Photography: S Divya
The hair grew out sleek and soft straight, long falling down to young knees during two californian autumns It curled and frizzled under the hot spiced tropics of new home; Singapore The milk laced tongue got used to laksa and peppered curry her ears filled with the constant laughter of elderly wisdom The hair absorbed new found knowledge well beyond its years most of them borrowed And it grew longer, thicker the straight strands curling into one another in a maze whispering questions: Will I be pretty enough? Will the other kindergarten kids like me? When would I finish climbing the monkey bar? Why does sand get into my hair? Why is my voice too soft? why does the unbrazen brown boy like pulling my hair? The stray strands were weaving into one another cuddling for comfort Over the years they were trimmed and cut over and over puzzling hairdressers island wide with a shock of black curls they tried the U-cuts the straight-cuts and begged that she opted for thinning she refused and medicated them with coconut oil the awkward hair didn’t hide her rounded shoulders, broad hairline and wallpaper she mistook for clothes She found her eyes expressive her nose permissible better bejewelled with a diamond nose stud and she found The hairdresser who tamed the split ends making them flow from her forehead like divine black waves framing her cheeks, parting at the right axis of her face he refused to thin the spillage it was brimming with bottled rage and curiosity to wash over anyone she met and to make the town fall in love with her The curls weren’t just pretty they were Her big bursting loud but tender waiting to answer questions any eyes sought to ask her The big hair wasn’t just pretty it was Her it was Her story.