It was a hot afternoon, school was over for the year. My sister and I sat under the fan and mom was in the kitchen. Time had stopped trying to run and i was enjoying the moment.The doorbell rang, it was Priya aunty. She entered, gave both of us a smile and said “Nice. Brother & sister enjoying the start of holidays”. She then ventured inside the kitchen and had a conversation with my mom. My sister and i continued with our small talk. She collected her hair and raised it and said: ” Now i can feel the fan better.It’s so hot. you’re lucky your hair is short”.
Just then Priya aunty started back and i heard her say: “Lot of work, am going now. Time passed so fast”. Then giving a quick look in my direction she said with a smile “OK Give it a thought Gowri”. My mom said “Yeah. I didn’t think of that. Let me think”.
Some time passed and the doorbell rang again. This time it was Rupa my sister’s friend who came in. She was a bundle of energy & she burst in. She greeted me with a big smile. AS she & my sis got busy in talking, i decided to venture out to meet my friends in some time. I washed my legs & hands and came out. My mom joined my sis and Rupa with some juice. Rupa gulped it down and said :” Ok aunty now i really have to hurry. Pammi aunty must almost be done”. My mom asked:”Your mom is there?”. She said with a laugh: “No, Ajay and Vijay” They were her 2 brothers. “Mom fixed an appointment with Pammi aunty to get their heads shaved. They had no choice in the matter. I just accompanied them and thought i’ll drop in for some time”. If you’re not going anywhere i’ll get them here after their hair cut. My mom said with a warm smile: “Of course. Will be nice to see” “And touch” said Rupa with a laugh as she sprang away energetically.
My mom then started gathering my hair with her hand. I did not pay much attention to this.
I went out to play and when i came back in 30 minutes, it was nearly 5:30. Mom and Shreya (my sis) were discussing how nice Ajay and Vijay looked. Mom or dad had never asked me to shave my head. Shreya did suggest this sometimes but i did not pay attention to her. Mom again slowly collected my hair with her hands and i felt the fan breeze cool.She told Shreya : “Priya said that Ajay and Vijay got strange haircuts during summer – calling it trendy. She thought it was better to have a shaved head and insisted as such to them. They had little choice”.
Then turning her attention to me said :”High time you had a haircut. I’ll ask Pammi aunty to give you a haircut. Is it OK?”. I wondered why aunty had to give me a haircut but since Ajay and Vijay had gone to her, i thought she was now also doing haircut for boys and said yes. “Ok” she said with a smile. She then gave me some money and said “Get some sweets from Babitha aunty’s shop”. I took the money and happily started down the road. As i neared the end of the road, Pammi aunty came out of her shop at the end of the road and said “Arrey! Beta, come in. your mom told me on phone that you will come for a haircut”. I did not expect mom to have already informed her but thought that i might as well get done with it. I went in. She welcomed me into her parlour and asked me to sit on the chair. She put the cape around me. She started spraying water and was talkative. The conversation was about last year and exams now that school had ended. She brought out a comb and a scissors and started to cut hair from the back slowly. This looked like a normal haircut and i started to relax.As i explained to her my sports activities, i did not notice the scissors change into the electric razor. The razor was now moving back and forth at a good pace at the back of my head. The conversation thread ended and there was a moment of silence when i noticed the change from scissors to razor. I noticed the efficiency of the electic razor from the amount of hair on the ground and asked Pammi aunty : ” When did you start boys haircut aunty?”. Aunty broke into a smile and said ” Just as i thought”. She waited for a couple of seconds as the razor did it’s job on my left and right sides. “Not regular haircuts. I don’t know the entire range, but i shave heads on request from my customers. That i practiced on my son” she pointed in the direction to the left where i saw a Baldev – her son enter. He had a shaved head. ” I thought your mom told you”.This was a shock for me and i did not know what to reply. Taking advantage of the moment of shock, she held my chin down and ran the razor on top of my head. All the hair came falling down and created an enjoyable sensation. I realized what was going to happen but the razor was giving me a nice feeling. Aunty guessed that and with a smile said: “It feels very good when it runs on the head – right?” She then ran the razor all over my head from front to back without releasing my chin.
Just then Shreya and Rupa burst on the scene. “Is it done?” Shreya asked with excitement. It seemed that she knew i would be here.Aunty then released my chin and i could for the first time see my head with a small stubble. Before aunty could reply, Rupa said : “Do it like my brothers. It was very nice aunty”. Shreya nodded her head. Aunty had reached out to a bottle that was shaving foam and she started applying it all over my head. “Yes yes” She replied with a smile and patiently.after rubbing the shaving foam all over my head with a brush, she reached out to a shaving blade. Again she held down my chin and started scraping on my scalp. After a few effortless strokes, she turned my head and stationed it there and scraped the side and the same on the other side.Before i could get a glimpse of my head,she bent it down and started scraping on the backside. I did not dislike what was happenning and so did not react much. Shreya and Rupa looked on interested.Then Pammi aunty ran her fingers over my head and then i felt a cool tingling sensation as she applied lotion over my head. She then removed the cape and moved out of the way as i saw myself in the mirror. She meanwhile proceeded to make conversation with Shreya and Rupa as i surveyed my face and the forehead merging with my head without anything black inbetween.Aunty meanwhile came back and held a mirror over my head and i could see the backside of my head.
There i was: Shaved smooth and clean. My head looked very fair I noted and aunty read my thoughts – ” The hair protects the scalp from the sunlight and now you can see it in all it’s beauty” she said with an affectionate smile and a couple of rubs of her hand over my head.
Rupa and shreya had meanwhile exchanged careful glances with each other anticipating that i would burst out. Pammi aunty asked : ” all these years i have never seen him bald even once. Is this the first time?” Shreya said “Yes”. Aunty said “Then you will distribute sweets?” Shreya said “Yes he will go to Babitha aunty’s shop now”. Now mom’s sudden desire to have sweets made sense to me.
I walked out with Shreya and Rupa by my side. We walked in silence. A cool breeze blew and i felt very good as the waves touched my head.Then we saw Aabha walking in the opposite direction with her pony tail waving along with her walk.Aabha was another of my sister’s friends and was very warm and friendly with me.She was my “best friend” among my sister’s friends and cared for me. I felt awkward on having a shaved head. She spotted us, waved to my sister and Rupa and broke into a wide warm smile as she waved at me. I waved half heartedly, thinking that she will start making fun of me. But she did nothing of that sort. After initial exchange of pleasantries with the girls she joined us. I arrived at Babitha aunty’s shop and she seemed to be expecting me. She took out a box of cashew barfi and said “your mom called and asked to give this to you”. Again the tone was warm. “She told me “all good beta, I have put some extra pieces” with a warm smile. This put me at ease. My sister said :” Offer aunty a sweet”. I dutifully did so as she ran her hand over my head a few times.
We then started back home. Aabha now wrapped her hand warmly around my shoulder and said “Hello friend. School over?” Soon i grew at ease and told Aabha :” My hair is all gone”. She said with her usual warmth: ” Oh so that is why you’re looking cool today, i was wondering what was new.She then proceeded to stroke the back side of my head a few times and then spread her hand all around”. ” Nice. At ramji’s shop?”. “No Pammi aunty’s salon” I said. She digested the information and then hugged me and said :”Good. Did you cry?” I shook my head.She smelt the lotion on my head and with a smile said “Good boy. Don’t worry in a few days it will all be back”.
Mom received me with a lot of love, repeatedly stroking my smooth head and praising me.She then asked us to go and distribute sweets to neighbours on the occassion of my first headshave.
After distributing sweets to some neighbours on my first headshave,accompanied by Rupa and my sis of course, we came back home.
When we entered, mom said with excitement :”My nieces Sharada and Sridevi are coming for a few days”. Sharada and Sridevi were mom’s nieces and were in college. Both are tall, fair and have sufficient length of hair and are great friends of mine. Again i felt awkward to show my shaved head to my sisters.
Next day morning after dad left for office, the doorbell rang. Mom said :”Open the door, must be your friends”. I opened the door and Sharada and Sridevi came in. I felt shy and ran into my room. After some time i heard a knock and both the sisters came in. They greeted me with a big hi! and gave me a new t shirt.This put me at ease.
Then Sharada asked me “When did this happen? where”.
Before i could speak, my mom showed them a video – Pammi aunty had recorded the entire session on her request and sent it to mom on whatsapp.
Sharada and Sridevi looked at the video and everyone said “Cool! Cute” after Pammi aunty had shaved my hair. Over the next few days, they ran their hand over my shaved head many times. But i did not feel awkward. We took a photo where they were sweating and tilted their heads towards mine at the center and i was looking cool!
And so in the next few days, my hair grew back little by little. After the first 10 days, Sharada didi asked me: “Feeling hot?” It was a hot day and i thought she will offer me ice cream and said yes. Instead, she brought out a razor and using foam shaved off the small pieces of hair.
After another 15 days, Sridevi did the same. This time, i mustered some courage. I had told Sridevi that hair elsewhere was troubling me too.I had never shared intimate secrets but dared to since she was so warm. She said with a warm smile : ” That is all part of growing up and should not be tampered with”. Sharada who was nearby said “Well maybe just once”. The sisters used to give me bath when i was young and this had stopped last year. So i had little trouble with showing them my ghastly truth. Both giggled as they took turns applying foam and scraping around the sensitive areas while holding down what should be held down to do that. I liked that
All My hair grew a bit till my school started but i was not ashamed and enjoyed the experience