"Addy's hair are perpendicular to his scalp, 'nuff said"
"He's shed his hair for more durable and sensitive antennae"
"Aapka baal nagaland house ke logon ki tarah hai - mota. Mujhe har baar kainchee badalnee padti hai"
"His head with its scalp of hair resembles a puffer fish all puffed up"
All odes to my hair, once a live tribute to a point charge's electric field... diverging radially outwards from a point right inside my scalp.
My cousins called it "khandani baal". Apparently, the family genes perpetrate a hairstyle which stands on end. However, before any of them reached the age of eighteen, they had been magically cured of the electric field and sported more familiar and smarter looking partings. But not me, nuh-huh. In my case, the familiar carpet hair refused to sit down. Like freedom fighters bent on gaining independence, they stood right through onslaughts as varied as mom's applications of oil, the hairstylist's regular scissors and comb, and many a succesful hair gel.
There was a time when a particular "famous" hairstylist finally accepted defeat. "I'm sorry, I've seen nothing like this before. I can't do anything about it. Maybe next month..." He refused to accept payment!
At school, I was jibed at as the "porcupine" or more affectionately "the guy with the carpet hair" with some of the more adventurous kind ruffling my hair - a truly enjoyable experience, I was told. In fact, if somebody from school bumps into me, their first remark is - "Wait a minute... Aditya Pandey, oh my God, whatever happened to your pointy hair?"
And so it is. But I know the pointy hair is all but gone. The secret is just the length. Grow hair long enough and it's bound to lay down - after all, even thick pointy hair can't defy the laws of Physics. It all began in third year, when tired of the same style I'd been a victim of for all these years, I decided to not get my hair cut for several months. When I finally did go to the barber, he actually told me to come visit him more often! And as an onlooking friend of mine exclaimed - "It was like shearing the wool off a sheep! Enough hair to make a truckload of wigs and still weave a sweater out of the rest." It was that long. Over thirteen inches and counting.
It was almost miraculous - what happened after that haircut. Like a class of rowdy students suddenly behaving well with the teacher pondering confused what trick they have up their collective sleeve, my hair just settled down. Just like that. No attempt at any anti-gravity stunts. No defiance to stand tall and face the world again. And for a while, it was good. It was new and smart. I looked into the mirror and felt different.
All in vain. Only to suddenly burst forth into full bloom after the subsequent bath! And not just the "natural" antenna-like stance. Something stuck in the middle. Like a cross between a lady's locks and the hair on a boar's tail. It might even have looked better before.
So I tried a middle parting. And it was good again. All seemed well till I went home - hair all grown long, and a parting to rival Salman Khan's in "Tere Bin". Then mom saw it. Four hours later, my new hairstyle had vanished, replaced by half-crazed antennae again.
Since that time, I've tried half a dozen different things, but the resolve of my hair never fails. It's still the ugly cross kind. No matter how long. The worst part is, even shortening it doesn't seem much of a help.
Well, at least it's not "porcupine" any more.