The audience in the hall erupts with volcanic laughter and i stand transfixed. The song plays on, evoking no response from me. Mother looks at me aghast and rushes to my rescue, as always. I stand rooted to the spot, with my false hair ( sauri) snaking between my trembling hands. My cutely bobbed hair bounces, as i jump down the stage. Whistles deafen my ear as tears start to swell in my eyes. Blurry eyed, i hang onto Mother as she ties the sick thing again to my bob and i enter the stage for my performance. The song starts from the beginning- " Maha Ganapathi..." The soothing voice of Jesudoss fails to catch my attention and i sway like a zombie. This is not my first honeymoon with false hair, i have been donning one, right from my early barathanatyam days. Barathanatyam needs elaborate hair decorations- starting from nethi chutti, rakkodi, jata set, suryaprabha, chandraprabha...Where would all these ornaments go if there is no false hair???
|The Nethichutti, suryaprabha and chandraprabha|
I adored my grandmother in my school days for the long plaited hair that danced till her hips. One Sunday morning, there was an eeny-wheeny malfunction for poor grandmother and she called me to rectify it. I entered her bedroom where she was drying her hair after her bath, armed with a comb and a fleeting smile. I was elated that i could touch and feel her silky locks that i drooled over. And what did i see? Grandmother was sure fan- drying her hair, which glistened with moisture. " What are you doing here?", she demanded. " My hair is in the other room. GO AND COMB IT". Excuse me? I stood like Arnold Schwarzenegger of Terminator fame, holding onto my dear comb, devoid of any expression. She was here and her hair in the next room??? Only then did she pull her raven black locks to the front and what did i see? Limp, curly hair till the nape drying in the air. I tried to control my laughter, but as usual, failed dismally. Granny gave me a look that i would never forget! I rushed outside the room, roaring in laughter...not at her short hair, but at my naivety. All that glitters is not own hair!!!
So, how did the bobbed hair girl continue her dancing? Simple, by tying the sauri with the rope of her ottiyanam ( hip chain)! Double fastening, i say! Every bride hangs onto her false hair on her wedding day, more than the groom nearby! Furtive glances and shaking fingers are not for the darling husband, but for the false hair! Lest it fall in the agni kund and burn...Oh my...what a disaster it would be. I do wish false hair makers invent something innovative- see our dear Shane Warne...Does it ever look like his gorgeous blonde waves are false? We better beg our Shane to provide us with the secret recipe for the adhesive he uses- both on his hair and on Liz Hurley!
|There is the false hair, with raakodi ( jura pin) and kunjam at the tail end!|
And a small request to the guys out there- PLEASE STOP CALLING GIRLS WITH SHORT HAIRS AS "MOTTAI"...It has been gravely insulting all these years to be called Mottai ( tonsured head!) everywhere...If the tresses fail to grow like Rapunzels, it is not our fault! And Rapunzel had a Prince climb the tower holding her tresses...without fear. How many of our Romeos can climb more than the third floor without panting, hissing and cursing??? And imagine the shampoo and conditioner expense you will have to shell out for your loved one's hair...As austerity measure, we prefer having hair short, cattle class, you may call it. So next time you drool over that raven tresses that flow below the waist line, beware, guys- all that would have been (h)airlifted straight from Tirupati! Govinda! Govinda!!!