The beautiful braids chronicle
My cousin Vanisha is visiting me today. She is getting married this month and coming to discuss her bachelorette party. Her theme is- back to school and dress code she suggested was short bagpiper style skirts, tall boots and fancy braids. “Fancy braids”? I quipped and she gave a big affirmative yes. Who makes braids these days I asked. She was adamant and I have to give up. This discussion stirred up a lot of memories in my minds especially the ones with braids. I was soon transported to as early era as I could and recalled.
Age 4 years old- at home:- I was very happy when my grandma tied two little braids for me and adorned them with a cute flowery satin ribbon and tucked in two cute teddy clips near each, side by side. You are my teddy bear, she would say and would smile away shyly, jumping on her lap and holding her close in my little arms trying to reach her shoulders.
Age 7, School: My grandma would get me ready for the school, tie up my grown hairs in two neat pleats, finish it with a rubber band at end and brush up the strands after tying the school uniform ribbon on my head. Now you are ready for the school. She would then kiss on my forehead and bid my bye while I boarded my school bus.
Age 10: I would return from school, change my uniform in a manner exact depicting arrival of a tsunami and rush to friends’ house to play. After hours long of playing, I would return my home and head lazily to bath room to wash up and change. My grandma would then brush my hair and tie a tight pony. So that my hair do not tangle and stay protected overnight.
A raffled me opposes and want to sleep with hairs open, she insist and I run to my grandpa for intervention. He smiles and offers Rs 2 for my poor fund donation if I listen to nani and hey I do.
Age 12: I have moved in with my parents and miss my grand mom and all her love so much. My brothers and I fight and they pull my hairs. I tell them- pull as much as you can, my hairs are strong and secretly thanked my Nani for it
Age 14: I am lying in hospital bed recuperating from a major accident. Doctors have chopped off all my hairs almost to the level of boy’s hair. I so much hate my hair but good news is that they are hidden behind my bandages and my mom oils them for me. I miss my long hair and I wanted to grow them back.
Age 16: My hairs have grown back and I often tie ponytail to school and pleats my hairs in two braids at home and often one for school. Unless, it is a day when our uniform extra is inspected and I have to tie two braids and a big red ribbon on it. I really loved Divya Bharti’s French braid looks in all her movies. Wish I could have one with my hairs but dunno how to make. Mom says she can try but not sure if it will come as good.
Age 18: I am visiting my grandma for summer vacation. To relive old days, we are sitting at the veranda of our house in a shade away from sun where my grandma would oil my hairs and tie me a braid like the good old days. There’s something magical in her hands as every strand of my hair used to shine every single day that I spent with her.
Age 20 college: A friend has come today with a beautiful European styled braid. We couldn't help but gushing at her hairstyle and tried our hands while back at home. My hairs are very silky but gosh there are some split ends too. I better braid them often so split ends go. Will they?
Age 23: I have just joined a company working on their rural telecom project. My job often gives me opportunity to interact with different kind of people. Just when I was admiring the beautiful new design braids of my colleague Revathi, the kiosk owner from Myladurai village near Chennai came in and her hair looked awesome. She was tying a single braid that touched till her hip. Do you know the breadth of her braid? Breathtakingly broad! She has ornate her with Red and white flowers. I wish I had hairs like her. If not fully, even 50% would do.
Age 26: Work has taken such a toll that maintaining long hairs had become difficult. I have got my hairs cut in a shoulder length style but secretly I still admire the long locks. My friend recommended a hairstylist and men, she was awesome. While I was waiting for her, she was giving finishing touches to a client with longer hairs by cutting her mane in steps and layers and curling the distant end of hair strands. The hairs looked like a graceful bouquet. She asked me to grow up my hair and promised to give me a style better than her. Ah! I was dreamy.
Age 28: We girls often compare our hairs and in a most modest fashion compliment others for their hair by finding all faults in their own hairs. Nevertheless, I have grown my hairs back but they often get tangled. They have grown quite thick and do not have enough volume for braids. They often look like extreme bottom of an overused broom. All I can do is to envy the girls with long hairs and beautiful braids or just plain admire them.
Age 32: Current day: Braids have become a forgotten dream. The hair after every two months undergoes the cruel scissors. In a behest to look good and have a low maintenance hairstyle, I have got them cut till shoulder in a deep layer. Last summer I got them streaked too. The splint ends have increased and I am planning to saloon again for a trim but no I don’t want to cut my hairs, rather grow them longer and tie that one sideways ponytail to give my face a new look. Braids? Oh no they look outdated and child like.
I was dwelling in my thoughts so deep that I didn't realize when my cousin came and sat next to me. She naughtily pulled my tightly tied bun to break my open eye slumber and remarked- So, you don’t want to make a braid with these hairs? I replied while trying to release my bun- Says who? Let’s decide that day that whose braid is more beautiful!!