General ravings, Potshots

Dreadlock Visions during Lockdown

[or, Hair Today…Gone Tomorrow]

When the Union Government announced extension of the Covid-19 lockdown till 17th May, I felt a sharp prickling sensation in the back of my neck.

The prickling sensation wasn’t because of fear. It was a familiar and increasingly irritating reminder that my haircut is long overdue— and that now I’ll have to wait at least two weeks more to have one.  It’s a hair-raising prospect; especially because for the last 40 years, I have with clockwork regularity gone to the barber every 45 days for a “double fauji bina kanghee wale” job.

I do believe short hair lightens the pressure on the brain. Deliberately shorn hair also helps when my hairline is receding just about as fast as my intelligence and memory.

Anyway: with every passing lockdown day, what remains of my hair grows in about thirty-seven different directions at varying rates in five distinct shades of grey and white. I can’t do a damned thing about it, because barber shops have all been closed,  and ‘social distancing’ prevents me from seeking the amateur assistance of a friend who has volunteered to do the job with garden shears.

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t mind enduring this minor discomfort—after all, overgrown hair is such a trivial issue when millions are undergoing such hardship  in these difficult times.

But I am chagrined that even as my hair runs riot and my face increasingly resembles that of a depressed and slightly deranged hedgehog, I see a large number of public personalities—political leaders, celebrity journalists and the like—appear with perfectly coiffured hair on TV and online screens every day.  In fact, these women and men look exactly as well-groomed as they did in December 2019!

(L) Me; (R) Hedgehog (image courtesy Note: I apologize for any unintended hurt feelings, injured egos or ruffled quills that I may cause to hedgehogs by drawing this comparison.

It is obvious to me that these well-groomed public personalities are flouting social distancing norms! Their haircuts are just too good; they can’t be lawnmower jobs done by family or friends. I am convinced that these women and men are covertly availing the services of professional hairdressers, so that they can look suave and well-trimmed while the rest of us watch our own faces disappear under the overgrown undergrowth on our scalps.


Perhaps…but  I don’t grudge these fine women and men the privilege of getting their hair groomed while the rest of us can’t. After all,  they are respected and popular figures who are doing all they can to boost the morale of the Indian public in these trying times. Naturally, they must look their best.

Still, it’s tempting to know what these public figures might have actually looked like today, if they had not availed the services of hairdressers during the lockdown.

And so,  I’ve created projected images – crude, but hopefully indicative – of what a select few politicians and journalists would have looked like today WITHOUT their haircuts.  To create these projected images I’ve used the beta version of an Algorithmic Profile Projection software, code-named ‘Tonsure 101’, that is being developed for the Intelligence Bureau by the internationally derided Prof. Iqbal Taklu and his team under a shadowy India-USA security cooperation  project that is so secret that it does not find mention in any public or private records, and indeed may not even exist.

I plan to crowd-source bail bond funds in my next post.

Actual look                                               Projected image
Union Home Minister Amit Shah
Amit Shah, BJP M.P; Union Minister, Home


Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi, Congress M.P
Mamata Bannerjee
Mamata Bannerjee, West Bengal Chief Minister
Pinarayi Vijayan
Pinarayi Vijayan, CPI(M); Kerala Chief Minister
Uddhav Thackeray
Uddhav Thackeray, Shiv Sena; Maharashtra Chief Minister
Shekhar Gupta
Shekhar Gupta; Editor-in-Chief, The Print
Arnab Goswami
Arnab Goswami; Editor-in-Chief, Republic TV

Jai Hind!

8 thoughts on “Dreadlock Visions during Lockdown

  1. Ha ha! I gave my better half a hair cut which was very good, if I say so myself! While you don’t look anything like a hedgehog, my grand daughter will take you to the cleaners for insinuating that a hedgehog looks unkempt. They are her current ‘cute’ friends and she collects their pictures and bombards us with them whenever she can 🙂 The dreadlocked pics are great. Loved Momodi and UT. Thanks for making them as weird as they are!

    1. Thanks, Zephyr…how nice to know that your grand-daughter has hedgehogs for friends! I adopted a hedgehog for a few weeks when a freshman (I, not the hedgehog…though it too was young) in BITS Pilani, 1973…it had an extraordinary taste for jeera seeds which I obtained from the mess cooks. One fine evening while on a little walk in the scrub desert, it gave me a long, soulful look, allowed itself to be petted awhile, and then wandered off into the dusk (doubtless, it found its kin and somewhere out there). Today, who knows, perhaps I might have some small part in the hedgehog folklore of its descendants…
      Such thoughts keep me going in these troubled times 🙂

  2. Ha ha ha, last week this thought came to me and I was giggling. Sara asked me why I was giggling? I told him that I was imagining all guys in India with ponytail or hair tied up. And here I see that you have drawn images….👍👍👍

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