I have known this feeling before, as if you are an actor changing characters. I have known this feeling when my sister got married and left behind an unexplainable void that I unknowingly tried to fill up. When I first stayed over for more than a week with my in-laws-to-be, feeling the love that an entire family can shower upon you just because their son happens to love you; and you respond instinctively.
Today looking into the mirror I once again knew I had changed. To what extent I cannot say. But why? Yes. Because this Saturday I cut my hair. And cut it real short. It’s been seven years since they were so small. Over the years I had cared and seen them grow as a mother would her children and feel happy that all was fine. I had cried when they showed even a trace of being unhealthy (the reason why I cut them now). I had beamed when my mom-in-law praised them and looked at me with such loving eyes, it saddens me to tell her I cut them. I had been proud when everyone complimented them and loved them, just like when your kids are loved and praised by your neighbors. But they are all gone. The waist length deep black beautiful lustrous hair (ignore my immodesty, in this regard I am all indulgent) that refreshed me with its smell when I was feeling low, taught me that darkness can be beautiful, made me realize that ‘split-ends’ can mean growth ………… all that is gone now. All that remains is the sweet and sour memories of it.
And yet I am happy. Happy because this new ‘look’ is making me feel new. I suddenly seem to be more confidant than before. I am looking and feeling younger by a more than a couple of years and suddenly I have these teenage feelings dwelling up in me again. This haircut means that I have done some things which I never thought I would. I never dreamt I would cut my hair this short, and cut it without consulting my parents who adored my mane, without asking my mom-in-law who had explicitly been against me cutting them, my fiancé who knows everything I do as soon as I have even thought about it. It is the first time I did something on a total whim, the first time I ‘informed’ my parents about a decision and not ‘ask’ them, first time that I kept a secret from my fiancé! It was the first time I realized how much emotional strength (it was a tough 20 minutes for me as I sat through the haircut, closing shut my eyes tight as if hoping that I would open them and my long hair would still be smiling at me) I derive from my sister’s presence (she was the one who readily supported and accompanied me inspite of the the fact that she cannot see my hair being cut so short).
A simple thing like a haircut and a vista of memories, a new understanding about myself and those around me. Another reason to fall in love with myself once again!