Several months had passed after Aarya’s big chop. Initially when her father made her hip length hair cut into a boy’s cut with shaved back and sides and ultra short hair on top, life was quite different for her. Everyone at her school was shocked. People started to confuse her with a boy. Her teachers were happy because they knew she will be concentrating on academics now. Most of the boys who used to have a crush on her started staying away.
Aarya started to see some upside to her haircut too. She used to spend 2 hours on shampoo, conditioner and drying her hair, now it took 5 mins to shampoo and 5 mins to dry her hair. She started washing her head everyday before school and it dried very quickly. She didn’t even need a comb before going to school. She did not feel hot at all. Whenever she used to feel hot, she just used to pour Iced water on her head and was good to go.
All this was not worth losing her precious long hair. She missed making different hairstyles with her straight long hair. She missed how she wore her hair down and hide behind them like a security blanket. She missed how beautiful she used to look with all those lengths silky and smooth.
10 months had passed…my hair had grown a bit now. 5 inches on the top and 3-4 inches at the back and sides. My hair are in a shag now. I started using a comb before school, I even use a tick tack to clip my front hair. It doesn’t look very good, but at least I have some length now. I think at this pace, my hair will grow into a chin length bob before I enter 10th standard. My final exams are next week. I haven’t done extremely well in my mid terms but at least my grades are better than before. I don’t know if my parents are happy, they haven’t said anything about my grades or my grown hair.
It was a Sunday morning, Aarya had just washed her head and now she was drying her hair, combing them.
“Isn’t this taking you too long?” Asked her father.
“No, I’ll be done in 5 minutes” said Aarya. Her father replied…”It shouldn’t even take a minute!! Your exams are next week. How can you spare time for such things?? I told the barber to cut your hair as short as possible, even shaved your neck and temples, so that it doesn’t grow back long so fast. Why is your hair growing this fast?”
Her father came near her, took the comb from her hand and started combing her hair, checking the length. “This is too long!!! Your mother and I have been so busy these past few months, we didn’t even have time to take care of your hair. I am sorry sweety, we didn’t mean to neglect you.”
“It…it..it’s fine papa. I like this length, I want to keep growing my hair. My grades have improved in my mid terms and I’ve been studying hard for the finals as well. I think I should grow them back” Aarya said quietly and in a scared voice.
“No sweety, this must have been so tough to manage. Look at all these long hair on your neck. They must be so irritating. And these locks covering your ears, these bangs will soon cover your eyes. This is a very shabby look on you. I am sure it’s tough to handle. A short clean haircut was clearly a good choice for you looking at your grades, we should definitely not risk it for the finals. It’s done then. Today is HAIRCUT DAY!!! Get ready, we leave in 10 mins. Kamal must have been missing you” her father said laughing with enthusiasm.
Aarya was very scared and sad now. She knew her fate was sealed, she was getting a haircut, AGAIN. Even the thought of going back to the barbershop made her cry. She wanted, but couldn’t prepare herself for another humiliating short haircut. She couldn’t think of feeling naked and helpless, caped and trapped in that barbershop again. She had no choice in the matter. They went to the barbershop.
I entered the barbershop and Kamal greeted us. “Hi Aarya, wow your hair have grown so long now. What happened to our little boy Aarya? You need to be cleaned up” said the barber.
It all came rushing back to me. The hacking of my long hair into shoulder length bob then chopping more and more hair until I could see my scalp underneath my short hair, until I could feel the cool air penetrating my hair to my scalp, unit I could feel the barber’s fingers making contact with my skin.
Meanwhile my father sat for his haircut first and got a regular trim, his haircut was finished.
“Aarya, let’s get you caped up and ready to clean you for school properly. Let’s make you look like a boy again” said the barber, and I froze….
To be continued……