When it comes to me, fate turns into an evil prankster. Like other things in my life, I have a love-hate relationship with new stuff too. I buy a printer, the scanner is faulty… I buy a laptop; there is some software error… I buy a new dress, the tailor messes up the fitting… I buy new shoes; I end up scratching it on day one! I plan something, all hell breaks loose… I have a special day, everything that can go wrong goes to a joyride to Wrongville! When it comes to me, screw ups are a passé.
I had joined a new school in 11th std. The new session had started with a bang and lots of drama! That’s a story I have to actually ask permission from a certain friend to narrate; will reserve it for a different time. This story happens on the day of the fresher’s party the seniors threw for the newbies. I was super excited. It was my first no-adults party, that too in the evening! The April air was just right for an open-air affair. I had bought a salwar-kameez of the latest trend as the dress code was Indian. The white and lilac blue kameez of the ‘short suit’ (that’s what those latest outfits were called) fell just above my knees and the lilac blue salwar were like parallel pants and the Chiffon dupatta gave that tiniest Filmy oomph.
It was 5PM; I was getting dressed when my mom offered to trim my shoulder length hair which I planned to let loose that eve. Like the obedient, naive girl I was I sat down on the garden chair and waited for my Mamma to work her magic. Snip on the left, snip on the right, snip on the left, snip on the right. “Mumma don’t make it too short!” I had warned her before she had even picked up the scissors. She was trying to level out on each side. 15 minutes I sat still as I trusted my beloved tresses in my Ma’s hands. “Umm… Babu… raag korish naa (don’t get angry)…” said my mom in a timid voice as she handed me a mirror. I looked into the mirror, expecting a diva to smile back. But what I saw was my own reflection, twisted in horror, and then it changed to rage as all blood drained from my face and everything became a blur as tears welled up and started cascading down my cheeks. My mother, in her quest to level my hair had cut it up to my ears! It was so short that any hair style was out of question! I howled… my father came running and examined the massacre as my guilt ridden mother tried to cheer me up. The more they tried to talk to me, the louder I cried. 30 minutes later they had managed to calm me down enough to consider going to the fresher’s party after all. With the help of couple of bobby-pins, I succeeded in turning the lump on my head called hair into a presentable do. I donned my new dress and was ready. (I didn’t use makeup till way into my 20s.)
My father dropped me off at school. The party was being held in the huge basketball court; I headed that way. I was a Jhalli (tomboyish) back then, still am to an extent. Girls were more like frenemies to me- I just couldn’t get along with them. So but of course, the only two friends I had managed to make were boys who treated me like a guy. I forgot all about my hair debacle as I joined my friends who didn’t care how I looked. Now, it so happened, that one of them had just broken up with his long-time girlfriend. We had forced him to attend the party, hoping to lift his spirits. But, it turned out to be a bad idea! One look at his ex all dressed up pretty and flirting with someone else and he went spiraling down!
TO BE CONTINUED…