Hairy Tales

Hairy Tales

Curly hair is so lovely
Mother used to say.

When young, it used to be
a prized possession
to boast,
to gloat,
to show-off.

I asked my friend
who counted
and recounted
the glory of the heirlooms
in their possession
and ever multiplying
number of imagined cars
in combative mood,
making my eyes
brimming lakes of brine
whether she had
curly hair like mine…
then it was her turn
to brim salty lakes.

I revelled in my curls
which danced spring-like;
each tendril, a serpentine coil
when pulled, thrice its length.

I played Krishna with a peacock plume
tucked into its top knot
and hair waved around the nape
ruling and controlling the world.

In my pubescence
curly haired actresses
were my imagined kin;
apsaras in comic books
with raven black tresses
cascading down
their heavy bottoms
my dream women.

I spread my hair in glory
lush, dark and dense,
an equatorial forest.
my dreams got entangled
in my tresses
future weighed on the spring
balance of each curl.

Curly hair is now so passé…
Age weaves silver strands
into the sable locks
like the wily snakes
coiled in the horse’s tail
Wiry tendrils writhe worm-like
around the face in grey halo…
My curls grow limp and dull
as the younger generation
tease their curls straight
in the ramrod mode…