The girl looked at herself in the mirror. Today is Wednesday. The blue ribbon day. Yeh that's part of her uniform. Royal Blue skirt, White shirt and hair plaited on both sides tied by the specific colored ribbon on top and a rubber band at the bottom. In primary classes, when her hair was not long enough for a plait, it was just hair parted as ponytails on either sides. Still the ribbon was mandatory. It's Blue from Monday to Wednesday and white on the other two days. There was a time in her primary classes where she longed to have long hair just like her cousin. She looked and re-looked everyday to see whether it has grown. Unfortunately cousin had almost knee length hair or so it looked in front of the cropped hair of the girl!!
Then there was ammamma who would religiously oil her hair every weekend. The girl hated this ritual for the simple reason that oiling meant pouring half the bottle of oil on her head and then brushing that sticky oily hair for another half an hour. The reasoning behind pouring of oil used to be "tala tanukkanam"(Head should cool down) and the brushing was for lice(No Medikar or such products allowed). After that is the washing part - using only chembarathi tali(hibiscus leaves) or some such similar herbal stuff. Shampoo or soaps were a strict No No. But the problem was that these herbal shampoos managed to wash off only 1/4th the bottle of oil and the remaining 1/4th still remained on the hair for the rest of the week!! But ammamma was clever enough and managed to continue this ritual talking to her about the beautiful long hair she would posses if she looked after the hair properly and the poor girl duly obliged. By the time she reached high school, the girl did have long hair, but by then the fascination had ended. Perfect example of you won't like what you have :)
Times slowly changed.. Ammamma grew old and didn't have the energy to look after her hair. So no more oiling or brushing the hair.. Sometimes the girl wasn't even patient enough to remove the tangles and used a scissors instead!!! Even the mandatory plaiting on both sides became an issue as her hair never got dried properly after the evening wash even the next morning. The girl soon outgrew the two side plaiting of school and adopted the more common single plaits during college. Her job and the subsequent relocation forced her to discard all the herbal shampoos as well. The lack of pampering started showing slowly on the hair.. Her long haired cousin relocated to USA and adopted a shorter hair style and the gal kept wondering how roles are interchanging!!! Now a days she is even contemplating about adopting her cousin's path.. Let's see..
P.S : If you are wondering why this post? - I just plaited my hair on both sides to reduce the tangles and when I looked myself in the mirror, was taken straight back to the school days. This hairstyle was so much part of me (n mostly of all girls) in school. How I wish things as simple as plaiting hair on both sides can act like a time machine and take us to those wonderful times :)
P.P.S : If you are still wondering why such a silly post? - that's what can happen to you if you are confined to home, rather bed, for almost 2 weeks with no one to talk to :P