Ribbons and I had nothing to do with each other. We had decided, since the early days, to never cross each other’s path. It happened so because my thick, rough, wavy, unmanageable hair needed too much attention, and soon my mother realised I looked the best with short hair. Honestly speaking, I never missed long braids and those red ribbons that, almost all my classmates must wear every day to school.
In the days when almost every girl had long hair, I soon realised I was sort of different.( read freak) The biggest disadvantage was to be spotted from anywhere and taken to task.( no getting away after a mischief) In short, there was nowhere to hide. Teachers would never bother to know my name. They could easily call me, “Come here, you, the girl with short hair.”
There was an advantage too. My hair could never be pulled, like other girls, whose nice and prim hairdo was spoilt so easily by others.
I remember it was only once that I regretted not having long braids. The day I was informed that I wasn’t eligible for the role of a female character (school’s annual function) because of my short hair. I was quite disappointed and told my mom I would grow my crowning glory till it reached my ankles. She merely nodded her head and let out a deep sigh.
My barber must have missed me during those four months that I did not visit him. My unrealistic ambition (I didn’t know then) tempted me to buy those red ribbons far in advance.
My hair did begin to grow, but strangely in the wrong direction. Law of gravity did not work with my tresses at least. It was a bit weird but I was too young to know that I was a science miracle.
The girls in the class were laughing at me because the growth seemed to be piling up on my head. I had a new name now, ‘Bird’s Nest’. Whatever I might do, my stubborn hair refused to be disciplined. They acted like those rowdy kids who constantly disappoint their parents.
Finally, the day came when I decided to teach them a lesson. My barber was mighty happy to see me back perched on that makeshift seat that he kept especially for me.(Maybe kids like me).
I went back to school the next day and the whole class hoarded me with compliments. I gladly gifted my red ribbons to my friend.
Till date, my hair story could never get entangled in those silky ribbons. Nor could my husband play with those silky ‘Zulphen‘ but I made sure my daughter must wear those red ribbons to school and she did. Secretly, I thanked my husband’s genes, otherwise, history would have repeated itself.