Home » Location » Barbershop » Curly to Crewcut – Part 2 : Crew cut

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My parents giggled when I told them that I would become a baldy.  They also liked to accompany us to Tirumala.  We said yes.  In Tirumala none of my parental people got any haircut.  But in my husband’s family all got tonsured – three ladies, four gents, two young male kids and one female kid.  It was a giggle day for us all after the Darshan – each caressing other’s bald head and giggling.

When the barber wetted my head and ran the blade on it, I felt in heaven.  All my initial inhibitions were completely gone.  I thought I was a fool to have even doubted the problems behind it.  Even my neighbours and colleagues appreciated my look though a few giggled in a benign way.  In all a grand experience no young woman should miss.

Four months passed.  We took Pinky to the nearby temple for a repeat tonsure.  Then onwards, her hair would be kept short to about half inch long with scissors till she completed 3 years – diktat by m-i-l and happily agreed to by me.

A week later, Gaurav told me “Priya, you have got back your curly hair.  I want you to experience another joy.  I feel this is the time.”

“What?”

“I would like you to enjoy a clipper cut like me”.

I was shocked. “Why?” I asked incredulously.  Everyone was appreciating that my brand curly hair had returned so promptly after a Tirupati ‘gundu’.  If I got a clipper cut like a marine, people would laugh.  I said so to him.

“Priya, please try it once.  The experience of a clipper cut will be very enjoyable.  If the look is not good, shave it all off and grow it again.”  My ear perked up hearing ‘shave it all off’.  I would never again say ‘no’ to a head shave as long as it is not too frequent.  I had fallen in love with head shave – so enjoyable.  I smiled.

“Will m-i-l agree” He sensed that I was in the path of agreement.

“I have already convinced her”.  I thought why not.  So I said “This once only, okay?”

“Okay”

“Promise?” I asked.

“We had agreed not to use ‘Promise’” He reminded me.  I meekly agreed “Yeah”.

The next day m-i-l was pleasantly surprised at my ‘yes’.  She giggled looking at me. The problem would be the giggling of colleagues.  But what the heck.  If that would put some colour in my and Gaurav’s life I would do it.  It would be temporary, is it not?

Early morning Gaurav said “Come on, let us go for the haircut”.  I said the Salon would not open so early.  He retorted “No way, it will be in a barbershop”.  Now, I became nervous.  A playful m-i-l literally pushed me into the car.  Pinky was in her care.  Gaurav took me to the barbershop he visits.  The barber was astonished at my presence there and looked at Gaurav questioningly.  The few waiting men also were surprised to see a short haired woman there.  Gaurav said “hair cut for both”.  The barber shrugged and carried on.  Gaurav first sat in the barber chair when his turn came and said ‘usual’.  The barber ran a clipper all over his head to make it very short.  Then he removed the black attachment and peeled off the growth on the sides and back high up.  His usual marine cut or high and tight as some call it resulted.

I sat on the chair.  Gaurav said “Same as me”.  The barber was surprised.  He asked me whether it is ok.  I blushingly nodded.  He draped me with the white cloth.  With the same clippers, he reduced all my hair to a uniform half inch length.  I was giggling silently at my look.  The feel was good.  But what really floored me was the next move.  The barber removed the attachment, bent my head to left and peeled off the hair on my right side high up – two inches above the ear.  The right side became bald.  The feeling of the clippers running on my head and making it bald was exquisite.  So this was the experience Gaurav was mentioning last night.  Yes, this was really great.  But when my head was tilted and the nape was clippered high up to the same level as on the right side, well, the experience was even greater.  Another five minutes, my head looked like my husbands – a crew cut or marine cut or high and tight or whatever.  Others started giggling.  I also giggled and went out.  Seeing me, m-i-l and f-i-l also giggled.  I joined in their giggle.  The look was new, a bit punkish but not bad.  But the experience of clipper cut was really great.

After bath, M-i-l called me whether I would accompany her to salon.  I was surprised.  I told her that she has to grow much more hair to get back her bob cut.  She said that she would try a boy cut for some time.  I accompanied her to the salon.  There she said “Short boy cut with clippers on sides and back – close to skin”.  The stylist smiled and gave her a short boy cut – combable on top, clipper bald to about an inch above the ear.  She got down smiling with a nice clipper boy cut.

Evening, we got the news that Sheela also got a boy cut similar to m-i-l in Delhi the same day.

Next day similar giggles were heard for a long time in the bank from colleagues and clients.  I giggled with them.  That was the best answer to feel confident.  Even my parents giggled a lot looking at my avatar but said I look okay.

A month later, I reminded Gaurav that it is time for my high and tight to be renewed.  He reminded me that I had agreed for it only once.  I said that I like it and will keep the style.  And so the style continued.

It is about six years since that first high and tight.  I decided to keep the style.  And in barber shop.  Once a month.  This was much more enjoyable than the curly hair I had.  M-i-l also kept her boy cut style, with clippers that is.  And Sheela too.

Four years ago, Rajesh married Latha, a long haired Tamil girl who works as a scientist in a Govt Lab in Chennai.  Rajesh also works in Chennai.  It was a love marriage and Latha is from a different caste.  While ours is a vegetarian family, hers is a non-veg family.  My in-laws agreed for the marriage on three conditions – she should become a vegetarian, she should learn Kannada and she should follow our familiy’s gundu and short hair policy.  In her family, occasional family gundu does exist and she had had gundu twice in her college days.  So she was happy about it.  But leaving non-veg food would be difficult.  But finally she was convinced by her own parents.  Now she is a pucca vegetarian, got her head tonsured in Tirupati after her first son was born three years ago and since then she is also having a boy cut similar to my m-i-l and Sheela.  Latha also tried my style of high and tight once for fun but did not keep it for long.  But she loves bald more.  She gave birth to a girl about 11 months back, two days after my own second daughter was born.  She has learnt fluent Kannada.

In the six years, I gave birth to a boy, then another boy and then a girl.  So now we are the proud parents of two girls and two boys – a rarity nowadays in urban India.  The youngest will complete 12 months in a week.  And a month back all of us – fil, mil, Gaurav, myself, my two daughters, two sons, Rajesh, Latha, their son and daughter – returned from Tirupati, all of us freshly bald.

Four months have passed since then.  I have returned to my brand crew cut.  M-i-l and Latha have returned to their clipper boy cuts.  I have decided that I and my kids will have annual Tirumala gundu with fortnightly crew cut in between.  Rajesh and Latha also have added their names to annual Tirupati gundu list.  M-i-l is very happy about it.  My parents are also happy with my ‘avatar’ of crew cut and Tirupati gundu.

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