I have often been confronted by people who ask me, "What a funny hairstyle do you have?" Actually it all started when I was a very young kid.
I grew up in an old ancestral home that is over 100 years old today. We had exotic wooden doors to every room and hall that had big elevated rims. While I was a toddler and later when I started walking and running around, I used to trip over those big mounds and bang my head against the earth.
With repeated injuries, I developed two fairly big elevated scars on both sides of my forehead. To hide them, my Mom used to comb my straight hair straight down over my forehead. That way I had a very easy life as a kid. I did not have to worry about combing hair. It went this way or that with the wind, but overall remained straight!
As I grew up, I saw most of my maternal uncles and cousins were bald by 25. So I decided to save my hair. Thus I started to part my hair at the center and have a hairstyle that looked somewhat like that of Amitabh Bachchan during his younger days. I was a die-hard Bachchan fan those days. I still admire him !
Well, when I went to Medical College, I realized I had a distinct identity because of my hairstyle. I started growing long hair, very long indeed ! The good thing was it remained straight throughout. So I could do anything with my hair except have curls and I hated curls ! So it was really nice to be recognized for hairstyle.
But once I came to Kochi, things started to go... FUNNY! Well Kerala in 1995 was such a conservative place, a girl in tight jeans and T-shirt could freeze the entire MG Road in those days. People here had fixed notions about anything and everything in life.
Like how almost all the people outside Kerala were illiterate and idiots! Like how it was not proper for a girl and a boy to chat in public! Like how a girl should walk and dress! Like how all the people on earth should pronounce those god-damned tongue-twisting Malayalam words absolutely correctly like a Malayalee and like how a Malayalee can demolish any language on earth with his / her style of talking any language strictly in Malayalam.
And like how a Doctor should not wear T-shirts! And finally, how you are supposed to have stiff oily hair with curls that should be combed every hour using a brush to keep it in place even if Tsunami strikes !
So many of the people I came across during my early days in Kochi used to ask me, "Enthoru vichitramaaya hairstyle aanu ithu?" that is "What a funny hairstyle is this?" Many people either dismissed or described me as the boy with a funny accent and a funnier hairstyle!
Many of them were kind enough to advice me to "Oil it every night and comb it with a brush every waking hour!" They would say, "It is difficult, but if you keep a side parting and keep on doing it everyday, You'll have a nice hairstyle" As if this was not enough, they add, "And then you'll look like a Doctor".
Well, I married a girl from Kerala. Thank God, my wife liked my hairstyle when I married her in 1997 and she even was kind enough to accept me as a Doctor!
Now 14 years later with a receding hairline but basically same style with shorter sideburns due to obvious graying, I am finding it easier to live in Kerala. Younger boys love my style. Young Moms want to change the hairstyle of their little boys to look like that of the Doctor with Nice hairstyle and funny accent.
And on a very important day in my life, my Daughter who is 10 years old now, declared "Appa, you have the best hairstyle in the world and my friends say you look like a film actor. But... they all think you look funny and have an accent that is very very funny !".
Life has come a full circle for me even without curls and combs !