Reflections Under The Tree – 3

by | Jun 9, 2016

Part 3 : Community And My Bun 

Couple of months before the start of this fellowship, India Fellow, I came across an infographic on men’s hairstyle with a bun. I am a person who likes to experiment a bit and try something new so I was very much excited to try this on me and I decided to grow my hair. Now almost after 10 months I am able to tie a small bun and I like it a lot. But when I go into the community after tying that bun I get some interesting comments and expressions from the community which I would like to share.

1. People who have such fancy hairstyle are spoiled brats and don’t obey their parents. I wish my parents don’t think the same but yes this is on top of my list. I got this comment when I was looking for a place to stay in my village and the residents made this comment because they had this impression that I am a fancy spoiled brat coming from a city who may have fought with his parents and came here to stay.

2. You must be a Brahmin Caste system is so prevalent in rural India that where ever you will go one common question will be on your caste. But for me many times they won’t ask and presume that I belong to a Brahmin family. They will directly say, ‘you must be a Brahmin’.

3. Have you made any wish and only after its fulfillment you will cut your hair? In Hindi it’s called Mannat. Yes my wish is to grow a bun after which I will think of cutting it 😛

4. Why don’t you cut it? This is the most humiliating comment I get. You don’t like it but at least don’t say it on my face. It hurts.

5. Can I click a photo of your pony tail? Come on it’s a bun though I am not able to tie it properly. And why are you clicking picture of my so called pony tail?

6. Are you comfortable in this summer with such hairstyle? Yes I have got habitual to it and it protects my head from direct sunlight  😛

7. I have lived in cities and this is normal for me. Thank you for some sympathy but it has nothing to do with me living in city.

8. I want to grow it as well. Only if you are ready to face all such comments you can grow it.

9. Which shampoo do you use? This question is mostly asked by my friends. Answer is TRESemme.

Point I am trying to make is that it was difficult for me especially when I had to start living in a random village as a volunteer where I had no connection and I was a stranger. There wasn’t even any presence of my organization in that village and hence no colleague as well. Many accusations like me being a terrorist, or a runaway from home after fighting with parents etc. were made. When we were about to start our endeavor my seniors from the organization suggested me to cut my hair and then go else they will doubt you but I was not ready for it and I believed that if my intentions are correct looks don’t matter much. After spending sometime in the village, everybody now remembers me by the name “Choti wale Bhaiya” (boy with a ponytail) and there is no problem now. They trust me without judging me by my looks.

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