(Grey) Hair, Colour & Youth – ‘I’m Not Dying Just Yet’

(Grey) Hair, Colour & Youth – ‘I’m Not Dying Just Yet’
Lakhi Soni for Homegrown

While I don’t have jet black hair I’m happy to say I’m not quite grey. But we all know, it gets worse from here. My beard has already reached that station where it is the worst. Which is why you don’t see it. I don’t want to look like Ramakrishna Paramhamsa yet. Now I really envy those little fuckers who sport jet black beards. While the beardos look; more often then not, undeniably ugly, at least there is youth. My stubble just reeks experience. Experience I don’t wish to exhibit. So why isn’t he colouring his hair/beard, you might be wondering. Like with everything else, there are a few reasons.

Some of us are in the process of shedding activities, doing less, as we go ahead with our lives In this noble, minimalist situation, I don’t want to add the fortnightly chore of colouring my roots. And if I had to tend to my beard, this chore would be bi-weekly, I would guess. Well, that is one reason. The other reason is, the colours are not natural. Like the black is too pronounced, too saturated. Indians don’t have hair that black. So even if a 20-year-old dyes his or her hair black hair black, it would look slightly odd. To me, the severely black hair looks very odd. Even dyes marked ‘Natural Black’ aren’t a huge improvement. There is a strong fake-ness to dying but that I’m not against. I just don’t like the colours. I can’t believe modern science hasn’t managed to produce a convincing black hair dye.

Now imagine this unnatural black colour on a face that is not as as tight as it used to be. When we are young the skin on our faces is tight and supple. As we get older, it keeps getting looser and looser. I saw an image of Katie Holmes the other day; the last image of hers in my mind was from Batman Begins. She looked like a completely different person. Age does that to us. But that’s not the problem. The dubious black hair on that face is. It kind of doubles the pain of ageing — for me at least. Now add to this misery the sindhi aunties who go blond or the muslim redhead chachas! Thanks to them, ageing looks like a disease, a mental disease.

I had taken my youth for granted. But now when I see it in the rear-view mirror I want it back. So I’m trying all sorts of things. I would have really appreciated a convincing hair colour but then what do I do about the skin losing its suppleness — science hasn’t gotten very far in that department either. Looks like I’m left with no option but to age gracefully; with a nose I have just about begun to accept. Meanwhile there are people my age who are sporting grey beards and adopting glasses as part of their new look. I think they are under the illusion it gives them some much needed respectability. Let me be honest. I can’t respect a person who can’t rage against the dying of the light. Of course, this dying is not dying.

About the writer: Manoj Shetty is a writer, director, thinker and a yoga enthusiast interested in pop-culture and slacking

Featured illustration by Lakhi Soni for Homegrown.

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