Dye Another Day

There comes a time in the life of a middle-aged person when, amidst soaring education bills of the children, amidst emerging but insistent health worries, amidst inevitable work-related problems, amidst enigmatic relationship issues, amidst dark fears of future, amidst sundry emotional conundrums, he or she has to solemnly look at the mirror and summon the honesty to ask that one question of existential importance: Should I dye my hair?

And once a person decides to dye, he or she, technically, stops living.

Because colouring of hair has become such a complicated and confusing procedure going through which you acquire more greys than you would through the normal process of ageing.

When you choose to colour your hair, the first question you will be confronted with is: Why not crimson red or even Barbie pink? Or how about some spunky lilac? Yes, the world has evolved to those levels where there are more colour options for your hair than there are for the walls of your house.

These extreme vivid colours work on the scientific principle that grey hairs emerge from the grey cells that lie beneath. And if the grey cells are knocked off, the grey hairs have no chance. So, when you boldly opt for bold hues for the head, you not only start looking unmistakably dashing but also become conspicuously stupid.

Modern youth, when they streak their hair in blazing hues, at least have an excuse: They belong to the Facebook era, by which I mean this is the generation where usage of the emoticons is deemed to be the cerebral part of any literary discourse.

But what about you, the thinking oldie, the one schooled in on immortal classics and inviolable customs? Sorry. You can have no valid explanation, except accept that you have turnips for thinking cells. Personally speaking, if you are a person who chooses colours that seem attainable only through sustained and lurid radioactivity, then I will continue to judge you for that.

On the other hand, the tried and tested black dye would seem to be the safest for your hair. Because, as far as I can tell, they don’t blacken the hair as much they do the skin around it. You can spot in a huge crowd the person who uses black dye not only by his/her quiet dignity but also by the fact that his/her scalp will have the texture and tone of a leprosy patient.

As a via media between these extremes, you can settle for the quintessential naturalness of that unique Indian herb: Henna. This traditional concoction, devoid of dangerous chemicals and harmful preservatives, not only imparts an agreeable coolness on the head but also imbues a ruddy brown colour, just similar to the one your hair will acquire if you allow it to be soaked in untreated sewage for three consecutive weeks.

For the fashion conscious, this is for you: Panparag-stained teeth go well with henna-smeared head.

And now we come to the moustache. It’s with reason that nature doesn’t allow much scope for moustache in women. Moustache is impossible to measure up to the fashion standards of most women. (For simple instance, it cannot be altered daily to go with the dress of the day. And by god, NO PERMING IS POSSIBLE!)

There are three aspects to moustaches:

*No two strands of the hair on a moustache ever grow in the same direction. Their botanical counterpart is the wild weed.

*It’s stupid to think that that the two edges of a moustache can be really balanced and equal.

*And every morning, almost all moustachioed men, unfailingly attempt this stupidity.

Anyway, the point is when your moustache is all grey, people will naturally think you to be an old fellow. But when you colour your moustache, the same people will even more naturally think you to be a stupid old fellow.

Because when you dye your moustache, you will have more colour around it than on it. If your chosen colour for the dye is black, you will look as if you just glossed your lips with Revlon tar. (Don’t even attempt hennaing your moustache, people will sternly tell you to clean the paan stains).

Dealing with the moustache is easier when you take into account those bushy tufts that sprout around ears and in nostrils. Yes, middle age is technically that period in a man’s life when the hair on his head is steadily falling but spectacularly growing on the ears and in the nasal passage.

Many oldies become hard of hearing due to the fact that the hairs on their ears have grown lush enough to totally block the ear canal. Some of them, I suspect, die when the nostril hair totally closes out any possibility of exhaling and inhaling.

So that’s it folks, there are just two cardinal rules in this:

One, you can never really win against greying and balding. Eventually you get found out.

Secondly, never have a French beard. Neither one thing, nor the other, it’s a stupid idea. Exhibit A: Krishnamachari Srikkanth.

Want any further proof?

Ok, here take it: I, too, sport one.