Colour me young

She – Will you colour my hair?

No, thank you.

Yes, i answered letting better sense prevail.

Cut to her bathroom

You know i have never coloured anybody’s hair? I shouted out my general disclaimer just to make sure this doesnt come back to bite in me in the arse.

‘You will do a great job — i’m sure.‘ she said busy emptying the hair colour thingy-ies’ into a plastic bowl.

‘Here, stir this together’ she handed me a bowl that had a mix of thick white paste & very thick creamy goey substance.. My disclaimer was totally ignored. I started to mix the two -she opened up her hair & got ready.

For how long should i stir? i asked, clearly not ready for the responsibility.

You will know – she assured, making it known that i was going to be responsible, ready or not.

There’s only one glove – she claimed. That changed the subject and my mood. Is this a sign? Can i? Will she? Shall we? All kinds of questions, bad omens, superstitions floated in my head that minute where i wore that single glove on my hand.

Oh i forgot — there is another pair. She showed me another pair — too late. I was feeling the pain.

We can sit in the balcony outside. I said feeling a rush of brazen, reckless energy.

The chair in the hall is fine — she asserted in a gentle yet non-negotiable voice

Clearly only one boss here.

Cover up the whites wherever you see it — avoid touching the forehead — have fun while you do it.

No — i cannot. It’s just……

She didnt like my answer. But right then what choice did either of us have.

I started slow, tentative & shaky. I spread the thing unevenly, smudged, parted hair with my ungloved hands – felt iky & not comfortable at all. She’s young, the white is spreading — made me more determined never to colour my hair. It goes white it stays white. I continued my half-ass attempts at colouring.

Till I suddenly thought of my mom.

I respect my mom so much more now. I spoke out aloud.

Caught off-guard, she took a moment before asking ‘what?’

‘Mom also had a lot of greys’, i paused for a bit, before adding ‘and this isn’t easy’.

No it isnt, she smiled.

She had said it was enough — but now i wasnt satisfied. I wanted to do a good job.

I put on a fresh pair of gloves over my blackened fingers, took a comb & went to work. Separate the strands, colour deeply, spread evenly – we moved on to the next set of instructions with ease and comfort. I wanted to cover it all, see the even spread – she had her eyes closed, smiling like a cheshire cat, I even asked M the help to click a few pics — knew i would be totally blogging about this. Talk about work with pleasure.

Thank you, she said

No dont say that. I objected. She understood my point. We were in sync.

‘This cane chairs in the hall — they would look great outside,’ i tried my luck.

She – I think they are fine inside.

And thats that. The boss had spoken — colour my hair — not my house.

I smiled and went off to wash my hands.

Writing credits – Soni Anthony

Published by appamprawns

soni writes about children and people in controlled spaces, in his quest for appam stew. homi writes in the hope of being able to buy prawns to make patiyo.

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