Discipline # 1


I am not disciplined, I indulge and I give in to whims and new interests. This blog was an attempt to reign in my illusions of being a writer, but lately, I find the words don’t come as easy. Back in college when I took a few writing courses, all my professors would say a writer needs to be disciplined. Over the years, I’ve watched all my other potential “talents” fade away (artist, singer, dancer), and I’m reluctant to let ‘writer’ be another ‘could have been’ so here I am, trying to force myself to write if only for the sake of writing. As I’ve been told, it’s also something that requires work. Bummer.

Lucky for me, I made a list of things I want to write about in my last post and so this is a self imposed exercise for the days I don’t feel like writing because I think I can’t.

Pick an item from the list and write about it dammit. Just do it.

*Here we go (big inhale)*

Scissors mate with my hair

“A sign of a woman’s beauty is her hair,” my father has said in passing on more than one occasion. The words I’ve heard so many times (usually after a haircut) hurt a little deeper than paper cuts but was always bearable. It’s my hair. I can do what I want.

I suppose this trend of hair cutting started back in middle school. I remember the science room had a poster that said, “Trust is letting a friend cut your hair,” perhaps it was that, perhaps it’s just the way I am – trust has always been easy for me, I allowed friends in boarding school to chop away my locks from 6th grade.

For months I’d have uneven tresses down my back, and accidental slants in shorter bobs until I came home for the summer and my mother, aghast, would march me to the beauty parlor. I’d find it funny when the beauticians tried to even out my hair, “Do you want it in a ‘V’ or a ‘U’ at the bottom?” I don’t know, I don’t care. Fine and straight, I was never attached to it.

I remember the day I took a pair of scissors to my own hair. I was in class and filled with angst for reasons I don’t remember and without much thought or inhibition, I cut a clomp off above my left shoulder and immediately felt a calm take over. I also remember a friend swiftly confiscating my scissors in fear I’d turn the classroom into my personal parlor.

So then it began, resorting to drastic changes where I needed an outlet. Ten piercings in, I couldn’t ease my restlessness with more holes in my skin, and so I took to new hairdos. Straightening irons, razors, perms, a range of colors, I’ve done it all (save for a mohawk and dreads). But nothing soothes like the crunch of black hair coming loose in my hands.

Looking back at the periods in my life where my hair went from falling across my breasts to dangling below my ears – I see a trend of desperation, of wanting out, of aching for something new and novel. When you can alter the way you look – you can feel the difference. You feel changed. Sometimes.

And here I am, again, in that phase between being trapped and unstuck, wanting to do something to feel like I’m still in control, wanting a way of soothing my own storms. If I can look like a different woman, maybe I can be one. More exciting. More likable. Better.

And so to the squeals of, “Oh my gosh! You look soooo cuuute!”, “Short hair looks good on you!!”, “You can totally pull it off!” I can say, I try.

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2 comments
  1. evergreen said:

    Arundhati Roy carried the short hair cut very well. Maybe to feel the difference. To feel changed. Many a times.
    And as far as discipline is concerned, it sets in normalcy, restrains one in a well circumscribed boundary. Well, your uninhibited writings are a joy to read.
    carpe diem

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