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The Silver Strand

An introspection into my pet hates and loves shows me clearly my likes and dislikes have not changed much over the years. In fact they seem to have become stronger and more defined!
There is, of course, a childishness in the peculiarity of my preferences. Most of them are unreasonable and inexplicable!
It is almost an adamant objection to accepting established facts! Strangely though, there is no sense of shame or guilt in admitting them publicly.
Now let me come to the matter I am contemplating on right now: it is my aversion to greying of the hair. To tell the truth my jet black hair started turning grey much later than for my contemporaries and younger women.
My sisters and sisters-in-law openly showed their surprise a decade ago at having to search for grey hair on my head when theirs made no secret of the pepper tone spreading fast and wide. The undertone of envy was unmistakable!
Very conscientiously I have been including curry leaves in my daily diet for the past four decades or so. I strongly believe in its power to keep my hair black besides its other nutritive values. I grind a generous dose of it in my coconut chutney, the favourite side dish for the idli/dosai in our daily breakfast.
With all such thoughtful care I have crossed sixty with my mop still mostly black. But the gradually increasing appearance of silver strands on the edges of ears and forehead is a matter of grave concern to me in spite of realizing there is no stopping it!
Most of the ladies I know simply resort to dyeing. The market is flooded with so many brands. The media woos them at every turn! But I have some scruples about the procedure in spite of my undeniable vanity. No chemicals on my head (‘herbal’ is a word used to mislead into traps!) is my strong decision. No wavering of the mind in this taking-no-risk policy. Besides, in my eyes these ladies with blackened tops wanting to look like young lasses are pathetically comic figures because of the telling signs of age on their face and skin.
Ageing is not my worry. No. It is even doubtful if the fact of my getting old has got registered in my mind! I do love to bask in the respect my years earn for me.
It is just a childish peeve at seeing my black hair changing colour. As I was staring at the few silver strands in my comb today after grooming my hair the precious metal’s glitter sparked a spot in my feminine vanity to regard it as a valuable acquisition! A soothing thought to settle my perturbed psyche!

More By  :  Pavalamani Pragasam

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