Friday, 20 April 2012

Desperation drives people

Swami Gulagulaananda said:
"Desperation drives people to do things that can't be imagined"

"I can't imagine anyone actually buying that crap" said Raj with a look of disgust. "Do they actually believe that people will buy that sauna belt? Everyone knows these ads are bogus. Look at the way they picturise flab being reduced. They should really be kidding."

"You know, there are some things that will drive people to do things which they wouldn't have done if they were calm and normal. That's why not everyone can perform well under pressure. Why do you think some people, who ordinarily are jovial, commit suicide when there are problems? Even something as trivial as raised voices or admonishment from parents, and some times failure in love or exams?" reasoned his friend Anuj.

"Whatever dude! That still doesn't mean you fall for such things. I wonder what kind of people actually buy these products. I keep seeing these dumb ads at night. Well, anyway, I just think that they are fools - those who fall for these." Having said that he started running his fingers through his hair and said "I really need to get a hair cut. Too bad today's a Tuesday. I'll go tomorrow." Then looking at his watch continued "Alright I am off now buddy. See you later" and Raj went home.

The next evening, Raj went to his barber. "Ah Raj Sir, how are you doing?" asked the barber politely. Raj smiled "I am fine Kumar, give me the usual haircut. It's grown really long". Kumar made Raj sit comfortably and tuned to a Telugu channel on the TV and began trimming Raj's hair. The cool breeze from the fan made Raj drowsy. He wondered why every barber he knew was a Telugite, wondered why barbers have that plant outside their shop, wondered why barbers take an off on Tuesdays. And thus, listening to the tandem clipping sounds of the scissors, he dozed off. Gentle droplets on his face awakened Raj. He got up and realised that the barber was done and was cleaning up. He looked at his face in the mirror, cocked his head a couple of times, felt satisfied with his new shorter hair and paid the barber. Brushing off some hair off his shirt, he went home.

As he was filling his bucket with hot water for his bath, he decided to admire himself in the mirror once more. And then his eyes fell on that spot on his head. His scalp was visible through the hair! "Wait a minute, wait a minute" he uttered in a whisper. He went closer, and held his head at the right angle. That's right! He had a bald spot on his head. His long hair had covered it up all these days. He hadn't realised it. His classmates would make fun of him. "Oh God, I am growing bald and I am still in college" - He thought. The bucket was overflowing now, but conserving water wasn't his first priority. "That Livon ad, I should get some of that Livon stuff. Maybe after my bath." He didn't have any enthusiasm throughout his bath.

He came outside, dried himself and started browsing the net. There were several sites that spoke about various baldness problems, causes, solutions. He was rapidly poring through the articles, skimming through information, aggregating it mentally. There were a million products and a million home remedies. He didn't know what to do. The next day in college, Anuj came up to him and started talking about something when he suddenly exclaimed "Dude, there is a bald patch over your head, had you noticed?" That was it! Over the next few weeks, he started playing around with all the various "solutions". And that included various coloured solutions, some smelled funny, some looked funny, some sounded funny. Anuj had commented about a strange smell, Raj had quickly changed the topic. He kept checking his hair in the mirror over the next few days. He used some more shampoos. He had become desperate.

Eventually his hair had grown long enough and he had pulled his hair over the bald patch. Anuj came up to him and said "What's with that weird hair style? What happened to your old one?" Raj didn't want to explain. "Oh, so you are hiding that bald patch eh?" he said grinning. "You don't know how it feels man. I have never felt so depressed. I tried all the products I could lie my hands on, but in fact, I feel the hair loss has increased!" said Raj with a disappointed note in his voice.

Anuj smiled at him and said "You don't have to worry, you are not growing bald. I had asked Kumar to intentionally leave a bald patch on your head while he was cutting your hair." Raj couldn't believe his ears and turned to look at Anuj who was grinning widely. "I paid him quite a bit more, but man, I definitely managed to prove my point, didn't I? You used to pass remarks at those who fell for gimmicks. And look at all the things you have done in the past few weeks. It is easy to pass remarks when you are not the afflicted person. It is only when you are afflicted and continue to remain calm that you are truly great. But most people succumb. And you can't blame them. It's only human"Raj continued to stare at the ground. He was relieved that he wasn't going bald, but he was embarrassed.

"Why do you think so many fairness creams sell in India? We have created a perception, an environment that being dark is not good. And people who are darker feel that they are not natural, not normal. Same goes with the slightly plump, slightly shorter, slightly pimply and so on. We make them feel bad to the extent that they go to weird quacks and self claimed godmen and get into a lot of trouble. Or experiment with untested or poisonous drugs or spend a lot of money. We shouldn't make fun, we should not ridicule. We should all be happy. When those stupid products stop selling, they will start going out of the martket automatically. Get it?" said Anuj putting his hand around Raj's shoulder. "You suck" said Raj grinning. "But yeah, I see your point".

1 comment:

Sachcharit said...

Good One :)

Good point about most barbers being telgites.