I had to leave a little girl in Kingston town.

Playlist 5

In the past 3 years, I have started associating haircuts with newness.

I moved to a new city 3 years back. During the first two-three months, I realized I needed a haircut. The intent was need. When the need was fulfilled, I was left wanting for more.

I located a salon nearby. As usual, I was a little worried about whether the hair dresser will get it wrong and I would end up having to live with a ‘bad’ haircut.

My first haircut in my new city was given to me by Mahi. She seemed to believe that a bob cut would suit my face. I was unsure. Wavy hair and a bob? Really?

My first haircut in my new city was an asymmetrical bob.

The asymmetry grew on me and this is when haircuts became a source of newness, an addiction almost.

I was in my new city for 2 years. Haircuts were a ritual. I moved from asymmetry to symmetry and beyond. I moved on from Mahi to Vishwanath. And with Vishwanath I stuck.

Vishwanath was the unpredictability I chose to trust.

He gave me my last haircut before I moved on from the city. His parting gift to me was something I got asked about so many times in the city I moved to. Once a woman in the metro asked me, “I love your haircut. What is it called? Where did you get it from?”. I had no clue what the haircut was called. All I knew was that, it was a Vishwanath creation. My parting gift.

I am certain Vishwanath or Mahi do not remember me. And, I will confess I haven’t though about them and all of this so articulately till now.

Today I went for another haircut in my current city. And, while the hairdresser (a name I don’t know) gave me a haircut, I thought about all of this. I thought about how I wish he (today’s hairdresser) wasn’t so cautious with what he was doing. I wished for him to catch on to my ask for ‘something new’. I thought about how Vishwanath would have given me a newness to live with.

Today, my intent for a haircut was newness. And I missed Vishwanath.

My intent with haircuts and life is a want. A want for newness. There was a time when I thought monotony and a settled life is something I can live with for a while. But that was a need. And while my need has been fulfilled, the want has come back. Stronger and stranger.

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