Monthly Archives: July 2005

My baldness

In defense of all bald men

(Or as Shakespeare would put it … Toupee or Not Toupee!!)

Most men are born bald, some acquire baldness and some have baldness thrust upon them. I, with millions of hapless men and handful women, am afflicted with the shining-pate-iotitis!! No amount of cajoling with Selsun (plus and the non-plussed versions), Oasis and Rogaine would coax my deeply rooted follicle to come out of the mean ground level!! That and my underwater options from internet bubble days never saw the light of the day. Even my wife’s misguided effort to get me onto Propecia would not solve the problem. Propecia comes with a self-aggrandizing statistic of working on 99% men. I fell within the other 1%!! Well, Propecia also warns that 1% of the population will have reduced sexual functions. You guessed it!! I fell within this 1% too! Guess who is having more hair-raising experience now – me or my wife? 🙂 I guess this is almost fodder for a new soap opera – “The Bald and the Beautiful”.

I am not the only one with split hair problems. Mine, in fact, split about 20 years ago!! The genesis can be traced back to my engineering days. I realized I was getting bald since every morning it was taking me more and more time to wash my face. While perturbed, I figured I had enough hair to last me a life time. Adolescent stupidity – what can I tell you?

I think, we, the bald guys get the short of the stick (no pun on Propecia intended). People laugh at us. Life has presented me with numerous occasions when I would walk into a party and the host (or the hostess) would stop dead in the middle of welcoming me in whilst his (her) attention got distracted by the halo – a trifle more horizontal I must admit compared to more traditional halos – on the top my head. The customary “halos” take a form of a conversation such as …. “Hi, Rajib! You look…err… bright”!!

I get heckled at my stand up shows by yells from “Put your hat on!! There is too much shine on your head” to almost unbearable ones… “Is that your head or are you standing upside down?” 🙂

I feel nobody in this world is happy with their hair – the curly ones want straight hair – the straight ones want curly hair and we, the bald, want everybody to be blind. However, the bald ones seem to be overly sensitive about their hair – which is strange considering they don’t have any. I have a friend who truly defines optimism – he buys hair restorer and a hair brush from Eckerd’s on the same day!!

It is my well founded observation that we get judged unfairly altogether. We, the bald, hereby proclaim ourselves as the taller, smarter and handsomer version of our brethren – homo hairis. Clearly we are taller since we are bald in the first place because of our unique ability to grow taller than our hair. 🙂 We are definitely smarter – oh! Yessirrreee! May I refer you to Ibid 3 Unum 5 of the Old Testament which ran thusly – “God created a few perfect heads; the rest he covered with hair”!!

Amen!!

Look at the sheer advantages we have in life – we are not afraid of pulling the hood down in a convertible; we get special discounts at Pro-Cuts (although Supercuts has a special “finders fee” for people like me now), we don’t have to track down the missing comb in the bathroom and we don’t have to pull our hair out whenever our wives say “I have a headache tonight, dear”. No, Propecia took care of that!! Thoroughly unencumbered by the problems of the locks and tresses, when we go for a formal meeting, all we have to bother about is to straighten out the tie!! When there is a hair in the soup we yell at others at the dining table – because it obviously cannot be ours.

And we have our moments of insecurity too. In a classical Freudian concept of balancing, we often grow bizarre beards / mustaches like Sam Pitroda, Sean Connery, to keep the attention away from the top. I must confess here that I fell in that trap a year back with tremendous results. The party-entering conversation has moved to a “brighter” note of “Did you forget to shave today?” 🙂

I agree though the homo hairis folks do have certain advantages too – for example, they can rub their hair back and do the Joey-style “How You Doing?” when they meet a girl at a bar or split hairs over trivia at otherwise entertaining parties at the same bar. Even better, they can keep ponytails like Hariharan and truly confuse you about their gender from a distance. 🙂  And a Tamil Brahmin with hair knows where to stop drawing his bibhuti up his forehead.

On the other hand, while our hirsute brothers fret and foment when a bird does the “deed” on their head, we merely wipe with a Kleenex and thank God that cows cannot fly. You see, we believe in the eternal balance of life. As the pirated version of the Bible in China says now “God is good / Good is fair / To some he gives brains / To the others hair”

But we try and take a philosophical look at life – essentially for men, it comes down to two choices of styles of hair – the parted and the departed!! At the end of the day, I do have to sigh and repeat what a few changra chhokras once told me in the mean streets of Kolkata – “Dada, Sobtai Kapal”

(this was composed by me in 2005 after collecting a lot of comments I had to hear in my life and read about other’s same fate 😮 )