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My growing up memories revolved around simple rituals like hot oil hair massages on weekends, sitting on the tall salon chair (constantly looking at my father’s reflection in the mirror) and getting a trim, learning how to tie ribbons on pigtails from my elder sister, comparing the length of my locks with those of my cousins and friends, and of course eating greens only because mum said that it will result in longer, shinier hair. Our lives are indeed made up of simple scents, humble images and lovely moments. As we began creating this shiny ‘Hair’ special edition we re-lived the times when there was more to hair than good, bad hair days.

THE TRUMPET BLOWERS EDITORIAL AANANDIKA SOOD FIONA PATERSON MONA EL SAMNA NAMRATA MANGHNANI SABIN MUZAFFAR VIREN PAREKH ART AVI GOEL KAMAINI MITTAL COMMUNICATION

editor’s note

NAMRATA MANGHNANI

Rights: All rights reserved. The writing, artwork and photography contained herein may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of The Indian Trumpet. The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of The Indian Trumpet. All efforts have been made while compiling the content of the magazine but we assume no responsibility for the effects arising there from. We take no responsibility of the availability of the products mentioned in the various sections of the magazine. Reprints as a whole or in part can be done only with written permission from The Indian Trumpet quoting “The Indian Trumpet magazine” for texts and pictorial material. Signed articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editor. No responsibility can be taken for the loss of unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or artwork. Contacts: Purva Grover, founder & editor theindiantrumpet.com All queries to be addressed to theindiantrumpet@gmail.com The Indian Trumpet Magazine is released four times a year. It is available to the readers absolutely free of cost on the portal theindiantrumpet.com.

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The traditions of tonsure and what they mean to us, today. Shaving off hair in the name of religion and sacrifice, why do we hold it dear or detest it? We debated. The changing face of the barbers. The men who sat under the shades of the tree with nothing but a razor, pair of scissors and an old mirror for tools. They were trained by their fathers, grandfathers and passed on the skills to the next in line. We cherished the shade, the cut. The stereotypes we live by. Indian women to wear their hair long, men to wear them short. Men with beards to be categorised as broody lovers. Women with short hair as rebels. We laughed off at few, acknowledged the fresh wave of thoughts. From the thick, shiny mane of Dimple Kapadia to the fashionable pixie cut of Anushka Sharma; our actors continue to define how we wear our hair. We hit the rewind button, and we paused to observe the current hair trends on the silver screen. Accessories that adorn our tresses, the aromatic gajra to the maang tikka; and the clips and bands. We dressed up our locks. We tied braids, we poured hot coconut oil in tiny bowls, we watched fathers teach their sons how to shave, we learnt about the origin of shampoo and more. In the middles of all these moments, we realised that in many homes relations are still being strengthened with braids, cuts, massages and shaves. In these pages, indulge in such crowning glory times. We’d love to hear your ‘hair’ stories as well. As always, we also have nostalgia awaiting in the pages. The days of packing and carrying food in steel tiffin boxes, the images and colours that adorned tiny matchboxes and the ways we commuted in the days when Air India was the only airline around, and only a few could afford the luxury. Indulge in the era gone by. Till we meet next, happy tooting.

Purva founder & editor editor@theindiantrumpet.com


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as we tie pigtails...


I grew up in the wonderful period of 1990s. Back then, even a black-and-white TV meant the world to us! Little did we know, that we will grow up to wacth TV on our phones. Plus, carry phones in our pockets. It was a lovely time. We would watch the only movie that was aired on Doordarshan, then cable TV came in and we began to treat the characters as part of our families. There was very little to watch, yet everything was so special. I enjoyed the piece: India’s Cable Fable. Best Neelam, India ............................................................... Team, The games we played in the era of 1990s were simply amazing! I always carried a stack of WWF cards with me, my brother and I often fought over who would play PacMan first! And, we spent hours playing Ludo, Snakes & Ladder and Hide-n-Seek; we grew up playing these games with our cousins, friends in neighbourhood. Thanks for writing about these memories. Ravi UAE ...............................................................

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Bollywood was at its entertaining best in the ‘90s. The dances of Govinda and the chiffon sarees of Sridevi! The songs were a class apart with just a few names singing them all - Alka Yagnik, Abhijeet, Kumar Sanu and Udit Narayan. The films were complete show and drama. The clothes the men and women wore were colourful, if not fashionable! I still owe a few DVDs of films from those times. It was a fun time for Indian cinema. Enjoyed the 70MM piece, the posters served as a memory card. Siddharth, Montreal, Canada ...............................................................

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Hair is a sensitive topic. In India, we love to flaunt our long hair. We are in awe with woman with long tresses, as we label the men with long locks! Over time, we have moved from massaging our scalps with mere oil to using fancy products for our mane. We’ve also accepted women with short hair, as have we stopped analysing moustaches. However, hair remains a perfect conversation starter with us - hair fall, bad hair day, shining glory and more! We all impart wisdom nuggets on this topic. In this HAIR special edition we comb, chop, style and talk all things hair. Enjoy! Wishing you a good hair day.


Indian the

a bi-monthly e-magazine for NRIs

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A SPACE WHERE WE MAKE NOISE ABOUT ALL THINGS INDIAN

AN E-MAGAZINE THAT CAPTURES THE COLOUR, CULTURE AND CHAOS OF INDIA THAT NRIs CRAVE AND MISS, ONCE EVERY TWO MONTHS

JUST CLICK AND READ FOR FREE Blow the trumpet with us!! To advertise, mail us at

theindiantrumpet@gmail.com 70 MM. INDIAN BELLY. TRUMPET LEAD. FASHION FRY. DIARY OF AN INDIAN. DESI LIT. TAX-FREE ENTERTAINMENT. TRUMPET BAZAAR. THE GLOBE & THE GULLY. HORN OK PLEASE. OVER A CUP OF CHAI. TRUMPET TELLER. ANGRY TOOT. OUR SHABDKOSH. IDHAR UDHAR. LOUD TOOT. LAST WORD. TRUMPET TASTES.

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12 70mm SILVER SCREEN’S AFFAIR WITH THE LOCKS Bringing the lady love closer to oneself by pulling her hair, playing with her tresses, serenading to songs written in praise for the crowning glory, grooving in the rain with wet locks; Bollywood’s affair with the hair of an Indian woman has seen many shifts - from beautiful and charming to now commodification. 18

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STEEL KA TIFFIN The days when mums and wives packed lunches in steel boxes! Remember, when men walked in to offices carrying one of these, and we also carried these boxes to picnics! trumpet lead

TONSURE: THE SPIRITUAL, RELIGIOUS ACT Hair has been a significant part of every culture. There have been many traditions associated with it. We look at a few, across religions & lands.

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HAIR DONATION: WORSHIP OR TRADE? We explore this million-rupee industry that is bolstered by ‘temple hair’.

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THE TREE-SIDE VIEW People in the olden days knew only one way of having their beard shaved or their haircut– they had to head to the local shop of the barber.

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THE BOLLYWOOD COIFFURES! Whether it’s Sadhna’s famous fringe or Anushka Sharma’s pixie cut; not only have we loved Bollywood’s coiffures we’ve imitated them too.

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TRADITIONS - CHOPPED OR STYLED? We dwell into hair folklore, traditions & rituals. We find out what losing that clue has meant to two women from the Sikh community.

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INDIAN MEN & HAIR - THE STEREOTYPES!

Growing up in India one couldn’t help but have preconceived ideas about boys and men, depending on how they styled their hair and wore their moustaches & beards.

fashion fry

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THE HAIR PIECES These quick-fix, home-grown fashion ideas will not only save you from bad hair days but will also make you look fabulous, instantly!

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JASMINE TRAIL The ‘Madurai malli gajra’ (jasmine flower garland) comes wrapped in a banana leaf & is often sold at the roadside down South. Women wear it either around a bun or tuck it into a plait; we visit nilakottai, a small village in Tamil Nadu, to know more about the jasmine flower.

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THEY CALL ME RAPUNZEL! As I braid my hair each morning I am reminded of one of my favourite quotes by Khalil Gibran: And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.

idhar udhar

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HAIR TODAY, GONE TOMORROW Experiencing another bad hair day? Well, who doesn’t! A glorious crown of shiny and healthy hair can really make or break your entire look. Don’t lose your mind over falling strands, simply sing ‘I am not my hair!’

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MATCHBOX ART A new museum sets out to celebrate India’s striking matchbox labels, illuminating distinctive eras in the country’s cultural history.

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our shabdkosh

SHAMPOO: INDIAN FROM ROOT TO TIP There’s been a story doing the rounds that shampoo was invented in India. Is that really the case? We clear the (h)air here… 70

horn OK please

YATAYAT KA ASLI MAZA Buses, trains and the only airline. We revist our modes of commuting in the era gone by. 74

desit lit

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MEMORIES MADE OVER PLAITING & OILING There are scores of little, everyday moments where mothers and daughters bond over hair oiling, head massages, and haircuts! A glimpse. THE GOOD OL’ BARBER SHOP We made stopovers at few of the barber shops in Varanasi & New Delhi and came back with an album of humble moments.

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last word

follow the noise

ZULFEIN! An iconic song, sing along.

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The

Indian Trumpet Loud, louder, loudest... Let's make some noise! We'd love to hear from you. Write in to us with your suggestions at

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SILVER SCREEN’S AFFAIR WITH THE LOCKS BRINGING THE LADY LOVE CLOSER TO ONESELF BY PULLING HER HAIR, PLAYING WITH HER TRESSES, SERENADING TO SONGS WRITTEN IN PRAISE FOR THE CROWNING GLORY, GROOVING IN THE RAIN WITH WET LOCKS; BOLLYWOOD’S AFFAIR WITH THE HAIR OF AN INDIAN WOMAN HAS SEEN MANY SHIFTS - FROM BEAUTIFUL AND CHARMING TO NOW COMMODIFICATION.

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WORDS SABIN MUZAFFAR

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IMAGES SAHIL M BEG


Image courtesy: Sahil M Beg

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Image courtesy: Sahil M Beg

The epitome of a perfect Indian woman as portrayed on the silver screen is an enchanting siren with long, lusciously glossy hair sensuously cascading on delicate shoulders. From the waif-like Saira Banu to the temptress Dimple Kapadia and now to the likes of Priyanka Chopra, each actress has sizzled on the cinema under the glowing sheath of gorgeous locks taking the breath away of not only the hero but audiences worldwide. Bollywood’s obsession with hair has been long and ardent. There are some though that titillates the senses supreme, eternally evoking feeling of yearning and desire. We look at a few such moments.

The Fervent ‘40s & ‘50s

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The interplay of torrid emotions displayed by brilliant actors on screen has now become a cult classic. In this day and age, many would deem it a somewhat brutish gesture grabbing one’s ‘ladylove’ by the hair – many a times as a sign of love or even outrageous fury, it was nonetheless an act adored by millions of fans.

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From the devilishly handsome Raj Kapoor pulling his lover’s hair – often played by the effervescent Nargis - bringing her closer in the heat of the moment; to the suave Dilip Kumar also possessing a knack of messing up his beloved’s luscious locks – be it the ethereal Madhubala or the wide-eyed Nimi. These old boys had a penchant for caressing, stroking or literally manhandling their leading lady by the hair.


(Top to Bottom) Lovely Mumtaz, ethereal Madhubala and effervescent Nargis

The Psychedelic ‘60s & ‘70s This was a time when big hair made it big on the silver screen. Bold and sassy, the brash Bumpit was the order of the day during the heydays of lovely Mumtaz and the tantalising Sharmila Tagore. And moviemakers made sure these crowing glories had a huge role to play in the movies. Heroes lovingly serenaded for their love interest, ‘miming’ softly about her lustrous mane such as ‘Kabhi Kabhi Meray Dil Mein.’ Ghazals like ‘Na Jhatko Zulf Say Pani’ sonorously sung by another musical genius Mukesh did not only possess lyrics that were sublime, their cinematography was laden with unmissed sensuality. Songs in those times were not limited only to display passion, but also had a hint of fun, teasingly crooned by the likes of maestro Mohammad Rafi: who made O.P Nayyar’s song ‘Zulfoun Ko Hata Lou Chehre Sey’. And when you talk about gleeful songs, one can hardly forget India’s very own Elvis lookalike, the dandy Shammi Kapoor dancing and prancing around, singing ‘O Haseena Zulfoun Wali’.

The Sultry ‘80s It is surely not untrue to say that Indian movie-makers have literally made a living out of including songs in rain, where a drenched damsel with long, soaking wet hair dances to soulful tunes. And then there are also songs with nubile nymphs clad in sexy saris who enchant audiences with wind in the hair. A particular favourite was Dimple Kapadia with a mane thick as the ebony night. Even if the songs were not about the tantalising tresses, the hair played a pivotal role in the overall seductiveness of the scene and those who were in it.

The Nonchalant ‘90s This pre Y2K era was coming to a close and it seems it was more or less a curtain call for the much talked about and now worn out topic of hair. With the

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Image courtesy: en.wikipedia.org/wiki


(Below, L-R) Lisa Haydon, Deepika Padukone. (Bottom, right) Adhyayan Suman and Sara Loren

shatteringly gorgeous bodies doing the provocative ‘thumkas’ and ‘jhatkas’. Yes a few songs can be found about filmmakers’ obsession with hair, ironically though those worth mentioning are about men such as one sung by Sunidhi Chauhan titled ‘Baal Khade’ for the remake ‘Khoobsurat’.

Indian cinema getting bolder and bolder by each passing moment. The emphasis on hair (in songs) was dissipating. Awareness about sensuality has always been intense, but this decade with the rise of new media saw overt portrayals of sexuality. Subtlety was a thing of the past, so were display of understated emotions like twirling the hair, or singing songs about it while the heroine looks on coyly.

It seems that subtlety has gone with the wind as romanticism and even absurdity in songs are to be found on the track of overt sexualisation. A woman has always been seen as an object of desire but songs that were once made to glorify womanhood by men swooning over luminous locks and mane, have slowly become origins of material commodification. A filmmaker’s fixation on desirability and femininity such as the hair, the eyes or the dainty feet are now transfixed onto erotic physicality.

But that said, there were still a few smash hit songs about hair such as the very famous ‘Kaale Kaale Baal’ from the romantic movie Ziddi starring Sunny Deol and Raveena Tandon, sung by Shweta Shetty.

Y2K and Beyond

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It is the era of Sheilas and Munnis having a lot more to do with scantily clad women possessing earth-

Executive Editor Ananke (anankemag.com), Sabin Muzaffar embarked upon her professional career some 18 years ago. She is currently contributing to major publications in the UAE including daily Gulf News. A reluctant feminist, women empowerment through digital media is one of the many topics close to her heart. Addicted to the silver screen, she spends all her free time watching old Bollywood and Hollywood movies.

Sahil M Beg is a budding photograph. A student of Bachelors of Journalism and Mass communication at the Trinity Institute of Professional Studies, New Delhi, he has been keenly participating in photography competitions and submitting his works to various publications. His shots can be seen here: flickr.com/photos/photosofsahil

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eSa gj ?kj esa vo’; ik;k tkrk gw¡ fdruh Hkh vk/kqfud lqfo/kk vk tk;s ij esjk otwn ges’kk ftUnk jgsxkA


Image credit: flic.kr/p/7yakLS

LVhy dk fVfQu words MRIDULA MOHAN images JASLEEN_KAUR & JONNY HUGHES & ADAM COHN

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;g ckr yxHkx 90 ds n’kd dh gS] tc lHkh ?kjksa esa LVhy ds fMCcs gksrs FksA nqdkuksa esa fofHkUu izdkj ds fMCcksa dh Hkjekj gksrh FkhA efgyk;sa LVhy ds fMCcksa esa vius cPpksa o ifr;ksa dks [kkuk Hkj dj j[kus esa cM+k xoZ eglwl djrh FkhA

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;g ckr yxHkx 90 ds n”kd dh gS] tc lHkh ?kjksa esa LVhy ds fMCcs gksrs FksA nqdkuksa esa fofHkUu izdkj ds fMCcksa dh Hkjekj gksrh FkhA efgyk;sa LVhy ds fMCcksa esa vius cPpksa o ifr;ksa dks [kkuk Hkj dj j[kus esa cM+k xoZ eglwl djrh FkhA dgha ,d fMCcs okyk fVfQu o dgha nks vkSj rhu fMCcs okys fVfQu gksrs Fks muesa cgqr lkjk Hkkstu j[kk tk ldrk FkkA gj ?kj esa fVfQu dk gksuk vius vki es ,d “kku dh ckr le>h tkrh FkhA vki Lo;a LVhy ds fMCcs dh dgkuh mlh ds tqcku ls lqfu;s & ^^esjk gj ?kj esa gksuk gh bl ckr dk ladsr Fkk fd eSa fdruk izpfyr FkkA eSa ml le; Ldwy ds cPpksa ds [kkuk j[kus ds bLrseky esa vkrk Fkk eq>esa efgyk;sa vpkj] ijkBs o fofHkUu izdkj ds idoku j[krh Fkh] tc vk/kh NqfV~V esa cPps eq>s [kksyrs Fks rks O;Utuksa esa [kq”kcw dh ,d ygj meM+rh Fkh fd cPps ,d nwljs ds Hkkstu dks cM+h yypkbZ utj ls ns[kk djrs FksA ;s rks Fkh cPpksa ds bLrseky dh ckrsa] eq>s vkSfQl esa tc yap czsd gksrk gS rks lHkh vkSfQl ds deZpkjh viuh ifRu;ksa dk Hkstk [kkuk cM+h mRlqdrk ls [kksydj ns[krs Fks fd vkt D;k O;Utu fn;k x;k gS tks fd mUgsa irk Hkh u gksrk Fkk jkst&jkst eq>esa u;s O;Utu Hkj dj fn;s tkrs Fks] fdlh fMCcs es lfCt;k¡ rks fdlh esa ijkBs vkSj fdlh es dqN ehBk j[k fn;k tkrk FkkA bl rjg vkfQl es gksus ds dkj.k eSa lHkh O;fDr;ksa dh ckrsa lqu dj eu gh eu xfoZr gksrk FkkA esjs uke ls vkt ds n”kd esa ^^yap ckSDl** fiDpj Hkh cgqr izpfyr gqbZ gSA eq>s yksx ikdZ esa fidfud esa Hkkstu Hkj dj b/kj ls m/kj cM+h vklkuh ls ys tk ldrs FksA lQj dh ckr gh fujkyh gS esjs gSfMy dks idM+ dj yksx b/kj m/kj ys tk ldrs gSaA eSa ?kj es de ckgj T;knk bLrseky gksrk gw¡A dHkh&dHkh rks yksx iM+ksfl;ksa ls eq>s ekax dj ys tkrs Fks] ml oDr eq>s viuh lqUnjrk ij xq:j Hkh gksrk FkkA yksx [kkrs&[kkrs tks pVdkjs Hkjh ckrs djrs Fks ml ij eSa eu gh eu eqLdjkrk Hkh FkkA gksVyksa ls [kkuk Hkj dj] vkWfQl vkSj nqdkuksa esa fctusl eSu esjk bLrseky cM+h vklkuh ls djrs gSa vktdy yksx fVfQu esa [kkuk iSd djds fo|kFkhZ o vkSfQlksa esa [kkus ds fy;s Hkstrs gSa ;g lfoZl cEcbZ es cgqr izpfyr gSA

tks fd ^^fMCcsokyk** ds uke ls e”kgwj gSA bl lfoZl ls yksxksa dks jkstxkj Hkh fey jgk gSA efgyk;sa ?kj cSBs&cSBs [kkuk cuk dj iSd djds lfoZl dj jgh gSaA ,d gh ckj es e/;e oxZ dk vkneh lkbfdy esa 30 ls 40 fVfQu ,d lkFk ys tk ldrk gSA esjh fo’ks”krk ;g gS fd eq>es [kkuk cgqr nsj rd xeZ jgrk gSA gk¡ ;fn eq>s /kks fn;k tk; rks esjh ped ubZ tSlh gks tkrh gSA ysfdu vkt ds n”kd esa esjk otwn /khjs&/khjs de gksrk tk jgk gS] esjk LFkku IykfLVd ds jax&fcjaxs fMCcksa us ys fy;k gS tks fd cPpksa ds vkd’kZ.k dk dkj.k cu x;k gSA IykfLVd ds fMCcs gj jax o “ksi esa cuk;s tk ldrs gSa vkSj VwV tkus ij u;k eu ilUn [kjhns tk ldrs gSa ysfdu IykfLVd ds fMCcs dh ykbQ cgqr de gksrh gS vkSj mles [kkuk nsj rd j[kus ls egd vkus yxrh gSA gk¡ eSa rks vius ckjs esa crk jgk Fkk vHkh Hkh yksx eq>s ilUn djrs gSaA izxfr ds lkFk&lkFk esjk Lrj igys ds LVhy ls T;knk vPNk gks x;k gSA vPNh&vPNh dEifu;ka eq>s u;s&u;s ‘ksi esa izLrqr dj jgh gS eq>es 8 ls 10 fMCcksa dk fVfQu cgqr izpfyr gS ftlesa [kkuk Hkj dj lxs lEcfU/k;ksa ds ;gk¡ cM+h lqfo/kk ls yks tk;k tk ldrk gSA eq>s yksx Mksaxs dh rjg Hkh bLrseky djrs gSaA ,d ckj ;fn eq>s dksbZ [kjhn ys rks eSa mldk nkeu dHkh ugh NksM+rk gw¡A ,d ih<+h eq>s [kjhnrh gS vkSj nwljh ih<+h rd eSa mudk lkFk nsrk gw¡A vUr esa vius ckjs esa eS ;gh dgwaxk fd eSa gj ?kj esa vo”; ik;k tkrk gw¡ fdruh Hkh vk/kqfud lqfo/kk vk tk;s ij esjk otwn ges”kk ftUnk jgsxkA gj oxZ ds yksx eq>s bLrseky djrs gSa vkSj djrs jgsaxs cgqr igys esjk :i ihry ds :i esa ns[ksus dks feyrk Fkk ysfdu vkt og dsoy ,d ^^,fUVd ihl** cu dj jg x;k gSA** bl izdkj LVhy ds fVfQu us viuh dgkuh vki dks Lo;a crk MkyhA ge ;gh dgsaxs fd /khjs&/khjs ubZ phtksa dk pyu vkrk gS ij LVhy dk fVfQu vius vki es ,d ,slk midj.k gS tks lHkh /kkrqoksa ds cjruksa esa loksZifj gS vkSj cgqr mi;ksxh gS ftls gj izdkj ls bLrseky fd;k tk ldrk gS vkSj ;g lksprs gSa fd Hkfo’; esa fVfQu jgsxk ij tkus fdrus gh vkd`fr;k¡ cny dj vk;sxkA

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Mridula Mohan has played the so-called innings of her life and now sits happily on the fence soaking in new experiences and mulling over old ones. A mother of two (grandmom of one) and an Army wife, Mridula has been a teacher most of her life and these days she’s back to indulging in her first love,writing. She writes both prose and poetry and derives her inspirations from her life’s travels and the impressions along the way. You can reach her at mridulamohan404@gmail.com.


TONSURE

THE SPIRITUAL, RELIGIOUS ACT

HAIR HAS BEEN A SIGNIFICANT PART OF EVERY CULTURE. THERE HAVE BEEN MANY TRADITIONS ASSOCIATED WITH IT, WE LOOK AT A FEW ACROSS RELIGIONS & LANDS. words AANANDIKA SOOD

trumpet lead

images PREMNATH THIRUMALAISAMY, NEVIL ZAVERI, HARSHA K R

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Tonsuring hair has been a part of many religious and spiritual customs all over the world. Amongst the Hindus a great deal of importance has been associated with 16 ‘sanskaars’ or rituals as prescribed by the Vedas. These rituals or sacraments as they may also be called, are supposed to take place at the various stages of a person’s life. One such ritual that takes place during the initial years of a child is the ‘mundan sanskaar’. Also called the ‘churakaran sanskaar’, this is the ritual of shaving off a child’s head for the very first time. In India its not just the ‘mundan sanskaar’ when the head is shaved leaving behind a tuft, announcing the transition of a infant into a child. Shaving hair is also seen as a rite of passage for Hindus when they don the sacred thread. Hindus boys and men of a family often shave their heads after a parent departs the planet. Though there isn’t a scientific explanation as to why this is done its significance lies probably in the fact that this act shows that the family has suffered a loss and is in mourning. Hinduism also prescribed days on which hair should be and shouldn’t be washed or cut. Tuesdays and Thursdays are considered as unauspicious by some.

Hair were tonsured and offered to god as part of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches as well. This practice was abolished by Pope Paul VI and has been in effect since 1973 yet cutting and offering hair to the religious deity has always been interpreted as a sign of personal dedication. In Islam too hair is cut before the Hajj or embarking on a journey to Mecca. This is symbolic of giving up vanity of any sort. In the East many cultures associate long hair with youth and beauty. Chinese folklore says that washing your hair on the first few days of the New Year could wash away your good luck. Non conformists shave off their heads in rebellion and in some tribes shingled heads could signal an outcast. Though hair growth is purely dependent on genetic programming some people also believe that shaving their head will help in earning them a thicker mane. There are products that help make your hair feel thicker but if you are one of such believers then approach it from a practical level. Start by keeping your scalp and hair clean and taking a healthy diet rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals.

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In Jainism and Buddhism, both the offshoots of Hinduism, great importance is attached to tonsuring hair. In both the religions the act is seen as a homage to something which the teachers did when they set out on their spiritual journey. As part of the ceremony of ordination of a novice the head is shaved off and

in Buddhism a monk henceforth keeps his face and head clean shaven. Jain monks too cut their hair, often pluck them by hand one by one, when they choose to denounce the world.


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ANGRY TOOT

Image credit: flic.kr/p/iyqPQu

It was customary for widows to shave off their heads in ancient India. In the days when child marriages were prevalent and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;marriedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; was the only status that could let women enjoy colourful garb and bask in her beauty, it must have been such an injustice to take simple pleasures from young girls. This was done in accordance with many other rituals prescribed for widows under which a widow was reduced to a social non-entity who had no right to life and its pleasures after her husband had died. She was supposed to simply wait for death in the streets of holy cities which then would set her free from the cycle of birth and death. Though we would like to believe that we live in a better, educated society yet the streets and ashrams of cities like Vrindavan and Mathura bear testimony to this pathetic story which hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t changed much and where even today more than 15,000 widows are forced to beg for one square meal a day. We hope better times lie ahead.

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Aanandika Sood aspires to be the rolling stone that gathers a lot of moss. After 8 years of writing copies and columns, editing and scripting stories and honing her PR skills, she is now playing the part of a freelance writer and a mommie. She lives in Kolkata, blogs at aanandika.blogspot.in and writes on anything that stimulates her mind and merits comment.


Want to join us in blowing the trumpet? Designers Writers Web Developers Photographers Send your CV and work samples to theindiantrumpet@gmail.com


HAIR DONATION

worship or trade? DEVOTEES HAVE SPAWNED AN EMPIRE OF MILLIONS BY DONATING THEIR HAIR TO TEMPLES IN INDIA. BUT HOW DOES THE HAIR REACH THE VARIOUS HINDU TEMPLES, AND WHY? IS IT A VOLUNTARY PROCESS OR ARE HAIR DONORS BEING FORCED INTO IT? ARE THEY BEING REMUNERATED? ARE THEY AWARE OF WHAT HAPPENS TO THEIR HAIR AFTER THEY LEAVE THE TEMPLE? IS THE HAIR COLLECTION INSTITUTIONALISED OR INFORMAL? WE EXPLORE THIS MILLION-RUPEE INDUSTRY THAT IS BOLSTERED BY ‘TEMPLE HAIR’.

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words NAMRATA MANGHNANI

There’s an infamous term in India, “temple hair”, which is a by-product of a religious practice that several faithful Hindus have been observing since many generations. Pilgrims are known to chop their hair off and present it as an offering to the gods, after which it is cleaned, processed and exported to various countries such as Europe, USA and China. This export industry has become a multi-crore business,

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with an ever-growing demand for human hair for wigs and hair extensions for celebrities. The tradition Shaving one’s head has been an age-old Hindu ritual, wherein babies’ heads are shaved for good fortune and adults allow themselves to be shaved as a mark of gratitude to the gods. However, in the Vaishnavite


One of the most dominant temples to accept such ‘donations’ is the Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple or, more popularly known as, the Tirupati temple in the hill town of Tirumala, India

tradition, tonsuring is undertaken which translates to the act of shaving one’s head to propitiate god. It serves as a symbol of religious devotion and effacing one’s ego. Since hair protects and conceals, as well as represents the difference between male and female, and between beautiful and ugly, sacrificing it corresponds to giving god a piece of oneself.

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How it works Though the shaving ceremony and the sale of hair is not limited to just one holy site, there’s one temple that attract tens of thousands of pilgrims in a single

day. One of the most dominant temples to accept such ‘donations’ is the Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple or, more popularly known as, the Tirupati temple in the hill town of Tirumala, India. Even Nafisa Ali, a Bollywood actress and social activist, is known to have offered her waist-length locks to this 1,200 year old temple to thank its deity for granting her a personal wish she had made for her family approximately 21 years ago. Unlike what one might may imagine, it is not just rural women who make such offerings to gods. The trend has been modified for


Devotees will keep worshipping, locks will continue falling, and the ‘real hair’ extension trade will continue prospering!

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well-educated, professional women from cities, too, wherein they can donate a mere three strands to the temple, instead of submitting to a full tonsure. Devotees (both male and female) visit the temple to donate their hair in honour of the vow to their gods – for instance, they may have asked to be blessed with a child or for a good harvest. A huge building named Kalyana Katta has been constructed to undertake this process and over 600 barbers of both genders operate in three batches round the clock, with a disciplined queue system in place. Upon their turn, devotees sit cross-legged with their heads bent forward allowing scissors and razors to shear their most prized possession. As the barbers deftly shave over 40,000 heads a day, this place becomes “the world’s largest barbershop,” according to Britta Sandberg of Der Spiegel. A bathroom has been provided close-by in order to facilitate the devotees to take a bath. Alternatively, some prefer taking a holy dip in the Pushkarini (temple tank). Barbers are also sent/set up in the hilltop hotels and cottages at Tirumala, for the ones who don’t wish to undergo this process at the temple. After the tonsuring process is well underway, devotees visit the temple for ‘darshan’ (worship) of Lord Venkateswara, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Since each individual’s hair is different and structured like a pinecone, it’s become important to mark the direction of hair growth, so as not to dishevel the

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hair extension and the end user’s original hair. If the direction of this scale-like structure is ignored, the individual hair will rub together on the head and become entangled and angled in unwanted directions. Hence, the barbers tie rubber bands before shorning, indicating the location of the tips of the hairs. Tons of tonsured hair is collected every six hours and sorted each day into five categories based on its length. There’s a sixth category as well, that of grey hair, donated by senior citizens. The tresses are then dried as they are made wet during tonsuring and then stored in a vast warehouse where it’s stacked up to 2.5 meters high. This collection is now ready for inspection by buyers, who comprise of companies mostly. The Indian hair auction It takes a year or so from the time the hair is cut off to its appearance as wigs in the West. Every other month, when two warehouses are piled high with stocks of approximately 45,000 kilograms of hair, officials at the Tirupati temple schedule a hair auction. The auction is a regulated process wherein notices appear in three newspapers, in four languages each, and on the temple’s two official websites. The administrators of the temple deal with the logistics and finances that are related to the auctioning of hair and have now started accepting online bids from exporters across the globe who need to first purchase


The aftermath While the temple barbers are remunerated with unequal salaries, the devotees who have voluntarily made a symbolic sacrifice to show gratitude to their deity do not accept any monetary payment. In effect, most do not seem to realise or even mind their hair is being auctioned off all over India and abroad, especially since the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), the temple’s governing body, offers free tonsuring, accommodation and food to uphold this ritual. As one Hindu man told ABS’s Bowden,“For us, hair is not important – for us, god is important.”

}

Despite the precautions taken to determine the direction of hair growth, some of the hair still gets mixed up during the production process. It is filled

HAIR & GODS! the right to bid. Hence the age-old system of fixed agreements to sell hair at previously arranged prices has now faded into oblivion.

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Bidding is highly competitive, as Indian hair tends to be fine, lustrous and devoid of any chemical treatments or artificial dyes. In the early 2000s, temples were said to have collected an average of about 66 million rupees for 3 million kilograms of hair sold! Quite recently, a kilogram of hair 16 inches long was sold for 11,000 rupees at the auction, though short hair fetched as little as 30 rupees a kilogram. Gray hair was auctioned at 9,500 rupees per kilogram.

into plastic bags and flown out to the winning bidder’s hair processing unit, where over 200 workers sort it out into categories and then wash all of it manually. After sun drying it, they laboriously pull through long beds of spikes to sort some entangled ones out by hand, one strand at a time, so that the roots and tips are pointing in the same direction once again, and then tie them into neat bundles of say 200 strands each. Meanwhile, other hair is categorised by size, bleached and stitched together. The hair is then carefully packed into cardboard boxes and flown out where the pigment is removed, a process that sees the hair soaked in


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rows of small white baths for up to 20 days. After the bundles of hair have been coloured, polymer bonds, which mimic the molecular structure of real hair, are attached to them. The bonds are then used to fix the strands to the end customer’s head. Globalisation, as it turns out, can be very hands-on. Approximately 50 employees from each hair exporter’s business work directly in temples, in order to monitor the procedures to ensure that the hair is properly stored. They also arrange for the timely shipment of the product. “Hair has become one of the most expensive commodities in the world,” says Mayoor Balsara, India’s biggest exporter of high-quality temple hair, who exports more than 3,000 kilograms to Europe each month, sending it there by airfreight. “Sea freight would be cheaper, but it’s too slow,” he mentions. While both genders can donate their hair, women’s hair is the kind that is used for wigs and extensions, whereas men’s hair is usually exported to China and used for coat linings and to extract L-Cysteine (keratin), a protein used as a raw material in baby food, donuts and cosmetic products. “While China supplies the most ‘real’ hair to the extension market, Indian hair is considered more valuable,” reports Julia Angwin for The Wall Street Journal. Although Indian hair was used

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to fill bed mattresses and create oil filters originally, the increasingly high global demand for real hair extensions has placed the Tirumala temple and others at the centre of a lucrative market. This business is growing at a phenomenal rate of 40 per cent annually, creating a network of dealers on all continents and air shipments across the globe. However, an illicit hair trade has developed outside the temples alongside the legal hair export business. ‘Rag pickers’ or impoverished individuals trying to solicit a bit of money to survive, visit villages weekly and encourage women to collect all or any of the hair that falls out while brushing. In return, they promise to pay them with little barrettes and hair clips. This process takes them about a month to collect a kilogram of hair, and they earn approximately 800 rupees. But sometimes, the needy resort to darker measures and husbands are known to force their wives and children to shave their heads, thus acquiring a 650 rupees windfall. As E.V.K.S. Elangovan, Minister of State for textiles and commerce in Tamil Nadu, admitted to the UK Weekly ‘The Observer’, the Indian temple hair trade is “obviously an environment that breeds illegality”. Cashing in on India’s luscious locks Hair is a significant moneymaker for the temple and


for many like it across the subcontinent. So much so, the temple’s marketing staff has been trying to modernise its hair sales to maximise its revenues. “In the beginning, we were ignorant of the international hair market,” says Ajeya Kallam, executive officer of the foundation that runs the temple. “Now we grade and classify the hair and get a better price.” He says the temple has explored all the possible ways to sell hair via the Internet. More than 68,000 kilograms of hair are sold annually, and TTD earned a whopping 85 crore rupees recently (averaging to 10 per cent of its total annual income) from sale of hair in the e-auctions, jointly conducted with the Material Scrap Trading Corporation (MSTC), a public sector unit, by inviting global tenders. The temple is organised like a holding company, with a foundation managing its annual revenues. “What else should we do with the hair, other than sell it?” the temple director asks. However, while turning such yields from pilgrims’ donations may seem incongruous, “the money collected is entirely re-invested in the up-keeping

of the temple and for charitable purposes,” the director affirmed. “For example, we finance children’s education by building schools, we distribute approximately 30,000 free meals every day for the poor and needy, and we have built hospitals to cure those who, otherwise, could never afford such expensive treatments,” he states. The temple has even established an oversight committee to combat corruption, and to ensure that funds from hair auctions reach the local communities. Conclusion In a country that is 80 per cent Hindu, hair supplies will improbably run low any time soon. Devotees will keep worshipping, locks will continue falling, and the ‘real hair’ extension trade will continue prospering. With the help of millions of pilgrims, hair exporters are well on their way to making hair extensions a luxury commodity for the masses.

(The views expressed in the piece are solely as stated by the concerned individuals in various interactions with media. Signed articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editor or the publication.)

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Namrata Manghnani believes she’s a permanent tourist, who cannot stop exploring the world and getting fascinated by the little things in life. Born and brought up in Dubai, she has graduated in Finance from Manchester, and decided to change career paths recently. She enjoys writing about emotions, dances for inspiration, and aspires to become an author one day. This desi girl possesses an eye for detail, and would never miss that butterfly fluttering around or even a grammatical error! She is now freelancing for magazines and newspapers in order to grow as a writer.


THE TREE-SIDE VIEW PEOPLE IN THE OLDEN DAYS KNEW ONLY ONE WAY OF HAVING THEIR BEARD SHAVED OR THEIR HAIRCUT– THEY HAD TO HEAD TO THE LOCAL, MAKESHIFT SHOP OF THE NAI (BARBER) PERCHED BELOW A TREE WITH A RAZOR IN ONE HAND, AND A MIRROR IN ANOTHER. WE REMINISCE THIS AGE-OLD TRADITION.

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words VRISHMA THANKI • image ANDREA MORONI & CAROL MITCHELL

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The naiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s speciality was delivering decent haircuts or shaves for less than the price of a good chai (tea) On a roadside, outside a railway station or at a busy market, you would usually spot a barber or nai. Waiting beneath the huge shade-givers, the naiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s speciality was delivering decent haircuts or shaves for less than the price of a good chai (tea). They spent their lives tending to males from all age brackets, preparing them for work, school, interviews and other significant events with regular trims and champis (oil massages).

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Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d often wondered why these barbers sit under trees. It seemed that back in the days of kings and palaces, the hajaams (as barbers are also called) were mostly people of lower caste with few means of earning money, and shaving and cutting hair required no particular qualifications. Following the crowd and constantly being on the move meant no fixed place to work. And since the Indian weather drenched people in either rain or sweat, setting up a shop under a tree offered protection from the rain and the sun god. In rural areas, the village tree was a meeting point where most of the crowd would gather, and this meant good business. In return, the nai would be given a piece of land or food grains. Barbers also played the role of match makers in those ancient days. They went from home to home exchanging news and in lieu of their services were paid handsomely. In many cultures across the country a barber held an important place in the marriage ceremonies too. I remember the first nai I encountered was just outside my home, and he had charged me 10-15 rupees for a cut, which seemed quite a luxury at that time. Current rates vary between 50 and150 rupees - somehow seem more reasonable. Time has seen the tools of the trade changing too, from the traditional blade to the razor and from trees to small shops with televisions.

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Recently, I explored the old city of Ahmedabad looking for a nai but found none by the roadside, as they are now the preserve of shoe polishers and tire repairers. Barber Sunil Bhai shifted from under the trees a few years ago; people prefer his shop, he says. The family business began with his father sitting under a tree outside the railway station, and Sunil took over when his father became too old to work. Most barbers have similar tales to share.


Image credit: flic.kr/p/aaurvQ

Indian men want more than just good shaves and

experiment with spikes, gels and French beards.

haircuts, he says; theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re venturing into colouring

Hajaam, nai or barber - they all evoke the same picture in the minds of Indians living in the past century: a man equipped with just a mirror, a chair, a radio and the morning paper, shaving, cutting or massaging heads under a tree. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a very desi (Indian) memory, one that we hold dear!

and beard shaping now. I asked him about his experiences; he laughed recalling everyone craving the Salman Khan haircut from Tere Naam or golden highlights like Shah Rukh Khan. With time, Indian men have moved away from the one-sided look and now

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Vrishma Thanki authored this piece. Her contribution reached us via our portal, theindiantrumpet.com. We thank her for her piece and welcome her to the family of Trumpet Blowers.


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THE BOLLYWOOD COIFFURES! WHETHER IT’S SADHNA’S FAMOUS FRINGE OR ANUSHKA SHARMA’S PIXIE CUT; NOT ONLY HAVE WE LOVED BOLLYWOOD’S COIFFURES WE’VE IMITATED THEM TOO. words AANANDIKA SOOD

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(Clockwise) Dimple Kapadia, Anushka Sharma,Nargis, Sharmila Tagore, Madhuri Dixit-Nene

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looking for ways to cover her broad forehead. He was the one who suggested she get fringes like Hepburn. This look also seemed to suit the role of the young, innocent and playful character that Sadhana was playing in the film and hence, the idea stuck. It landed her in a bit of soup though, because when Sadhana went on to play her next role as a village belle in Bimal Roy’s ‘Parakh’ (to be released at the same time), the director asked her to get rid of those bangs in order to fit into the character. Those fringes soon became her trademark though and bear her name till date. Now let us pay homage to the bouffant. Mumtaz and Sharmila Tagore carried it with aplomb and what can we say in praise of Asha Parekh who added a certain grace to the simple side-partitioned hair tied in a bun near the neck. (Psstt... credit also goes to her for elevating the status of simple, girly ribbons to the next level where you had to have one in every colour in your dresser).

Sadhana’s haircut, inspired by Audrey Hepburn’s famous fringes, brought frenzy in the ‘60s!

The wavy hairstyle became quite a rage after classic beauties such as Madhubala and Nargis carried them with the same panache that they carried their chiffon saris back in the 1950s. The simple style would draw attention to the face and hold it there. Akin to our Bolly beauties, the trend also came to be associated with a Hollywood diva and became a defining characteristic along with her pouty lips and curves. Any guesses who? Yes, the one and only Marilyn Monroe. Sadhana’s haircut, inspired by Audrey Hepburn’s famous fringes, brought frenzy in the ‘60s. The story behind her acquiring those famous bangs goes that the director of her first film ‘Love in Simla’, Ram Krishan Nayyar (whom she married later on) was

Parveen Babi brought in a particular sexiness to long straight hair during the ‘70s. She wore it as it was without any props and still managed to set the screen ablaze. Think ‘Shaan’ and the song ‘Pyaar karne wale jeete hain shaan se…’. Then there was Zeenat Aman sporting a shiny headband with a blingy dress while singing ‘Aap jaisa koi meri zindagi mein aaye…’ The end of this decade saw the rise of the teenage girl who was unaware of the magic of her crowning glory - Dimple Kapadia. Think ‘Saagar’. And then there was Madhuri Dixit-Nene in the ‘80s, with her soft curls and that million-dollar smile that continues to rule our hearts even now. Continuing our story in the present day, the role and the style of our beloved actresses continues to evolve. While

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IM AGE COURTES Y: EN .WIKIPEDIA .ORG

Years ago when there was hardly anything as aweinspiring as Bollywood, many of our screen actresses were trendsetters in more than one area. Be it their clothes, the way they spoke or tied their hair, actresses have managed to impact lives as well as many a young dreams then and now.

This hairstyle owes some of its popularity to Marie Antoinette who is credited with everything except inventing this hairdo and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis for sporting it. In this particular fashion, the entire hair is piled on top of the head by combing back and forth. Some of our heroines would decorate these with lovely knick-knacks such as pearls, and there were some who let the curls hanging till the side of their cheeks. Whatever it might have been, the bouffant made for a classic look and lent a certain elegant charm to the wearer.


(Top) Think Shammi Kapoor with his ducktail hairdo or John Travolta in ‘Grease’. (Bottom) Dev Anand’s hairstyle wherein the hair didn’t move even an inch from its designated place!

Priyanka Chopra made red the ‘new black’ in the dud ‘Love Story 2050’, Anushka Sharma’s pixie cut in ‘PK’ managed to take our breath away. She looked quite fresh in that look and though it had no predecessor in Bollywood, it did look somewhat similar to Halle Berry’s pixie cut when she played the ‘Bond’ girl. But hey! Who said our men have not been hair-savvy all this while? A personal favourite, Dev Anand, added immense style in all that he did, so how could his hair remain untouched. That particular hairstyle, wherein hair had to be combed behind and wasn’t supposed to move even an inch from its designated place, added to the actor’s polished style. His contemporaries soon followed suit. Think Shammi Kapoor with his ducktail hairdo or John Travolta in ‘Grease’. But credit should be given to the men of our times who have undoubtedly been more experimental with their hair, and I definitely mean trying styles beyond Sanjay Dutt’s long locks.

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And more… On the international scene, we have had many celebrities who have showed us the way. While women like Elizabeth Hurley, Mia Farrow, Madonna and even a certain Lady Gaga have been the torchbearers, men over the years such as Elvis Presley, George Clooney, David Beckham, and a young Justin Bieber too have held their own in making their hair speak from time to time. But besides these celebrities, we have a few people/ characters from various walks of life who have been known for their hairstyles. Here’s a look: Einstein, Marge Simpson, Medusa, Lady Godiva, Rapunzel, The Punk (Mohawk), Queen Elizabeth, and Geisha.

We’ve seen Aamir Khan with short spiky hair in ‘Dil Chahta Hai’, a bald look in ‘Ghajini’ and long locks in ‘Mangal Pandey: The Rising’ – how is that for variation! Salman Khan’s hairstyles have been copied as well, mostly by college-goers all over the country, especially when he grew his hair and wore them with a centre partition for ‘Tere Naam’. How could we not mention Big B, who has worn his locks, long and short, shorn them and carried a piggy tail while Junior B brought the hair band to men’s dressers. Amitabh Bachchan could also be credited for bringing sideburns to the fore during his heydays. Now you know how the hair story goes and we will be waiting to see who makes our hair stand next with his/ her style!

Aanandika Sood aspires to be the rolling stone that gathers a lot of moss. After 8 years of writing copies and columns, editing and scripting stories and honing her PR skills, she is now playing the part of a freelance writer and a mommie. She lives in Kolkata, blogs at aanandika.blogspot.in and writes on anything that stimulates her mind and merits comment.

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TRADITIONS CHOPPED & STYLED?

BOBBED, MOHAWK, TONSURED, SPIKED, PLAITED - HAIR IS WORN IN AS MANY WAYS AS PROBABLY THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE ON THIS PLANET. A PERSON’S HAIR MIGHT ALSO BE A ‘CLUE’ TO THEIR ETHNIC ANCESTRY. AS WE DWELL INTO HAIR FOLKLORE, TRADITIONS & RITUALS, WE FIND OUT WHAT LOSING THAT CLUE HAS MEANT TO TWO WOMEN FROM THE SIKH COMMUNITY. words AANANDIKA SOOD

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Hair, the distinctive feature of mammals that is made up of a tough protein called keratin is filled with hints about who we are and where we belong. Whatever style one may choose, our hair tells us something about the person. Its number and sheen might speak of age and health while its colour and texture could serve as a window to ethnic ancestry. In every culture there seems to exist a guideline telling people how to lead their lives, what to do or not to do. In some cultures people think that there are good and bad days for treating your hair. Many people think that you should not wash your hair on Thursday and cut them on Tuesday. There is also an old tradition that widows should shave their head, and an old Indian woman should never wear loose hair in public. It is also a tradition to cut your hair in a temple at least once in a lifetime. There were times when one would never think about deflecting from the shown course but things never remain the same always, do they? Change it is said is the only constant. Cases in point are the two communities of Sikhs and Tamilian Brahmins who have, since time immemorial, followed stringent rules with regards to their hair. In both the cultures it was forbidden, especially for women, to cut their hair. The tenth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh ordered the Sikhs to keep their hair intact since birth as a mark of respect to the creator’s intentions. Prerna Uppal who now lives in London with her husband and son was brought up in a Sikh household by a strict Sikh dad and a lenient Malayali mum. Living with their grandparents back then, she reminisces, “While growing

Kesh Lochan

It is common in Jainism where Sadhus and Sadhvis after receiving the diksha, pluck their hair, with their hands, twice a year or at least once a year. Why? Jain saints pluck their hair as a mark of renunciation of worldly pleasures during their Kesh Lochan ritual. Saints perform this ritual to motivate their followers to take the path of renunciation. Jains believe that plucking hair teaches them to endure pain.

up there was no question of cutting or styling my hair. I lived with my dad’s parents and they (dare I say we) followed a fairly traditional Sikh way of life. I was no Rapunzel but I had long hair and, to be honest, I loved them, except that I could stand anything but the tight pigtails granny used to tame them in.” So when did she rebel against the pigtails? Says Uppal, “When I started college, the first illusion of ‘true’ independence dawned on me. Off came the locks, but not too much. Oh dear no, no,” she laughs, “Just a trim here and there. By the time I left home for Masters, some major shearing took place.” Sharing her hair saga Megha Sandhu, who hails from a Chandigarh-based Sikh family, says, “The long, black, luscious locks have been the family’s pride. Any talk of getting them snipped always had melodramatic endings, given the religious sentiments involved.” “You think you’re looking like Madhuri Dixit,” her father had scoffed at her the first time she got her hair cut. “Erm, chopped into half,” says she. “It’s not like my father sports the turban, or ever sported one in my lifetime. But my mother’s long tresses were always a testimony to how I must carry the tradition forward,” she says. But then one day, it happened. High on finally landing a job, Sandhu picked up courage and told her parents that she was going for a trim, and that the damned scissor was finally going to ‘soil’ her sacred tresses. “But once in the salon, the wicked stylists took over and the first snip left me with a not-so-long lock of hair,” she laughs.

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So what did she feel about the family’s pride being severed? “All I remember was the horror on my mother’s face, and the disdain on my father’s. On a scale of crisis to war, that day was one hell of a Cold War. And let’s not even talk about the reaction of my extended family!” Winning back her parents’ confidence took epic effort! Though love has been restored in the Sandhu household and her parents have made peace with her ‘hair cut’, her soft-spoken mother recently threatened to walk out of a salon when one of the stylists


Draupadi’s vow to keep her hair untied: Did you know?

According to Ancient Hindu traditions, a married woman always ties her hair. She only keeps her hair open when her husband dies. Draupadi broke this old tradition in the famous epic, Mahabharat.Draupadi had long and beautiful hair that she kept untied for 13 years. She took the vow when she was dragged by her tresses by Dushasan. In the great gambling match, which the eldest brother, Yudhisthir, played at Hastinapur against his cousins, the Kauravas, he lost his all - his kingdom, his brothers, himself, and their wife Draupadi. So, she became a slave, and Duryodhan called her to come and sweep the room. When she refused, Dushasan dragged her by the hair into the pavilion before all the chieftains, and tauntingly told her that she was a slave girl, and had no right to complain of being touched by men. He also abused her and tore off her veil and dress, while Duryodhan invited her to sit on his thigh. It was Lord Krishna, who took compassion upon her, and restored her respect. At this time, Bhim vowed in loud words that he would drink Dushasan’s blood and smash Duryodhan’s thigh. However, since Draupadi had been insulted, she vowed that her hair should remain disheveled until Bhim tie them up with his hands dripping with the blood of Dushasan. Her open hair kept on reminding the Pandavas about her insult. Later when Bhim killed Dushasan, he brought the blood of Dushasan for Draupadi. Only after she bathed her hair with Dushasan’s blood did Draupadi tie her hair again.

suggested she get a trim. “Hair today will remain here tomorrow as well,” she signs off. But on the other side of the globe, guilt comes pinching Prerna from time to time with regards to her haircut. In her own words, “Call it love or fear, every time I visit home, I try to lock the bob into a semblance of a bun, to keep the grandparents from feeling disappointed. “ Amongst Tamilian Brahmins too, long hair is a matter of immense pride. There are many bonds that a girl-child born in that family carries with her for life. Sapna Iyer, who lives in Kolkata with her husband and daughter, has hair that reaches her knees. “Women are supposed to have long hair. Those who chop their hair are not respected in the South Indian community,” remarks Sapna. “They are scorned and derided for not toeing the religious line,” she adds. There is also a prescribed manner in which hair should be kept - put jasmine or roses in the hair, or tie it in a neat plait. “Open hair is considered inauspicious down South and one cannot comb their hair after the evening lamps have been lit,” she informs. Another ritual, one which she herself desists, involves washing hair on every auspicious day. “Ladies from our community have to take a head bath on Purnima, Amavasya, on the first day of the month according to the Hindu calendar and on all other important days, which accounts for almost 300 days in a year considering the number of auspicious days we believe in,” she sighs.

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(The views expressed in the piece are solely of the readers. Signed articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editor or the publication.)

Aanandika Sood aspires to be the rolling stone that gathers a lot of moss. After 8 years of writing copies and columns, editing and scripting stories and honing her PR skills, she is now playing the part of a freelance writer and a mommie. She lives in Kolkata, blogs at aanandika.blogspot.in and writes on anything that stimulates her mind and merits comment.

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trumpet lead

IN TH

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NDIAN MEN & HAIR HE STEREOTYPES! GROWING UP IN INDIA ONE COULDN’T HELP BUT HAVE PRECONCEIVED IDEAS ABOUT BOYS AND MEN, DEPENDING ON HOW THEY STYLED THEIR HAIR AND WORE THEIR MOUSTACHES & BEARDS. HERE’S THE LONG AND SHORT OF A FEW STEREOTYPES THAT SPRING UP EACH TIME WE TALK OF INDIAN MEN AND HAIR. words VIREN PAREKH

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trumpet lead

Of men and shaving lessons Most men recall the first shaving lesson they got from their dads as young boys with a sense of pride and nostalgia. The precise motions (top to bottom and never reverse, lest you want a rough stubble!), the shaving brush grooming and the final bite of the aftershave lotion were all a bonding process for sons and dads. For days after the first lesson, anxious dads would keep a wary watch on their sons, half afraid they would cut themselves up! It continues to be a lovely tradition with dads holding the hands of their sons as they walk the path towards adulthood. Of men and moustaches Since generations, Indian men have regarded the moustache as a must. It is no surprise then, that an Indian holds the record for having the longest moustache in the world (a staggering 14ft!). Traditionally, the moustache was considered as a sign of masculinity and virility. Thus, a man wore a well-groomed moustache with immense pride. In the past, men have also been known to wager their moustaches over random bets and gambles, promising to shave them off if they lost. Over time, interesting urbane Indian moustache associates have appeared and disappeared. For longest, Bollywood and cricket celebrities, who are arguably the style icons for most Indian men have increasingly sported a clean-shaven look. As the Kapil Devs, Anil Kumbles and Kishore Kumars gave way to

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the MS Dhonis and Sachin Tendulkars, and Shah Rukh Khans, the moustache has somewhat succumbed to the sharp edges of time and some even regarded it as unfashionable. Growing up in the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;90s, I remember that we were quick to dismiss boys who were the first to grow any amount of facial hair as â&#x20AC;&#x153;unclesâ&#x20AC;?. Somehow, not having a moustache was considered as being more youthful! The moustache thus evokes strong opinions and has divided the Indian males in two strata: those who love them and others who love to hate them! While some associate the moustache with a corrupt government worker or the typical paanwallah on the road, others regard it as a matter of macho pride! But there are still few who wear it with panache! Think the handlebar moustache worn by the cricketer Shikhar Dhawan. Or Ranveer Singh. Just when we had stopped drooling over his handlebar look in Ram Leela, he was back wearing another look in Bajirao Mastani. Of men and beards Like the moustache, the beard is another contentious fashion choice for men. The general perception about beards is that they are usually sported by sadhus (hermits) and brooding, gloomy men. Sure enough, almost all the sadhus and most men going through a tough phase in life (break-up or loss of loved ones, etc.) tend to sport long, haggard beards. There are thus


a barrage of questions reserved for men who sport a beard: Is everything alright, are you sad or unhappy about something? Are you becoming a sadhu or something? These are followed by a few personal ones too: Does your wife/ girlfriend like it?

hair, in the name of discipline. Having long hair instantly got one classified as a junkie or a sad guy who just ended a long relationship. For others, to express one’s own individuality and keep long hair would only invite trouble and sarcastic comments like - Act like a guy!

As a child, a bearded man almost always set off the alarm bells for me. The beard somehow made the man look fierce and dangerous, and we were told to stay away from the bearded ones. Bollywood is to be blamed for this, the villains always sported the beard, if not a long flowing one. Whilst sporting a beard has its own complexities, shaving it off too is no small matter either.

Of men and no hair Yes the long haired men have their share of troubles, but their woes fade away when compared with the plight of bald men. Colloquially called the taklus, the bald men have had a miserable time dealing with the nasty jibes and pitiful looks which are thrown at them! While it is sad for a man to lose his hair, it is downright funny how some try to hold on to the last few strands of hair left on the sides and back, just to escape being called a taklu. And then there are the voluntary taklus! For years, these men have confounded their loved ones and acquaintances by voluntarily choosing to sport a bald look. For the average Indian, it is difficult to stomach the fact that someone would actually shave off their hair, in the name of fashion.

Of men and their love for women with long hair Long hair has for long been associated with Indian women. I have lost count of how so many expat men here in Dubai have asked me if all Indian girls have long luscious locks, with a dreamy look in their eyes. Most of us have witnessed first-hand, our sisters/ friends/ colleagues struggling with their parents when they decide to sport short hair. You’ll look like a boy!, This is unbecoming of a girl!, What will people say? are the standard arguments thrown in by the mothers. The stereotype has also been nurtured to a great extent by the depiction of women having long hair in fairy tales (Rapunzel), TV advertisements and most movies. It’s only lately we saw Anushka Sharma sport a pixie cut. Of men and long hair If you have lived long enough in India, you will know about the trauma a guy with long hair goes through. Right through school, boys would not be allowed to have long

Now, times are changing though. We are breaking free from these stereotypes. Is the moustache still an embodiment of an old India – the old government employees, the pan (betel-leaf) spitting cop, and our grandfathers - not when worn right. Conversely, men are now freely growing their hair long and there is less stigma attached to it. The environment is now a lot more accommodating in terms of expressing one’s individuality. Long hair, short hair or no hair, having a moustache or shaving it off, India has come a long way from the old dusty stereotypes it used to have about hair.

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Viren Parekh, an internal auditor by profession, moved to Dubai in 2014. An avid cricket fan, on ‘match’ days you’d find him enjoying a drink and watching the game. On other days, he loves to read & write and play the guitar. This traveller nurtures a dream: To set foot on each continent in this lifetime. You can write to him at viren.parekh@gmail.com.


fashion fry

THE HAIR PIECES! DID YOU KNOW THAT THERE IS A RESEARCH IN PLACE THAT SAYS THAT YOUR HAIR IS THE FIRST THING THAT ANYONE NOTICES ABOUT YOU (FIRST TIME AND EVERY TIME). THAT’S PROBABLY WHY THERE IS A BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY OUT THERE TRYING TO SELL YOU HAIR CARE AND STYLING PRODUCTS. HERE’S A BIT THAT YOU CAN DO TO SPRUCE UP YOUR LOOK – THESE QUICK-FIX, HOME-GROWN FASHION IDEAS WILL NOT ONLY SAVE YOU FROM BAD HAIR DAYS BUT WILL ALSO MAKE YOU LOOK FABULOUS, INSTANTLY! BASED ON THE OCCASION, PICK AND CHOOSE YOUR STYLE TO MATCH WITH YOUR MOOD (AND OUTFIT) OF THE DAY. GO AHEAD – GET GORGEOUS AND AS ALWAYS… MAKE A STATEMENT!

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words NASRIN MODAK-SIDDIQI images SAHIL M BEG & RAMNATH BHAT


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Wear your shine - Maang Tikkas Be a glamorous traditional chica with this delicate but fab chandeliers that are an intricate part of our heritage. Whether it is the one that hangs on the mid-partition of the hair onto the forehead or it’s a ‘jhoomar’ or ‘passa’ that droops on the left side of the temple, ‘tikkas’ add a royal appeal to a traditional attire. You can choose from countless designs, like the triangular motifs, round patterns and fan shaped figures depending on the rest of your jewellery. Vintage but oh-so alluring indeed. Uber cool - Hair cuffs Hot and popular, looks like these magnificent hair accessories have made a fashion entry straight off the ramps. The best part about them is that they are totally wearable. Taking cue from the traditional ‘maang tikkas’, these beautiful, sleek chains can be worn on both Indian and western outfits. Its beauty lies in its delicateness and the tiny gemstone charms will uplift your look in a jiffy. Did we say Greek goddess? Maybe! Twist in tale – Juda sticks There is something so, so intense about the fact that your hair buns and updos are held by just one pretty lil

stick. From simple plastic ones and rich wooden twigs to the more ornate metal slim rods, one gentle pull and the bun comes apart. Sensuous. Sigh! Best friends forever- Hairbands Doesn’t matter if you have a pixie cut or poker straight hair or mad, mad curls, this is such a simple but elegant way to add the final touch to your look. From plain and printed cloth ones to more sophisticated gemstone ones (and feather ones too), bands are a great method for tucking away any unwanted fringes and spicing up your look. Embellish your crown with a style that spells just you. Joy of thrills - Flowers Nothing adorns the Indian head of a woman better than flowers. From short and long strands of scented ‘mogra’ in a bunch to a simple rose (or a shoe flower for that laidback I-am-on-the-beach look) tucked on the ear, this is one hair accessory that you cannot go wrong with. It is such an intricate part of our past. Spread the cheer and add a neat twist to your hair story with fashion that is fresh and fragrant. (More on the flowers i.e. ‘gajra’! Don’t miss reading that - in another piece in this edition)

fashion fry

Image Credit: flic.kr/p/ePbTwU

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Nasrin Modak-Siddiqi is a writer, foodie, traveller and a movie-buff. She has a lot of stories to tell, some real and many that are a figment of her imagination. Currently on a sabbatical from a full-time writerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s job, her motivation to get out of bed is the promise of a good trip, meal, book, movie or all of them. Her latest pastime is writing fiction, clicking photographs and editing old ones to make them look more dramatic. She can be found at continuumera. blogspot.com.


They call me,

Rapunzel! AS I BRAID MY HAIR EACH MORNING I AM REMINDED OF ONE OF MY FAVOURITE QUOTES BY KHALIL GIBRAN: AND FORGET NOT THAT THE EARTH DELIGHTS TO FEEL YOUR BARE FEET AND THE WINDS LONG TO PLAY WITH YOUR HAIR. words RITU DUA image RITU DUA’S PERSONAL ALBUM

Through this piece, I have yet another chance to narrate the story of my long hair. Correction, of my very, very long hair. They are just an inch above my feet. To some the sight of my locks is beautiful, to some amazing, and a few find it scary too, but all do find it fascinating.

diary of an indian

As a little girl, my parents preferred to keep my hair short, so that both mum and I could manage it. My hair was thick and lustrous even then. I remember my father taking me to a salon for a haircut, and the stylist asking if he could keep the chopped hair and turn it into a wig. As a child, I even sported the very popular Sadhana cut. Hair brings a lot of memories to my mind. I still cherish the innumerable oil massages given by my mum. The ritual would start every Saturday evening when she’d liberally pour hot coconut oil on her palm and massage it all over my head. The next morning she would give me a head bath and the fragrant shampoo would leave the little girl in me enchanted. The first shampoo I ever used was Halo Nourishing shampoo with Natural Protein Egg. I remember those oil massages continued until I got

married and I still try to get one from her whenever I get a chance! Oh, what a luxury it was! Are you reading this Maa? Disney movies too fascinated me. Stunning, voluminous hair swaying in the wind and those hairstyles topped with a tiara were enough to make long hair a style statement. But it was only when I entered college that I started growing my hair. By the time I graduated, I had been nicknamed Rapunzel! I guess I did get inspired by my English Literature professor whose hair reached her waist. Of course, I owe mine to my genes; mum had beautiful, thick, soft hair when she was young as well. My crowning glory has always helped me make new friends, and I am often asked the big secret behind the long locks. I also try to tell them that there have been times when I have stepped on my own braid, or sit on it, accidently! It’s definitely not easy to maintain them, but I feel my mane is the source of all my powers, and who knows, maybe I was actually a mermaid in my last life!

Ritu Dua, a banker and teacher, now focusses on what she enjoys most: art. Self-taught, her forte is mixed media. Besides her charity exhibitions, she’s worked with an NGO, shown underprivileged children how to turn recyclables into art, and volunteers at Dubai’s Al Noor School. She has recently moved from Dubai to Mumbai, India and is spreading the love of art there. She also celebrates all things delicious at beneathmyheartart.blogspot.

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idhar udhar

HAIR TODAY, GONE TOMORROW! EXPERIENCING ANOTHER BAD HAIR DAY? WELL, WHO DOESN’T! A GLORIOUS CROWN OF SHINY AND HEALTHY HAIR CAN REALLY MAKE OR BREAK YOUR ENTIRE LOOK. DON’T LOSE YOUR MIND OVER FALLING STRANDS, SIMPLY SING ‘I AM NOT MY HAIR!’ words NAMRATA MANGHNANI

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Hair loss is a major concern in mostly all parts of the world. People have gone to great lengths to reduce, if not stop, their beautiful tresses from growing in the opposite direction of its roots, and drifting towards chemicals and stress. They must have used umpteen number of hair treatments and products, visited a trichologist at least once in their life, read about the causes and possible home-remedies on the web, and some may have even considered hypnotic treatment to reduce stress. Then there are those who have a severe case of androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern baldness, who resort to hair transplants. We’ve got some off-beat techniques through which one can improve the condition one is stuck in – stressed about hair falling out, or want to ensure it doesn’t start, or are just plain paranoid when you see even one strand lying around - try them out, if not for hair, then for a good laugh! There’s a Hindi movie by the name of ‘Hair is Falling’ that released in 2011 and highlights the problem of hair fall in youngsters. It is centered around a model who experiences personal and career-related challenges after his hair starts to fall, and tries a number of remedies to make his hair grow, including rubbing onion juice on it, applying Phenyl (household cleaner), fresh cow urine, as well as rubbing his knuckles. People start calling him Uncle ji (uncle) and his concerned parents who are aware of his ‘aging’ looks, pressurise him to tie the knot soon. If nothing else, this movie is sure to make you have a good laugh at your helpless condition and remind you that you are not alone. Life becomes good when you can look at your problems with a sense of humour. But what if your wit is the reason behind your problem (hair loss)? Here’s a funny take on how satirists lose a sum of hair each time they post something funny: Wracking one’s brains constantly to come up with a joke or two

“IF IT’S NOT WHAT’S ON YOUR HEAD, IT’S WHAT’S UNDERNEATH AND SAY HEY… DOES THE WAY I WEAR MY HAIR MAKE ME A BETTER PERSON? DOES THE WAY I WEAR MY HAIR DETERMINE MY INTEGRITY?” - INDIA ARIE

involves a lot of sleepless nights and loss of one’s lustrous manes. “It’s great when people laugh at what you write, but it’s also very sad to see yourself in the mirror each time and painfully realise that you’ve lost so much hair. We don’t know if it’s the politician’s curse or god’s way of punishing us, but making fun of others does come at a cost,” says Ashwin, a columnist for The UnReal Times, while pulling his hair out. Looking for a free hair loss solution? Then Ofer is your go-to guy! He makes it sound as if hair loss can be fun and has even started monetising on men’s premature balding issue. After dealing with hair loss for five theindiantrumpet.com

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years, and having considered all the possible solutions, he made a tough decision to go bald. Looking at the mirror he realised ‘something is missing’, and his heart knew the answer – ‘hair loss is missing!’ He felt ‘reborn’ and loved his look so much, that he has now decided to show those people who lack imagination or those who have run out of ideas for hair loss treatment, what it looks like when they go bald. With his ‘Balderize Me’ (baldlygo.com/virtualHeadShave. html) concept, he allows people to purchase four different bald looks. He says “Since I’m also an animator I use my knowledge of head anatomy and my experiences of balderizing hundreds of heads while also paying a great deal of attention to figure out what the head shape should look like. My goal is not making you look good but to get it to look as accurate as I can so that you can make the best decision about shaving your head”. And finally, if you’re feeling depressed about hair loss, go listen to this song by India Arie that not only empowers but also reminds you to focus on what’s more important -‘I am not my hair’, whose lyrics go like: “If it’s not what’s on your head, it’s what’s underneath and say Hey… Does the way I wear my hair make me a better person? Does the way I wear my hair determine my integrity?”

idhar udhar

If you are stressing over mild hair loss, any one of the above techniques might do the trick. But if you have heavy to moderate hair loss, then rest assured, you will need to attack it with multiple products all from different angles!

(Views expressed in the piece are solely as stated by the individuals in various interactions with media. Signed articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editor or the publication.)

QUICK FACTS ABOUT HAIR LOSS 1. Alopecia Areata is the medical term for spot balding or severe hair loss. 2.

Everybody sheds between 40-150 strands of hair per day.

3.

While 40% of women have female pattern hair loss by the time they go through menopause, 50% of men have male pattern hair loss by the age of 50.

4.

Crash dieting can cause temporary hair loss.

5.

For it to be apparent that you are balding, you would have to lose 50% of your hair.

6.

Each hair follicle grows a completely new hair about 20 times in a lifetime.

7.

Thyroid imbalance, selected drugs, iron deficiency can cause hair loss.

8.

Women lose a lot of hair after giving birth. This is due to their hormones regulating back to normal.

9.

If you pluck one hair, a new one will start growing from the follicle.

10. The average life span of a strand of hair is 4-7 years. 11. At any random time, 90% of the hair on a head is in a growing phase (anagen), while the other 10% is in a resting phase (catagen). When hair goes into the telogen phase, it sheds. 12. Hair transplantation is the only permanent solution for hair loss.

Namrata Manghnani believes she’s a permanent tourist, who cannot stop exploring the world and getting fascinated by the little things in life. Born and brought up in Dubai, she has graduated in Finance from Manchester, and decided to change career paths recently. She enjoys writing about emotions, dances for inspiration, and aspires to become an author one day. This desi girl possesses an eye for detail, and would never miss that butterfly fluttering around or even a grammatical error! She is now freelancing for magazines and newspapers in order to grow as a writer.

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At Orange Kitchens we believe that children who are more involved in preparing food are more likely to try out new flavours on their plates, respect their food, respect where the food that they eat comes from and in the process wipe their plates clean. When we teach them â&#x20AC;&#x153;realâ&#x20AC;? cooking we talk about where that dish came from (history & geography & learning about different food habits), we follow a certain method (science and following instructions), we are measuring (maths), we are trying to choose the right ingredients (lessons on nutrition and using fresh produce), we share how our elders would always make it or how each Diwali/Christmas/Eid our parents would eat this as a kid (getting to know their family and their traditions better) and of course each time we cook we encourage them to add their special little touch to it... replace that chive with basil, chocolate chips instead of vanilla, serve it differently (getting creative and adventurous)... now that is quite a lot of learning while putting together just one simple dish. While the kids think we are just here in for some fun! For all this and more, send your kidlets to become a part of the food lessons at Orange Kitchens.

Call +971554193522, drop a line at orangekitchens.blogspot@gmail.com, or visit us at orangekitchens.blogspot.ae


shampoo, Indian from root to tip? THERE’S BEEN A STORY DOING THE ROUNDS THAT SHAMPOO WAS INVENTED IN INDIA. IS THAT REALLY THE CASE? WE CLEAR THE (H)AIR HERE… words NAMRATA MANGHNANI

our shabdkosh

Developed at the end of the 19th century, the practice of shampooing has aided many a filthy hair. But what happened before that is a story known only to some. The word ‘shampoo’ is derived from the Hindi word ‘‘chãmpo’’ that comes from the Sanskrit root ‘chapayati’, which means “to press/knead/soothe”. It entered the English dictionary from India way back in 1762 and was used to refer to the head massage provided to the Nawabs of Bengal during the Mughal Empire. Alternatively, if one wanted a ‘shampoo’, they were simply asking for a full-body massage and would be pummelled by a masseur/ masseuse, slathered with various oils and lotions. And only if they lasted through the entire process, would their hair be washed. So who brought this term and service to the limelight, one may wonder. Well, this process was adopted by Britain thanks to a Bengali entrepreneur by the name of Sake Dean Mahomed in 1814, who, together with his Irish wife, opened a shampooing bath known as ‘Mahomed’s Steam and Vapour Sea Water Medicated Baths’ in Brighton, England. His baths were quite similar to the Turkish Baths, which

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offered clients an Indian treatment of ‘champi’ (shampooing) or therapeutic massages. He went on to receive the title of ‘Shampooing Surgeon’ and served both George IV and William IV. He wrote a series of letters which were later published as ‘Travels’ in 1794. In one letter, Mahomed acquainted his reader with the technique of this Indian therapeutic massage


As early as the 1500s, people in India used the pulp of soapberries with herbs and flowers to keep their hair on point

that included “the practice of champing, which was derived from the Chinese.” Mahomed quotes from “the ancients,” that a “female masseuse/shampooer, with her agile art, runs over his body and spreads her skilled hands over all his limbs.” In other words, relative to modern massage therapy, the shampooer “rubs (the client’s) limbs, and cracks the joints of the wrist and fingers…(which) supples the joints, but procures a brisker circulation to the fluids apt to stagnate, or loiter through the veins, from the heat of the climate” (Mahomed 1997). It was only after 1860 though, that ‘shampoo’ attained its exclusive modern-day meaning of “washing the hair”. Shortly thereafter, the word was used as a noun which either referred to the act of shampooing or the special soap used on the scalp. During the initial stages of this product, English hairstylists boiled shaved soap in water and added herbs (mostly imported from India) to give the hair extra shine along with some fragrance. Kasey Herbert was the first known person to use this method to wash the hair and hence was soon referred to as the creator of commercial shampoo.

There was a time when soap and shampoo were classified in the same category of cleansing, as they both contained surfactants - a type of detergent. Modern shampoo, as it is known today in its processed form such that it can be stored and transferred to bottles, was first introduced in the 1930s with Drene, the first synthetic (non-soap) shampoo. So you see, the ‘tip’ of this hair story is that Indians have made a contribution towards the greater development of ‘shampoo’, if not the finished product per se.

Lather, rinse, repeat •

A variety of herbs and their extracts have been used as shampoos in India since ancient times. One effective method of creating the product was boiling Sapindus (soapberries or soapnuts) with dried Indian gooseberry (aamla). By using the strained extract, hair would become soft, shiny and manageable.

Other products used for hair cleansing were shikakai (acacia concinna), hibiscus flowers, ritha (sapindus mukorrossi) and arappu (albizia amara).

Guru Nanak, a Sikh guru and the founder of Sikhism, had apparently made a couple of references to the soapberry tree and soap in the 16th century.

In India, the traditional hair massage is still common. Different oils and formulations with herbs are used; these include neem, shikakai or soapnut, henna, bael, brahmi, fenugreek, buttermilk, amla, aloe, and almond in combination with some aromatic components like sandalwood, jasmine, turmeric, rose, and musk.

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Namrata Manghnani believes she’s a permanent tourist: she loves to explore the world and gets fascinated by the little things in life. Born and brought up in Dubai, she graduated in Finance from Manchester, and changed career paths, recently. She enjoys writing about emotions, dances for inspiration, and aspires to be an author. She possesses an eye for detail: would never miss a fluttering butterfly or a grammatical error. She is now freelancing for magazines and newspapers, and growing as a writer with each word she pens down.


IN A LIFETIME! TIRED OF EATING UNHEALTHY MEALS, PROCESSED FOODS AND TAKEAWAYS? FIND SOLACE IN COOKING WITH DINNERTIME! EAT HEALTHY, LOVELY MEALS, PLUS SAVE AN UNBELIEVABLE AMOUNT OF TIME. THE NUMBERS ARE DOING THE TALKING HERE, WE AREN’T.

Every time we read an article on ‘eating healthy’ in a newspaper, magazine or website, we get geared up to follow the advice. It’s like the whole universe conspiring to tell us to ditch those fries or steer clear of packaged foods (on repeat mode!). Then come self-promises of eating meals filled with fresh, crisp, green leafy vegetables and superfoods. Who doesn’t love a dinner table filled with wholesome, nourishing meals that are home-cooked, but making these healthy meals require a refrigerator full of fresh supplies and a bookshelf full of cookbooks with healthy recipes, right? Plus, it requires a whole lot of time. Not to forget the most discouraging factor: Each time you plan to cook a particular dish, there is always some ingredient missing in your cupboard, or worse is lying there with an expired tag.

Food Arithmetic Okay, let’s do the Math. If life was measured in hours, then here’s what a focused trip to the supermarket will lead to. We spend three months of our life just in traffic to reach the closest supermarket. Add to that 37 hours in drawing up groceries list and a full seven months of our lifetime in just standing in supermarket queues. Steep, right? As

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for the meal, we consume it in 10 minutes or so! Now imagine if someone took care of the planning and handling all the grocery woes for us and just like a genie handed us a box of all the ingredients needed to make a nice, sumptuous meal in under-30 minutes. Wouldn’t life be magical? Of course, cooking is therapeutic but the peripheral premeal hard work does make it energy-draining. That’s why a service like DinnerTime feels like it is god-sent and designed for people like us who find the whole planning and grocery shopping process a bit taxing. It isn’t one of those run-off-the-mill services, it’s a thought that could change the way you look at dinner time forever!

Magical Supper So here’s what DinnerTime does… they ensure you don’t get a headache by planning your weekly menu and then doing the grocery shopping for it. Later, they ring your doorbell and deliver the ingreidents and recipes at your doorstep. That saves you some valuable time, gas, and effort (read money). With AED450 for four meals for four persons – you only end up spending about AED28 per serving for a home cooked meal. And there


is minimum wastage. But the best part is that you get four brand new recipes every week. And because they are test cooked and tasted by a team of chefs, you can be assured that it isn’t experimental food. All you need to do is to just go online, order from a menu option of standard, gluten-free, vegetarian and paleo, and you are sorted for the week.

Genie in a box Explore your culinary skills as you make hassle-free home-cooked gourmet meals. Every Sunday, a new box holding all the ingredients you’ll need to cook the pre-decided four meals for the week will be delivered at your doorstep, alongside easy-to-understand and cook recipes. There’ll be plenty of great quality, organic and locally grown vegetables – an aisle one usually avoids at the supermarket since our brains are mostly wired to reach out to fast and processed foods. We hear they are now delivering fruits too! You’ll soon see how peaceful it is to cook a wellbalanced meal for the family, and that too from scratch using fresh raw ingredients. Meanwhile, you get to discover new cuisines and foods, understand interesting spice combinations and enjoy the whole learning process. It’s like impressing your loved ones with a new dish every night. Indeed, they too will get excited to know what’s coming ‘out of the box’ today. Interestingly, you will learn to cook things that you would otherwise

never think of buying or trying to prepare. On some nights, the whole family can get involved to have a fun cooking session in the kitchen. Each recipe takes just about 30 minutes to prepare and cook. That versus hours of struggle to plan and buy groceries…you’ll know why DinnerTime is a better proposition. Bonus: In no time, you will be called a star chef in your friends and social circle! With all that time you save, use it as a ‘me’ period for reading books, watching classics or book yourself a spa! Now that’s what we call, a total win-win deal!

To know more visit: dinnertime.me Follow them: facebook.com/DinnerTimeUAE & twitter. com/dinnertimeUAE Subscribe: Simply subscribe to the service, and save yourself the botheration of remembering to order each week. Plus, it will allow you to skip week/s too. Write to them: info@dinnertime.me Call at: +971-55-790 87 33

3 months in a lifetime stuck in traffic + 37 hours in drawing up groceries list + 7 months in supermarket queues + 2.5 years in cooking + 3.66 years eating, about 67 mins a day + 17 years of our lives to lose weight + In short a lifetime gone in planning, buying, cooking, eating and then losing weight! Vs. 30 minutes of cooking a meal with DinnerTime!

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Numbers courtesy: Various research figures on such topics available on the Internet.


यातायात का असली मज़ा!

horn OK please

words MRIDULA MOHAN

Image credit: commons.wikimedia.org

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;krk;kr ds lk/ku rks vkt Hkh ogha gS tks igys gksrs Fks ysfdu fodkl ds lkFk&lkFk mudks Hkh vk/kqfudj.k gks pqdk gSA lkFk gh euq”; us Hkh /khjs&/khjs izxrh dh vkSj mldh vko”;drk;sa Hkh c<+ xbZ gSaA mlds ikl vkus tkus ds dbZ fodYi gSa tks fd og viuh bPNkuqlkj pquko dj ldrk gS gokbZ tgkt] jsy vkSj clA igys le; esa Hkh ;gh lk/ku Fks ij ml le; vkfFkZd fLFkfr ftudh cgqr vPNh gks rks ogh gokbZ tgkt }kjk tkrs Fks vU;Fkk tu lk/kkjk.k O;fä jsy vkSj cl }kjk gh tkrs FksA fudV tkuk gks cl vkSj nwj ds fy;s jsy dh lqfo/kk miyC/k gqvk djrh FkhA uCHks ¼90½ ds n”kd esa eq>s ;kn vkrk gS fd ml le; euq’; ds ikl le; dh mruh ikcanh ugha gksrh Fkh og vkjke ls tkrk Fkk vkSj jsy ;k=k dk iwjk vkuUn ysrk Fkka A eSa vius vuqHko ls crk ldrh gw¡ fd lkekU; ifjokj NqfV~V;ksa esa ?kweus tkus ds fy;s jsy ;k=k dk pquko djrk FkkA ifjokj le; ls dqN {k.k iw.kZ gh LVs”ku igq¡p dj cM+h mRlqdrk ls jsy dk bUrtkj djrk FkkA lkFk gh

mlds cPps ihNs ls vius firk dk vuqlj.k djrs gqos ,d Vd yxk dj jsy dks vkrs gqos ns[krs FksA muds psgjs ij izlUurk o ,d mRlqdrk Li”V fn[kkbZ nsrh FkhA jsy LVs”ku ij igq¡prs gh dqfy;ksa dh iqdkj “kq# gks tkrh Fkh vkSj lHkh ;k=h HkxnM+ epk dj vius daikVZesUV esa cSB tkrs FksA uCHks ds n”kd esa cSBus dh lhVsa ydM+h izFke vkSj f}rh; Js.kh dh Dykl esa dqN vPNh xn~nh okyh lhVsa gksrh FkhaA ysfdu ;k=h ydM+h dh lhV esa cSB dj mruk gh vkuUn ysrs Fks ftruk fd xn~nhnkj lhV esa ys ldrs FksA bl izdkj /khjs&/khjs jsy ;k=k “kq# gksrs gh VhVh fVdV pSd djrk Fkk og rks vkt Hkh mlh rjg ls gksrk gSA ysfdu ml le; eq>s ;kn vkrk gS fd cPps f[kM+dh ds ikl okyh lhVksa esa cSBus ds y;s cgqr vkrqj fn[kkbZ nsrs Fks vkSj yEch ;k=k ds nkSjkurks xkaoksa vkSj [ksr] unh] ukyksa ds n`”; ns[krs gqos vkSj mldk vkuUn ysrs gqos lQj u tkus dSls dV tkrk FkkA jsy ds lQj dh lcls cM+h fo”ks’krk ;g Fkh fd lHkh ,d Lrj ds yksx gksrs Fks vkSj vk/ks fnu ds lQj esa cgqr ?kfu’Vrk gks tkrh Fkh vkSj izR;sd vius dks vPNk lkfcr djus ds fy;s cM+h vkSipkfjdrk ls is”k vkrk FkkA ftlds dkj.k vkil esa lHkh ds ?kfu’V lEcU/k

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cu tkrs FksA eSus ;gk¡ rd ns[kk fd og Hkkstu Hkh vkil esa ckaV dj [kkrs FksA lQj ds le; NksVs&cM+s LVs”ku esa jsy 5 ls 10 feuV rd #drh FkhA eSus ns[kk gs fd ifjokj dk eqf[k;k cPpksa dh t:jr ds eqrkfcd [kkus ds fy;s piVVh phtsa o pk; [kjhn dj ykrs Fks ftlls fd ;k=k dk vkuUn vkSj Hkh c<+ tkrk Fkk bl lHkh izdkj ;k=h [kkrs ihrs gq, o v[kckj i<+rs gqos le; xqtkj nsrs FksA ,d ;k=h ;fn v[kckj [kjhnsxk rks mls yxHkx 10&15 ;k=h vkSj i<+ ysrs Fks ftlds dkj.k jsy ;k=k esa nksLrh vkSj ?kfu’V gks tk;k djrh FkhA ;k=h mrjus ls iwoZ viuk irk ,d nwljs ls nsuk u Hkwyrs FksA lQj ds nkSjku iwjs le; ^^pk; xje** ;k ^^dkSQh** dh iqdkj lqukbZ nsrh FkhA jk=h gksrs gh lHkh ;k=h viuh&viuh cFkZ esa ysV tk;k djrs FksA dqN ;k=h jkr es Hkh p<+&mrj djrs jgrs Fks ftlds dkj.k pgy&igy eph gksrh FkhA lqcg&lqcg ^^pk; xje** dh iqdkj ^^pk; okyk** fpYyk fpyyk dj cksyrk FkkA lqcg&lqcg mBdj pk; ihdj lHkh vkSipkfjdrk ls fucV dj rS¸;kj gksdj cSBrs Fks vkSj vius LFkku esa igqapus dh jkg ns[krs FksA

vkt ds bl fodkl”khy lnh o n”kd esa cgqr u;s&u;s lk/ku gSa vkSj cgqr fodflr :i esa lkeus vk jgs gSaA gokbZ tgkt esa vUnj tkus ds fy;s ,;jiksVZ ls gh lh/kk ,d dsfcu }kj ls vUnj igq¡prs gSa vksj jsy esa ,;j dUMh”ku fMCcs o lk/kkj.k fMCcs gSa ftles fd ;k=h viuh&viuh lqfo/kk ls tkrs gSaA jsy ds vUnj gh [kkus dk izcU/k gksrk gSA lqfo/kk ds lkFk&lkFk deh gS rks dsoy yksx vkil esa ,d nwljs ls brus fudV ugh vkrs tSls igys gksrk FkkA lHkh ds ikl] eksckby o ySiVkSi gksrs gSaA vf/kdrj yksx jsy ds lQj esa gh ySiVkSi esa vkSfQl dk dke djrs jgrs gSaA dqN dku es eksckby yxk dj cSBs jgrs gSa bl n”kd esa euq’; fodkl gksus ds lkFk&lkFk ,d nwljs ls cgqr nwj gksrk tk jgk gSA cgqr egRokdk¡{kh gksus ds dkj.k le; dk vHkko gks x;k gS ftldk izHkko gekjs thou ij iM+ jgk gSA bl izdkj eSa dgwaxh fd tc ge 90 ds n”kd dh ckrsa lksprs gSa rks og ekuork ds cgqr djhc Fkk vkSj gj O;fä NksVh lh [kq”kh esa Hkh larq’V FkkA vUr esa eSa dguk pkgrh gw¡ fd ;krk;kr esa vkt Hkh jsy ;k=k gh loksZizh; gS ftldk vkuUn vkt Hkh yksx mlh rjg ls ysrs gSa ysfdu vUrj dsoy lksp vkSj lqfo/kk dk gh gSA

Image credit: commons.wikimedia.org

horn OK please

ysfdu bl rjg dk vuqHko gokbZ tgkt o clksa esa ugh ns[kus dks feyrk Fkk] gokbZ tgkt esa uCHks ds n”kd esa ,d lk/kkj.k bUlku ds {kerk ls ckgj dh ckr Fkh cPps dsoy dYiuk gh dj ldrs Fks gokbZ mM+ku Hkjus dhA ml

oDr mudk dksbZ lkFkh gokbZ tgkt dk lQj djs rks og mls cM+h mPp n`f’V ls fugkjrs FksA ;g Fkh uCHks ds n”kd dh jsy ;k=k dh ,d >ydA ftldks ge vius cPpksa dks lqukrs gSa vkSj ge ml Nfo dks ;kn djds jksekafpr gks tkrs gSaA

Mridula Mohan has played the so-called innings of her life and now sits happily on the fence soaking in new experiences and mulling over old ones. A mother of two (grandmom of one) and an Army wife, Mridula has been a teacher most of her life and these days she’s back to indulging in her first love,writing. She writes both prose and poetry and derives her inspirations from her life’s travels and the impressions along the way. You can reach her at mridulamohan404@gmail.com.

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MEMORIES MADE OVER plaiting &

OILING! THERE ARE SCORES OF LITTLE, EVERYDAY MOMENTS WHERE MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS BOND OVER HAIR OILING, HEAD MASSAGES, AND HAIRCUTS! HERE IS A GLIMPSE OF A FEW SUCH MOMENTS.

desi lit

words VIREN PAREKH

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Image credit: Frank Lindecke; flic.kr/p/saucqp

COMFORT

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I was a bit tense, nervous and excited! The first day of grade 4 began in less than an hour! Outside, the loud pattering of raindrops was frequently interrupted by thunder. I sat on a stool in front of the mirror, staring glum-faced at the reflection of mom combing my hair, getting me ready for school. It was soothing, how she combed the hair. The soft touch of the comb on the scalp as she straightened my hair and pulled it back was comforting. Her soft murmurs of how I should care for my hair more, spend less time in the heavily chlorinated water of the swimming pool, how my hair was getting thinner and wondering whether a new shampoo would really help, were all a helpful distraction. With a final flourish and a smile on her face, she styled my hair into the prescribed double-pigtails. Just then, in the reflection of the mirror, we both looked at each other, and her infectious smile crept on my face too. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Everything is going to be alright!â&#x20AC;? she said.


Image credit: Carol Mitchell; flic.kr/p/MsiqG

desi lit

RITUAL

I shouldn’t have fought with mom! But it was her fault too! Why would she keep pestering me to help clean the house? Still, I had been very rude and now, on a holiday with no college, with time to reflect, the guilt was eating me. As part of the holiday tradition, mom warmed the hair oil and beckoned me for the weekly “hot oil” hair massage. Both of us were giving each other the silent treatment and the massage commenced in this stoic silence. For a moment, the magic of her fingers swept away the thoughts of guilt and remorse in my mind. It was pure pleasure, the touch of warm oil being scrubbed into my scalp; her slender fingers, caressing my hair and head; the gentle thumps with her palm, as she dabbed some more oil on my scalp. Like a wave, however, the guilt returned and mom’s soft, caressing touches had been the last blow to the barriers I had put up. As I burst into a tearful apology, mom stopped scrubbing my scalp for a split second, before she playfully slapped my back. I felt so much lighter!

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It was a morning with a lot of buzz! With just three days to go for my elder sister’s wedding, the house was swarming with relatives. The fragrance of fresh flowers prevailed throughout the house and the cheerful sounds of laughter and conversations emerged from every room. As I opened the door to my bedroom, I saw ‘naani’ (maternal grandmother) combing mom’s hair. It was surprising and cute at the same time and mom gave me her usual disarming smile. Just then, my elder sister and dad marched into the room and before I knew it, dad was taking a photo of ‘naani’, smiling, seated on the chair, combing mom’s hair, who was combing my elder sister’s hair and she, mine! Best pic ever!

TRADITION

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Image Credit: Paolo; flic.kr/p/tXtxcK

desi lit

GOODBYE

I was spending my last month in India with mom and dad before I moved abroad for work. A lazy Sunday afternoon, a detailed “how to” article in a magazine and my long held urge to give someone a haircut had been too much for mom to overpower. The moment of judgment was here! As mom sat on the chair, I hastily spread out the newspapers around the chair. As she sat there, she muttered how she didn’t think it was a good idea and asked me to be careful. In response, I just smiled impishly as I navigated through her hair, making the way with deft snips of the scissors, and spraying some water from time to time. Finally, with the split-ends removed and the white strands eliminated, I produced a mirror for her to see the results. As she heaved a sigh of relief and looked at mirror rather pleased, I couldn’t help but hug her tight.

Viren Parekh, an internal auditor by profession, moved to Dubai in 2014. An avid cricket fan, on ‘match’ days you’d find him enjoying a drink and watching the game. On other days, he loves to read & write and play the guitar. This traveller nurtures a dream: To set foot on each continent in this lifetime. You can write to him at viren.parekh@gmail.com.

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idhar udhar

(L-R): A snowy owl, a glamorous but struggling depiction of Mother India, and a utilitarian image of a bucket.

MATCHB A NEW MUSEUM SETS OUT TO CELEBRATE INDIA’S STRIKING MATCHBOX LABELS, ILLUMINATING DISTINCTIVE ERAS IN THE COUNTRY’S CULTURAL HISTORY. words ARUSHI DUTT images RITU DUA’S PERSONAL COLLECTION

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BOX ART Creativity emerges in many ways: paintings, sculptures, murals, street graffiti, and even matchbox art. Also referred to as phillumeny, it captures vibrant themes as diverse as Indian history, Russian propaganda, Japanese calligraphy and mid-century American travel posters.

Swedish inventor John Edvard Lundstrom then developed safety matches, using non-poisonous red phosphorous on the sides of boxes instead of on the matches themselves. This technology ultimately became the global standard for

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Regarded as tokens of shared culture and commerce, these designs date back to the 1850s,

before which matches were mass-produced in the Swedish capital Stockholm using the very poisonous component white/yellow phosphorous.


(Top to bottom): A basic paintbrush, an all-encompassing map of India, and two regal peacocks. (Facing page) The Flying Rani in all her splendour.

matchboxes, a form of packaging in use to the present day. The new manufacturing process soon gave impetus to aesthetic improvement as images were added to labels. The typography used was dictated by printing techniques. Popular fonts at the time included Bodoni, Didot and other slightly ‘serified’ styles. This ‘classical typography’ was soon incorporated into revived font styles, reflecting Gothic and Rococo influences. Early matchbox packaging was limited to basic information such as the manufacturer’s address and match lighting instructions. As the typographies diversified, the graphic designs on matchboxes began to reflect the fashions and cultures of manufacturing countries.

idhar udhar

Indian phillumenist Sumant Batra has been collecting matchboxes for nearly a decade. He says the stunning and curious graphics on richly textured Indian matchboxes offer time-specific glimpses of mainstream Indian popular culture. His main interest lies in Indian graphic art from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and he is deeply enthralled by the striking colours of Hindu iconography. Describing his connection to phillumeny as ‘emotional’, Batra plans to preserve this uniquely cultural art by showcasing it at his private museum of rare and vintage Indian graphic art, Chitrashala (chitrashala.in).

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Over time, he believes Chitrashala will serve as a medium of entertainment, and a valuable resource for students of Indian graphic art and culture. At the moment, phillumeny is a highly undervalued art, which India has yet to discover. Batra, who holds about 1,500 Indian matchboxes, hopes that more collectors will join him in presenting their pieces to the rest of the world. ‘Desi’ matchbox art is highly varied, with no single theme dominating. Some images are ‘dharmic’, depicting religious symbols and icons, while others are patriotic, with portraits of national heroes and leaders. Other designs include animals, birds, landscapes, ships, symbols of rural India, and mass media images,


such as the telephone.

family and friends alike. “Sometimes I swapped my

At a certain point, some images became very derivative and common. One well-known brand popularised the concept of imitations. This was mainly because there were many small producers competing with much larger ones in a marketplace that was unruly and unregulated.

labels with theirs, totally oblivious to the fact that this

“The kids of today will go through life without ever admiring such art but when I was in my early years collecting match box covers was a big craze. Each colourful match box label with those kitschy patterns and amazing typography would make my eyes sparkle,” says Ritu Dua, an artist, “Every evening I’d set out on a matchbox hunt in our locality and would never return empty handed.” As a child she showed off her treasury of miniature masterpieces, coveted by

painted the designs herself and had them printed.

art had a name, and that I was a little Philluminist. I enjoyed every step on my dazzling journey.” Ritu is still crazy about matchboxes: a collage of matchbox labels forms the background for her blog. Even her business card is in matchbox style: she The phillumenists who share their passion in exclusive groups via blogs, forums, and online clubs all agree that this unique vintage art deserves global recognition. It embellishes the most ordinary household item, taking creativity to new heights and transfiguring the ordinary into something extraordinary.

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Arushi Dutt loves travelling and meeting new people. She has lived half of her life in India, and the other half growing up in North America. Through her diverse set of experiences she has gained a lot of exposure in life. She says, ‘I can’t say that I am a wise saint but immersing myself in various cultures has taught me quite a bit’. One day she hopes to anchor her own travel show. Eating and dancing are another two of her hobbies. She can be found at arushiscorner1991.blogspot.in.


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on the

jasmine trail

THE MADURAI MALLI GAJRA (JASMINE FLOWER GARLAND) COMES WRAPPED IN A BANANA LEAF & IS OFTEN SOLD AT THE ROADSIDE DOWN SOUTH. WOMEN WEAR IT EITHER AROUND A BUN OR TUCK IT INTO A PLAIT; WE VISIT NILAKOTTAI, A SMALL VILLAGE IN TAMIL NADU, TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE JASMINE FLOWER. words JAYANTHI SOMASUNDARAM images K.KIRANKUMAR

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fashion fry

We drove past dry arid lands, for a very long time. The scorching sun, the empty roads and the eerie stillness did not deter us. We were in search of the famous Madurai malli. The local guide, internet research and every villager whom we stopped to ask for directions said the same thing: keep going straight and you will see jasmine plants till as far as the eye can see. So, we drove in the scorching heat for miles, through the small village called ‘Nilakottai’ and could only see emptiness. Madurai and malli (jasmine) go hand in hand and this one flower defines the very essence of this temple city, often referred to as ‘Jasmine City’. With an international fan following, including fragrance barons, a single bud of malli dictates the whole city, from morning to night. So, what makes the Madurai malli different from the jasmine found in other parts of India? This particular jasmine cultivated in this part of Tamil Nadu has thick petals and a very strong fragrance. Usually the stalk of a jasmine is thick and heavy and the petals are delicate. However, in this variety even the petals are heavy. So, the thick strands of jasmine that you find flower vendors selling at premium prices are usually the Madurai malli variety. The jasmine cultivated in Madurai and its surrounding taluks of Perungudi, Nilakottai, Uthappanaickanur and Ammainaickanur are collected early morning and transported to Chennai by 8 am and are safely kept in an ice box and flown to different countries across the globe; and this happens almost every day. The colour and the fragrance of the flower stays intact for two days and hence is a popular choice for overseas vendors.

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Though, I personally know how to tie the flowers in one style (the simple knot), the Madurai malli can be tied together in a variety of styles. It is woven in six different forms, ‘uruttu kattu,’ ‘pattai katti,’ ‘kadhambam,’ ‘maalai’ and ‘thirumbipaar’ and with time it turns from greenish white to a milky white before drying out. It is usually in the evening that the fragrance emanates; there are women who buy jasmine garlands in the morning and save it for the evening to tuck them into their neatly plaited hair. The best season for jasmine farms is from February to November when the flower is cultivated on vast stretches of land. We were on the jasmine trail in late December and we knew that these famous plantations had to be in full bloom. Just as we were about to give up, we decided to ask three villagers who were waiting at what looked like a bus stop. We expected them to tell us to keep going straight but they asked us to take the next right and go in. The lane they pointed at was narrow and if one vehicle went in another would have to wait on the main road. We turned in, only to find houses on either side. After a point, we saw vast empty land, and then we spotted it. At the furthest end, we saw a farmer tend to his jasmine plants. It seemed like a very small farm, yet, we were delighted to have found it. We parked the car and walked across the dry and heated red soil to meet this man. Though I don’t recollect his name, I remember that he was excited to see us. In his small 1 ground property he had bunches of jasmine growing and in between them he had vegetable saplings. At three pm, they were not in bloom, but he went


onto explain that jasmines bloom at night and by 6 am his family starts work on the farm. “We pluck the flowers, and once we have a certain quantity, I take in a large sack to the Nilakottai town market. Here we trade it and it’s always by the kg. Sometime, I also take it to the flower market near the Mattuthavani bus stand in Madurai. In the meantime, the women of the household continue plucking the flowers for the next batch,” he explained. Children are also a part of this process and they rise early and work on the farm, then head out to school. His children smile at us and are bewildered, wondering why this interest in a flower. On bare foot these children took us to another farm, where we saw vast stretches of jasmine. In some families, children are sent to school with a bag in hand and flower basket in another. After school gets over, they sit in the market selling these flowers. This kind of fragrance and size of jasmine produce is only possible from this city. It is superior in quality and it can be attributed mainly to the soil. There is a heavy presence of aromatic alkaloids jamone and alpha terpineol in the soil. The lateritic and red soils of Madurai district are rich in sulphur, which is the precursor of these alkaloids, hence the fine quality buds. In 2013, the Madurai malli got a Geographical Indications tag (GI tag). This tag certifies the product’s reputation completely based on its geographical origin or traditional method of manufacturing. Just like the Darjeeling tea or the Pochampalli sarees, the Madurai malli has created

a unique space and demand for itself. When we drive back in the evening to the city centre we spot women wearing long strands of malli tucked into their plaited hair or wound around a bun. It is believed to be one of the oldest flowers cultivated by man for its mesmerising fragrance and is considered the plant of love because it has aphrodisiac qualities. In fact, South Indian men, after a hard days’ work, usually buy home a ‘mozham’ (roughly one-feet long) of jasmine flower wrapped in a banana leaf for their wives. Author and cultural anthropologist Uma Kannan writes in her book ‘Madurai Malligai – Madurai and its Jasmine- A Celebration’, “When I arrived in Madurai after my marriage, the city seemed to revel in an abundance of jasmine. The only Indian Airlines flight to Chennai, which was known as the ‘Malli Special’ in the 1970s, would be loading baskets and baskets of Madurai malli.” She further explains in the book that sometimes there were more baskets of Madurai malli than passengers on the flight! With the new GI status, the city of Madurai is quite literally blooming. The flower market seems to be getting busier each morning, and prices of the jasmine fluctuate steadily, even during off season, but the demand for the Madurai malli only seems to increasing, cluster by cluster and thread by thread. (The piece was previously published in the JulyAugust’13 edition of The Indian Trumpet)

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Jayanthi Somasundaram loves eating, cooking and travelling. She ensures that she travels to a different country every year (all her savings go into that!) and loves visiting the local markets and interacting with the locals there. She nurtures a dream of running her own little coffee shop with a really nice library. She grew up in tropical Malaysia and now lives in Chennai where she works as an editor at a children’s publishing house, Karadi Tales. An author-in-making, besides working on her book, she enjoys long walks and spending time with her pet dog, Simba.


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Image courtesy: Tanvi Sharma

THE GOOD OL’ BARBER SHOP WE MADE STOPOVERS AT FEW OF THE BARBER SHOPS IN VARANASI & NEW DELHI AND CAME BACK WITH AN ALBUM OF HUMBLE MOMENTS, RICH TRADITIONS; NARRATING TALES OF A PROFESSION PURSUED BY GENERATIONS & CHERISED BY THE LOYAL CUSTOMERS. images & words SAHIL M BEG, TANVI SHARMA & SHIV FSEVENPHOTOGRAPHERS theindiantrumpet.com

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Image courtesy: Shiv Fsevenphotographers

{ } Sometimes by the street;

THE makeshift stop for cuts!

AN OLD FILM POSTER. COLOURFUL PAINT ON THE WALLS. A TATTERED FABRIC ON THE CHAIR. A LOUD RADIO PLAYING IN THE BACKDROP. FRIENDLY CONVERSATIONS WITH ‘STRANGERS’!

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bharat darshan

M SALON

o i t a r e n e g


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BARBERS ARE NOT TRAINED IN FANCY SCHOOLS. FATHERS & GRANDFATHERS PASS ON THE SKILL SET TO THE NEXT IN LINE. AND JUST LIKE THAT, THE PROFESSION CONTINUES TO RUN ACROSS GENERATIONS, AND THE TRADITION CONTINUES.


bharat darshan

OLD SCHOOL BARBERS CHARGE LITTLE FOR A CUT, THEY DONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T DISTINGUISH BETWEEN WHO SIT ON THEIR CHAIR.

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The once dark coloured frame that outlined the mirror is now pale and chipped, with strips of masking tape covering cracks. Barber shops keep record of time, in their own way.


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bharat darshan

RITUAL

TEXTURES, CLIPPERS, SINGLE RAZOR BLADES, PATTERNS, COMBS, NECK DUSTERS, SIDEBURNS, WATER SPRAY BOTTLES, PARTINGS, TYPES, SCISSORS, LOTIONS.

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Sahil M Beg is a budding photograph. A student of Bachelors of Journalism and Mass communication at the Trinity Institute of Professional Studies, New Delhi, he has been keenly participating in photography competitions and submitting his works to various publications. His shots can be seen here: flickr.com/photos/photosofsahil


Zulfein!

last word

O hasina zulfonwaali jaanejahan Dhundhatee hain kaafir aankhe kiska nishaan Mehfil mehfil ae shama phirtee ho kaha Woh anjaana dhundhatee hu, woh dewaana dhundhatee hu Jalaakar jo chhip gaya hai, woh parwaana dhundhatee hu

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A Mohammad Rafi and Asha Bhosle number from Teesri Manzil (1966). Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri. Music: R.D. Burman. This iconic Shammi Kapoor song is a perfect example of our love for the hair! Plus, one can see Kapoorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s play of his zulfs, as he sings and dances!


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Profile for The Indian Trumpet

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In this shiny Hair special edition, we re-lived the times when there was more to hair than good, bad hair days. The traditions of tonsure....

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In this shiny Hair special edition, we re-lived the times when there was more to hair than good, bad hair days. The traditions of tonsure....

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