I screamed. I nearly fainted. I caught sight of an unsought intruder in my bathroom. My older son came running with a phone in his hand ready to dial 911. My younger son came clutching a small Ganapati idol; he strongly shares my belief that lord Ganesha can protect and ward off any evil. My husband didn’t budge from his seat; it’s not as if we are newly married and he has to come running at my every beck and call. When I recovered from my deepest consternation, reality struck me. I was officially getting old; the intruder was a strand of gray hair that was ominously staring at me.
My kids looked bewildered as they failed to understand the gravity of the situation. The clamoring finally aroused my husband’s curiosity to saunter over. He performed a prolonged victory dance around me. It was a day reckoning for me but it was a day to rejoice and get-even-time for him. He had been waiting for this moment for years now. He had got his first gray right after college (you could say he graduated with distinction), and since then he has been secretly jealous of my ebony mane. As Rumor mill goes, on a recent trip to India he held a clandestine meeting with a priest of a famous temple to arrange for a pooja to speed up the graying process for me.
As I write, my vanity is now stockpiled with hair care products; I have hoarded boxes of black hair color products in all shades of black. I arranged for specialty hair treatment at neighboring exclusive saloons. After exhausting all the avenues, the lone gray strand is still gaping at me, and I have finally acknowledged it as a sign of my maturity.