Saturday, March 6, 2010
Freedom after 712 days !
March 25th 2008 – My family woke up to a tragedy at our factory ! It was a trying time for all of us. The media was reporting some bullshit about my father and uncle on a repeat basis under BREAKING NEWS FLASHES. Financial figures exploding on screen – but no one was bothered about what is happening behind the scenes. I can see their baby being reduced to ashes. When such things happen – you cannot help but think about a gazillions thoughts per mille-second. I was in Dubai, living the life of a party animal, which was about to change that very second ! This is the time when family huddles together, faces the outside world and keeps a brave face. But I was far away. I was living with my Mama, who has seen his fair share of roller coasters ups and downs and is a believer of Tirupati. Tirupati Balaji is his strength. His wife and him make a trip down each year to this temple in south which stands for strength in trying times. That is the time I decided – If I cannot be with my family, But I prayed for Balaji to stand by my family until I got there. And in turn I would give up my wrong ways and pay him a visit with the ultimate sacrifice.
For those of you who have known me for a decent number of years would know how much I love my hair… ! How much time and effort my mother invested in the initial years of my life to see that STRAND OF HOPE pop out of my bald head. They would also know I visit the salon every 6 weeks religiously to cut my hair. I spend an awfully amount of money on hair products – so see my hair fall on my shoulders like that in the shampoo adds ( people may beg to differ that they do not actually fall like the shampoo adverts). I also have a wall size mirror, followed by 2 dressing size mirrors in my room, so I can take a look at my hair from all angles before I step out of my house, hoping to get compliments on my beautiful hair. So, it made perfect sense. TIRUPATI would get the most expensive gift from me, and yet it would be the most inexpensive gift I would have ever given to anyone… MY HAIR.
Uptil that day, I was convinced it was all a money making business. And that the temple only encouraged the donation so that they could gather rich, beautiful, luscious Indian hair and sell it to salon in the west and make money out of it. Temple hair is popular with A listers like Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, J-Lo, Kate Beckinsale. Perched on the hills of Tirupati, this hindu temple is the second richest temple after the Vatican city. Boasting up to 20 million pilgrims every year, money for its upkeep mainly comes from selling human hair from profits. Every day up to 4000 women sit in this religious ceremony called tonsuring in which they shave of their head and sacrifice it to Lord Vishnu. Girls do it especially in an attempt to sacrifice their pride and vanity in exchange of God’s blessings of health and happiness. I pledged my pride and vanity that morning of March 25, 2008.
Each passing day I would convince myself that one day I would make a trip to Tirupati to sacrifice my hair. That day never came. There was always an excuse for delaying this. I wasn’t scared to give the sacrifice – but there is always a wedding to go to or no one to go with to Tirupati, or flight rates being very expensive etc. But yesterday – Friday 6th March, 2010, I met my aunty who believes in Tirupati – she said I could do it anytime… except Saturday. God doesn’t accept sacrifices on Saturday. Hence Tomorrow – 7th March, 2010 I will finally happily give away my most dearest possession – my hair, as a Thank you for giving me multifolds… ! I truly do not deserve half the happiness I have been subjected to in the last 2 years.. I firmly believe Tirupati has a hand behind this all. 712 days since March 25th 2008….Freedom from a single most important thought which ruled my mind for 712 days !!