Wednesday, 1 March 2017

'Harvest On Head'

Do you know what troubles all men as well as women the most? If doctors and cosmetic surgeons all over the world are to be believed: More than half of world's population is worried about hair and its related concomitants. Not just women, but men are also equally concerned about the 'crowning glory'. Though Shakespeare tried to console those, suffering from hair-fall that, " What god scanted man in hair, he's given them in wit," cynics point out that Shakespeare wrote this because he too suffered from receding hairline that began when the 'Bard of Avon' was in his early thirties. Two things will never go out of fashion: Saree and long hair.

 A woman's Rapunzel type long and shining tresses prompted all poets in all languages to write exquisite poetry. Man, on this count, are equally touchy. A bald pat is something that has not yet been wholeheartedly accepted by people. Wigs and grafting are the workable remedies to irrigate the top of head and make it look lush black. A famous Hindi film actor was so sensitive about his hairless head that he always ordered for the best wigs from London's famed Selfridges on the Oxford Street. He indeed masquaraded his head until one day his wig flew off by a strong breeze. Even Hollywood actors and actresses have been very much concerned about their hair. Right from the advent of human civilization, man (no gender specification) has been worried about 'the harvest on head' (Robert Frost's phrase). 

World's oldest Medical Treatise, a 16-page Greek book, began with the remedies to stem the hair-fall. Julius Caesar and almost all Roman emperors were bald and Nero, who lost all his hair by the age of 26, was arguably the first man to wear a wig made of the black goat's hair. He made it compulsory for all the young men in his regime to go bald. " Dil bahal toh jayega is khayal se / Haal mil gaya tumhara apne haal se" (This very thought will make me happy that we share the same predicament!!!). " Hair-loss's a much bigger loss than character-loss. Because the latter can be retrieved, but lost hair can never be, " Woody Allen rightly observed.


The first thing on a person's countenance is hair. And if the tresses happen to be shining, there's nothing like that. Newspapers and mags are, therefore, rife with the ads related to hair and virility. I read a few years back that an American doctor presented his paper on 'sex and hair-loss' and tried to prove that bald men were more virile. Needless to say, his 'theory' was rejected soon. Good. Had it not been rejected, almost all men would have gone bald!!           

                               ----Sumit Paul

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