Big Hair Wisdom- My Story

big hair wiz

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.


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