I wrote earlier that I had bravely posted my picture with tonsured head after a return from Tirupati. I was unaware of the power of data-mining, despite speaking on the subject in some University Seminars. It was a famous company, who always post suspicious mismatching pictures of men before and after treatment, before, like the earlier tonsured head of mine and the one after treatment, full of hair like a clone between Albert Einstein and Sai Baba of Puttapurthi (May I be pardoned for not able to find an ordinary living soul to compare). No matter of my reasoning would help, as hair raisers found my telephone number and truly gave hair raising offers at all odd hours, on all days including Independence Day, defeating the very purpose of the meaning of the day for me!
I recall a magic machine during the 70s called ‘Bull Worker,’ changing any under-weight zombie to a macho man. There was always a before-and-after picture and in the days unheard of photo-shopping, the world was naïve to believe whatever was depicted until the company sold millions of such muscle building equipment to run away later. Dreams of many lanky lads were shattered, much like mine.
I divert a bit and move over to the big stores and learnt that there are many layers of shelves and the one on eye level is the most expensive for display, because they are the one that meets the eye first. Similarly, hair seems the first object that attracts the attention of the possessor and as well of the dispossessed too, though lips, its colours and degree of pouting takes a precedence with women busy on selfies. I respectfully distance from mentioning what a man notices in a woman to sound hollowly honourable. I have rarely seen a person with lustrous hair not fondly petting it.
Be that as it may, the ‘hair raising’ miracles have always been doing great business. Strange and fearsome sounding chemicals, herbal tea, homoeopathic lotions, hair growth shampoos, conditioners, hair spas, special expensive oils from trees, flowers, secretions and poo of nameless worms and animals from the deepest jungles, deep oceans, keratin and endless other products all what is eaten, drunk or done whatever with have appeared with promised to grow abundant hair within a ‘few’ months, the few being the catch word.
There was one company, in Jadavpore, I guess somewhere in the southern suburbs of Kolkata, which swept the Kolkata market and did a roaring business on hair re-growth for just a few weeks. Supply was carefully kept at a few crates lesser than demand to build a hype. There were always queues and advance bookings like we do for summer vacation trains to hill stations, other than Darjeeling. An Indian multinational bit the bait and bought over the brand for a few crores, the original seller laughing his way to the bank and the MNC bosses losing even the few strands that they had sported on their pate. They moved over to selling hair dyes instead.
I came across a website from Kerala and you guessed it right, christened appropriately as ‘From the God’s own country and pure Ayurveda,’ a bottle of 100ml selling for nearly a thousand rupees or more. A famous Yoga guru from North has included a variety of hair oils in their huge basket of offers. I would not though touch them with a bargepole, as my friends from the opposition have warned, it is one or another of these same oils that Baba rubbed on his body for testing as animals are taboo in their labs! I shall neither touch the one promoted by Bachhan Sr. as I hear that his wigs cost in excess of Rs.10 lacs each, and he has quite a collection (a silsila kind), which I cannot afford.
I left out another part, the laborious hair weavers, a few trichologists, who ‘farm,’ from fertile areas at the back of the head, which never goes bald, save for the most intelligent men, and plant them in the front. Harsha Boghle, the cricket commentator, earlier barred because shiny objects weren’t allowed in the stadiums, made hair weaving famous by changing his shiny baldness to a flowing headful, like a Kenyan lion from Kolkata. These doctors swear in any acceptable god’s name, depending on the period of rulers, that lotions are all fake.
It may look irreverent, but try asking a brooding hair loser. Many would go to any length for the sake of handful of flowing hair.
Truly hair raising! Isn’t it?