Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Firangi Baby was a bear, firangi baby had no hair...

It is said that the hair is a crown of sorts. In India, many people shave their heads as an act of humility or sacrifice to God. When I first got to Bangalore, I once complimented a trainer at the gym on his newly shaved head, and he looked back at me in shock. I now know it was because a) Indians usually don't compliment people publicly, as it invites the Evil Eye, and 2) he shaved his head for God and not for compliments.

Many Hindus believe that parents should make that same sacrifice to God on behalf of their children, and so many children have their heads shaved, and all the hair is offered to God. It is the child's first act of prayer, obeisance to the Almighty.

Rather than the usual venue at the temple, our sacrifice was done at a Cartoon Cuts... an ingenious salon that features a small tv set at each styling chair for the tiny patrons. My daughter sat through it quite happily, squealing "Scooby, Scooby DOOO!" The stylist was very good about harvesting each and every hair, and handing it to me in a sealed envelope.

My husband's reason for wanting this done is entirely religious.

My motivation was to prevent twenty years of criticism of the texture and abundance of my daughter's hair.

In India, nearly every one is a mother-in-law and many "aunties" who I do not even know have urged me to get her head shaved, so that it gets replaced by a stronger, thicker thatch of hair. I do not want to hear, over the course of the next twenty years, that her hair is not up to snuff, and that I should have had her head shaved when she was younger. That is what assuaged the pain as I watched my baby's head become denuded.

I don't think she'll ever be able to watch Scooby-Doo again without apprehension.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Indians usually don't compliment people publicly"... are you sure you were living in india..? Looks like you were surrounded by the india of the 12th century..! Mama make sure you are not loosing the plot coz it does sound like u r