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!!!
Is that happening still? I don't guys call so.. and your grand ma was too good.. I couldn't control my laughter..ReplyDelete
'true' that's why in marriages girls shiver... and CN you are rocking..
Someone is Special
hehe i nevr even knew all dese complications wid fake hair existed.ReplyDelete
u kno ive cn much bharatanatayam as a kid n wondered hw d hair stayed put, it all cums together nw wid d hip chain uve explained.
dats one mystery lesser dat needs to b unravelled by me :D
Yeah every culture has its idea of beauty and in ours it is long hair. But these days long hair is a verrrry rare thing..!! About the sauri- it used to be a part of every woman's toilette at one time..! I think women collected t heir hair for making into a sauri! But yeah if you are dancing it makes sense to double fasten it :)ReplyDelete
We southies are big time hanging on Hair. Even when u find a girl for your son, the first thing u luk is if the chick has good hair which she can hormonally pass down to generations :P
You are again at your witty best!!!The scene of the girl on the stage with sauri on hand makes me at once sad and laughing.ReplyDelete
Thankfully we have moved from the sauri and kunjalam days to professionally made wigs that fasten to the head and meet the varied tastes and looks.
@ SiS- Thank you dear brother! I don't know if it happens now,but it always happened to me:P Glad you liked this post!ReplyDelete
@ Sadiya- thanks for the comment. Hope by now you have unravelled a simple mystery, the hip chain lock for false hair:P
@ Meera- Yes, long hair is a rarity in cities. In rural areas, it is very much in vogue, but with latest cuts...False hair was a 'must have' accessory those days, true!
@ Redhanded- sure, sure...you tell me where to find such genetically long hair girls, some twenty years later:PReplyDelete
@ KP- yeah, we have moved on, but the wigs always look odd on people:P Not like a sauri, which you can conceal well:) Thanks for the comment:)
i find this fascinating as this is very different than where i live...of course there are just other appearances to be kept up but...ReplyDelete
@ Brian- Welcome to my blog:) Hope to see you here often. Yeah, we too have certain 'appearances' to be kept up! Thanks for the comment and visit!ReplyDelete
LOL@ airlifted from Tirupati. And the episode about your Grandma was hilarious :)ReplyDelete
@ Purba- Thanks a lot for your comment and visit. Happy to see you liked the Grandma episode:PReplyDelete
Oh my hair was long.. no sauri here.. I had it waist long till I tonsured it for the sake of my son's health.. I managed it only with seekakai till I left for USA.. only there did my hair gets its first dose of chemicals (shampoo and conditioners).. Now I am not able to shift back to seekakai even for this short hair which is growing back..ReplyDelete
Its a wonder, we had beautiful thick hair till our moms maintain it.. once we are on our own it starts to worsen.. is it just me or do you think same too
Hey Hema, Welcome to my blog, thanks for the visit and comment! Sheekakai...yes, it definitely brings memories of Mothers and their love. May be it is their love that feeds our hair! yes, i too lost my hair after Mom's death- no sheekakai, you see...ReplyDelete
You are such gifted writer. Enjoyed reading quite a few of your blogs.
'Hairy Tales' brought back a lot of lovely memories from my days at A.V.Rm.V. This reminded me of my own experience with sauri on one Founder's Day. It got detached from my kudumi as I was dancing. Still have a photograph of the embarrassing moment.
Keep writing. You are awesome !
Dear Anonymous, thanks a lot for your comment. Welcome to my blog. And thanks again for all the compliments*blush*blush* About that episode, i remember it too well, sad you still have that photograph, I would have burnt it long back:) Keep reading!!!ReplyDelete
You do have a way of narrating things in a sweet way. And the imagery of a trembling bride worrying about her hair getting consumed by the homam agni waspriceless :)ReplyDelete
Dear Zephyr, thank you for the visit and comment. Welcome to my blog:) Happy that you like my post. Do visit cloud nine often:PReplyDelete
Sajni here. The post labeled 'anonymous' was from me :-) Guess my sign at the bottom escaped your noticed ??
You are a great narrator! :) Plus I learnt something I had no idea about!ReplyDelete
♡ from © tanvii.com
Hi Saja akka, am so so sorry...i din notice that! Thank you so much for reading my blog. Would definitely love your patronage and comments here. Best regards, cloud nine.ReplyDelete
Hey Tanvi, thanks a lot...Happy you learnt something useful amidst the blabberings;)ReplyDelete
The whole hair episode is so hilarious.I remember my mother and aunts,during family weddings ,happily carry on their heads, mountains of false hair swirled in different shapes and styles.Just like Marge Simpson!ReplyDelete
Hey Aynzan...thanks for the comment. Marge Simpson? LOL!!! And family weddings are always of false hairs, XL meals and petty quarrels;) What say?ReplyDelete
found it so difficult to take my eyes off the beautiful blouse with matching hair-do in the photo!ReplyDelete