In the few hours before bed when it is my habit to aimlessly browse the internet, I was lurking on trans-racial adoption boards to gain insight on how to care for hair unlike my own. Thread after thread dealt with braiding and hair care products for African hair. Fascinated, I read until I was too sleepy to read anymore.
Somewhere in the sleep induced haze, thoughts went back to the simple hairdos of my past. Where braiding meant parting your hair into three sections and weaving them alternately till there was nothing more to braid. The only choice I had was two plaits left hanging or tied up and later when I hit teenage a choice of one braid vs two.
Free flowing hair was a no-go. Except on the days I washed my hair. I could then wear a pai pinnal till the hair dried and could be braided. Or on occasions like weddings or Navarathri when my dad’s grand-mom, my great grand-mom would find great delight in making us cousins sit and she would stitch flowers into our braids. The tail end would boast a pattu kunjalam. Occasionally a moon and sun made of gold with pearls embedded would adorn the sides of our head. Those were again heirlooms passed through generations carefully preserved with the souris. Her hands would be firm and not a hair would dare to pry lose from the braid. When done, we would wear pattu pavadais and prance around much to her delight. No make up. Probably a hint of kohl and a dash of talc. I wish I had pictures of those priceless moments.
I guess the least I can do is to paint those memories on the blog. Happy Friday everyone!