It has been one and a half years since I shifted with my present room-mate, and ever since my nostrils have been getting twice-a-day dose of minoxidil vapours. He has also tried different hair oils and is regular on costly vitamin tablets and other supplements. Rogaine was no-gain. To say the least he is one of the most serious students and gives a damn to his appearance otherwise. But when it comes to hairs, we men are touchy. Any significant loss of hair density can result in loss of marriage prospects. Hence the all out efforts to save hairs until the wedding day.
Not surprisingly the market is flooded with all sorts of products to prevent hair loss. Even my mail box is tired of spam mails selling non-sense products. I wonder how they came to know of my imminent baldness. As far as appearances are concerned, craziness for hair is a close second behind our national obsession with fair skin. But it is not an Indian phenomenon. I learnt that pharmaceutical companies pour in more money in baldness cure research than in for tropical diseases killing millions every single year.
Since my father had good hairs in his age, I believed that may be I won’t loose too many myself. But alas, life betrays me in more ways than I thought. Once I prayed to God to help me shed kilos. Unfortunately, he began with hairs. When I asked for my hairs back, he did send though at all the wrong places.
I came to stumble upon this fact – we receive our baldness genes not from our father but from our mother. It doesn’t matter if your father is bald or not. If you are destined to get bald, you will. Technically, the gene for baldness is on X-chromosome which we get from our mothers. Therefore a probable indication can come only by observing my maternal uncles. Then why not all women go bald? After all they have two X-chromosomes. This is because baldness is recessive and non-baldness is dominant. So, for a woman to get bald, she needs both her X-chromosomes to have bald gene on it. Since it is not that common, probabilities save her from the disgrace.
Nevertheless there is equality in this look-good obsession in India. Girls spend on fairness creams and weight loss programmes. Men fall for hair gain and sexual stamina drugs. The market for it must be huge. Wherever I travel, I find countless number of walls painted with advertisement of Dr. Shahni, Dr. Khan, Shahi Dawakhana and such clinics selling shilajit. (Interestingly Cipla version of viagra is named Suhag-ra) One common feature among these doctors is their thick rounded moustache which gives them strong masculine look. I did not get an exact pic but it is somewhere in between Mangal Pandey and Joseph Stalin:
Back to baldness, if it is in genes then what can we achieve by shampoos and oils? Also I wonder if shaven heads would look cool also on someone who doesn’t play soccer? Above all, if it is fine for the head to shine? If it is the head, shouldn’t it have some sense inside?
I am generally not fond of the English language. It is hard to understand the rules, harder to follow. However, I found that when it comes to relationships, English doesn’t do that bad. Here are a few verbs which match the archetypal figures we have seen around:
to mother – implies to nurture, care and concern
to father – to bring into being, to create
So, obviously a father need not stick around. All the pains of raising a child are the set aside privilege of the mother.
to husband – to use cautiously and frugally
Again, so true in most modern families. For all the new age ladies who boast of their hobby as shopping and describe themselves as shopoholic, there must be somebody to care for the resources.
The English have added a noun in English which isn’t far from reality:
Trouble and strife – Informal term of address for someone’s wife in UK.
So, apparently our forefathers gave us the forewarnings, but the good Lord didn’t give the stupid, a foresight to forfend a strike by the cupid.