What My Grey Hair Taught Me

I have about 10 grey hair in and around the middle of my head. When I say 10, I mean they are the only ones I can see. I don’t know if I have some others hiding somewhere else on my head (sniffles). But lets just talk about the 10 that I know of.

I still remember the first time I became aware of them. A colleague at work joked about spotting one and I could not accept that I had grey hair already (I was 23 back then and had always kept my long hair loose even at work. Yes, I was proud of my hair).

So he plucked it out of my head for me to see it, right before all my other colleagues, and I shrieked out so loud at the sight of it that my boss came running out of his cabin to see what the brouhaha was about. When he was told, he merely smirked and lowered down his own salt and pepper head to my eye-level and told me, ‘See that? I had all this when I was only 18. What’s the big deal? It’s only hair!’

It’s only hair!

It’s only hair!

It’s only hair, dammit!

I’d like to say that the statement stuck with me. I went back home that night and preened at my scalp, and I repeated it like a litany, ‘it’s only hair… it’s only hair’. But then I found one, then two, then three, then four and then five grey hair. By then I was freaking out like a beauty queen freaks out about a pimple on the night of the beauty pageant. I swore at the statement, swore at my boss, and promptly grabbed a pair of scissors and cut them real short, in some cases cutting out the surrounding black ones too, so that when they all started to grow back, those hair would stick out of my head like a porcupine’s needles. Ugh! Talk about a double whammy!

Ever since then I have been periodically trimming those grey hair out of my head, occasionally even enlisting the help of my hapless husband who, as retribution for being employed in a boring chore, was happy enough to chop down entire clumps of good hair too. Their numbers gradually increased from 5 to 10, but by then I had stopped worrying, partially because they were all invisible to outsiders. But a few days ago came the real shocker which prompted me to write this piece down.

I was getting dressed for some occasion when I noticed something silvery around my left temple. Unfortunately for me the light at the time made the hair glint in such a way that it really did look like my hair had grayed around there. Involuntarily, I froze before the mirror.

Oh shit! This was the real deal!

Having grey hair in the middle of the head is one thing but having them at a place where everyone can see them is… a whole new level of growing old. I was officially graying, or so I thought at the time. And I was Diwali-ka-kantar-bomb-wala-shocked (shell shocked, for those who don’t know Hindi)!

I suddenly realized that it had already been a decade since that incident at work. Had it really been 10 years since my 5 grew to 10 to this graying at the temple? Why was I so afraid of only grey hair? I mean, in those 10 years my age has grown too, my skin has become less supple, I have not-the-cute-kind-of-crinkles around my eyes, I’ve developed laugh lines around my mouth, I’ve become slower (god, have I become slower), and worse still, my clothing size has changed too, thrice! Why did none of those make me feel old, but this did?

It’s only hair!

It’s only hair!

But it’s not!

It’s what they represent. The finiteness of our lives and that we’re getting closer to the finish line.

The next day showed me that fate was playing a cruel game with me. One day I feel old, the next day I feel relieved that it was only a play of light. The hair were still dark. But I questioned myself, ‘For how long? There will come a day when all of them will be one or several shades of white or grey. It’s only a matter of time, ol’ girl‘.

Okay, this is going to be pretty depressing for a bit now, but come to think of it, a lot of things in our lives are a matter of time. We all come with only a finite amount of time in our hand. The clock keeps ticking and we keep getting older by the minute. We’re so engrossed in our everyday chores and work that we fail to realise, until moments like these arrive, that we have only that many years left.

I think what shocked me was the realization that age was finally catching up with me. People keep saying ‘age is only a number’. Well, in some ways it is, in some ways it isn’t. To the man who is only 32 or 43 maybe the number of his years will not matter, but to an 80 year old man who’s hooked to an IV in the ICU battling for every breath he takes, age is a HUGE thing. To a doctor who’s treating disaster or trauma cases, age is an important factor to decide which patients can recover and which patients are beyond his help.

Age is not just a number, it’s a reminder that we are mortals. It eggs us onto take reign of our lives and do what matters to us. After one point in our lives we must realise that it isn’t about earning money but spending it too, and that some days, those who we earn for need our time more than our money.

In case you’re wondering what’s the point to this blog-post, it’s this.Β It’s my birthday today. My 32nd to be precise (I’m so daft I’ve been telling folks for the past one year that I was 32 and I believed I was going to be 33 this 2nd of August. Maybe age really is catching up with me). In a decade I will officially be in my middle ages. I have already become an aunty-ji to several kids (including *gasps* teenagers).Β It’s only a matter of time when I become a matron too.

But that incident with the grey hair at the temple taught me a few things –

Aging is inevitable.

I have to learn to live and thrive inspite of it.

It’s just hair, but age is not just a number.

So this birthday, I’ll gift myself the permission to freak out about my hair graying, but at the same time, to teach myself to gear up for obvious eventualities. But the real gift, I’m gifting myself, is that I’m freeing myself of fetters of conforming to things that don’t matter to me anymore, and go for things that I’ve always wanted to do. I’m never going to be 32 again. I’m never going to look like this again, au naturel, sans cakey makeup and weepy mascara.

PicsArt_08-01-09.37.39

 

I’m never going to be this full of energy. So why the heck should I wait for tomorrows when each day I age? I’ll plan, yes; I’ll save, sure, but not dwell on them and never only for my twilight years. I don’t know if I’ll live as long as 40 or 60 or 90. I don’t even know if my 40’s, 60’s or 90’s will have the whole of me anyway. Why not enjoy the whole of me right now, when I still have it with me, untouched by disease or other disabilities?

So,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GIRL!

 

Eat your cake, twirl in that new dress, take silly selfies and the next day work out, and work your ass off on that one thing you’ve been wanting to accomplish.

‘REPEAT’ on an endless loop.

Oh, and don’t forget to spread smiles, love and cheer. The only things that linger in life are MEMORIES.

Make and gift as many as possible.

 

P.S. In case you need help with premature graying, Aaj Tak channel gives excellent quack remedies for it. Read about it here.


18555851_100676450514066_4494546682437471084_n.jpgCopyright Β©2017 Pradita Kapahi.

All rights reserved.

Image Credits: Aaj Tak

 

99 thoughts on “What My Grey Hair Taught Me

  1. Mere b kuch hairs grey hairs Hai vo b tbse JB m 8 year old Tha log tbse same question repeat krk nye tarike SE puchte Hai , koi nya insaan ho to smjh ata Hai mgr vhi purane rishtedar padausi vhi question 6-8 months Baad puche to ajeeb ATA Hai jaise ki unhe yaad hi na ho ki ye bachpan SE grey Hain πŸ˜€
    Mere paas ab hr bar ek funny reply hota Hai mujhe Bura v Ni lgta
    Btw apko koi aunty nhi bolega Abhi to AP young ho 😁😁😁
    Aise hi ache ache posts milte rhe yhi asha Hai aur apke janmdivas ki dher sari Shubhkamnaye .
    You are looking so pretty in that picture .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy birthday dear Pradita! I remember my reaction was pretty much the same when I spotted my first one. But over the years you develop the attitude of, after all it’s only the hair πŸ˜‰ It’s a sign of growing wisdom πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I can relate to this sooo much…I spotted my first grey hair when i was around 25…and i wept….like literally….i wept and wept and wept like a little girl… but yeah as long as its not visible to the outside world I’m cool with it πŸ˜€ happy birthday in advance πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol! I came close to that reaction too when I noticed them the first time. So far they’re still invisible. But here will be a day when they do become visible. Then what? So this post is my reminder and reinforcement that I need to prepare while not letting my inner child go. Thank you for your wishes 😊 😊 😊

      Like

  4. Happy Birthday Madam…
    I also had a grey hair during my college time. But thode thode karke wo sab chale gaye… phir vapis hi nahi aaye. bas tabse wo jagah mene khali hi rakhi hai… Phir hair style chage kar liya…
    My wife is also so much cautious about her grey hair. If she can find any single visible, she immediately plan to make it color. Some time she gave me a task to find a grey hair in the middle of her head, but every time I failed and she became angry. ” Ek Baal nahi dhundh shakte, to phir shaadi kyu ki ? ”
    Life is more colorful than our gray hair. People now a days color their hair, but forget to add colors to their life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You wife has the right dialog! πŸ˜‚ I too say that to my husband when he fails to cut the Grey hair and only cuts the black ones. But you’re right, our lives are more colorful than our hair. Why bicker about it πŸ˜€ Thank you for your kind wishes 😊 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Belated happy wala budday wish, Pradita. Oh! My gosh! I love my hair loads and imagine five years back, I saw grey streak and nearly jumped in front of the mirror. It’s the reason why I am coloring my hair since the past four years as the grey hair is expanding everywhere. The worse is the beard becoming grey. I have stopped thinking about aging now since it becomes a battle in the mind that can make you feel bad. I am in this stage now.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Happywala birrday Pradita…
    I too have a bunch of shiny white hair rite in the front.. you know just where your mane ends.. and everyday in my attempt to hide them they keep making embarrassing guest appearances… much to my dismay i just simply hide them back.. after all they are only hair.. ab kya hi bole..

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dont worry Pradita, you will be like Ajith Kumar in your 40s, More the salt, the better you ll look… 40 % of my hair is greyed already! Am not even 30 :P… Anyways Wishing you a salty birthday! πŸ˜€
    You know what, Einsteins have grey hairs for a reason πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Happy wala b’day dear! I think even in this post you have some confusion about your age. You say in the earlier part that you were 23, 10 years ago. And today is your 32nd b’day. Well,something’s amiss.
    Nevertheless, I can empathise with you when you say you freaked out. It is natural. And this post too has a very informal, natural feel to it, almost as if you are talking with someone. Kudos!

    As for grey hair, I don’t fret over it. I think all stages of life are natural, and we must enjoy/cherish each one of them, all the ones that we live to see. After all, who knows?
    Your epiphany is very good as well, living Today the best you can. And not to flatter, but that pic doesn’t look like that of a 32/33-year old, more like mid-20s. Credit to your workout/healthy lifestyle.

    Once again, wish you a very happy b’day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks a lot RAY 😜 yes, you’re right about the confusion. It’ll sound like a lame excuse, but up until I had almost published the post I believed I was 33, no really! And then at the last minute, I decided I should probably check on that figure. Turns out I’m year younger 🀣 So that means I forgot to edit it πŸ€¦β€β™‚οΈ

      Anyhow… You haven’t written if you have grey or not. If you don’t then you can’t know the horror 😜 And if you do ill accept your empathy.

      Oh and thank you for flattering this old girl 😁😁😁

      Like

      • That is a facepalm situation. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Still, congratulations on being able to cut down a year. You are lucky. Some of us aren’t able to do that. πŸ˜†πŸ˜†

        I don’t think I have grey hair, but I have seen how people who have them feel and behave. Maybe there was a wrong word usage by me. Let me change empathy to sympathy. I guess you’d be comfortable with that. πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

        Flattering, well, I told the honest-to-God truth!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Many many happy returns of the day lovely lady.πŸŽ‚
    I can understand how it feels to find grey threads above there. I’m 26 and have many (hide by coloring )πŸ˜†
    But it’s only hair!! So, enjoy their beauty and live a scintillating life ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Happy Birthday (belated) Pradita! I have not come across many females who accept grey hair as part of their lives! I admire your attitude towards life and yourself! Great going…
    Wishing you a great year ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi and thank you so much for your wishes 😊 If you go back to the post you’ll see that I’m still having trouble with accepting my Grey hair, but yes, I’ll say this – I’m a lot calmer since that day πŸ˜‚ Thanks again 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • i did read in your post that you have come to terms with the reality…that’s why I mentioned it in my last comment. Anyways, I guess its not just about getting grey/white hair that hits you…its more about the comments and treatment from friends/family. I’m sure its much easier to accept it on a personal level but the attitude of people….leaves a big question mark!

        Like

  11. Belated happy birthday. I guess it’s only a matter of time before I start panicking about grey hairs. That was a great post. Sorry I was MIA for a while. My PG classes started and I’ve been busy the last couple of months. But I’m back now. I’ve missed you, darling. 😘😊

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow!!A very very belated Happy Birthday to an amazing blogger.

    And it’s really inspiring how it ended, how you finally realised a grey aint gonna be a trouble, when you want to live life to the fullest.

    Lots of luck to you Prads!!
    Keep blazing and stay amazing…..πŸ’πŸ’

    Liked by 1 person

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