the other chair and sat making herself comfortable. You know, I was watching you during your first visit here. In fact I even called your name to ask if you wanted anything to drink. But you were so busy in watching Krishna’s cut that your senses were shut.
I blushed even more…
Did you like Krishna’s bob?
Very much, words came out slowly, as I cleared my throat. I don’t know why, but I am attracted towards haircuts. May be it’s a problem with my brains wiring.
Shut up. Nothing wrong about the wiring dear. I think you like doing women’s hair. Simple.
There was silence again as I started feeling Hema may have run out of questions.
If I chat about this to her further, would she respond – yes, no, maybe she will get bored? There was a mini tug of war. I took a deep breath and decided to continue the conversation.
So do you also offer trainings?
She smiled, haven’t trained anyone yet. But won’t mind a student, she giggled.
Is she inviting me ? I think we have time. We could start with lesson 1 today, I acknowledged with a smile putting the ball in her court.
So let’s start with brushing, she said surprising me, as she put her right foot down from the chairs foot rest