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A rib-tickling elegy by the author to her erstwhile thick curls (called Maggi), which no longer grow as curly after wilfully cutting them away many times!
A rib-tickling elegy by the author to her erstwhile thick curls (called Maggi) that no longer grow as curly after wilfully cutting them away many times!
In loving memory of Maggi, my precious curls, whom I betrayed not once or twice but many times at the hairdresser’s. Now that she’s gone forever, I wish I had one chance, just one, to ask for her voluminous forgiveness. However much I try, nothing can fill her absence, for she had made my life full just by her frizzy presence. Her waves of love for me never for once ebbed, it was I who retreated from the shore.
My dearest dearest Maggi,
I miss you so much, more than any Majnu misses his Laila, any Juliet her Romeo, any Salman his Aishwarya, any politician his government bungalows, and any ‘Bhartiya naari’ (Indian woman) her ‘belan’ and ‘pressure cooker’ in firangi lands. I am so miserable and lost without you, just like any Bhaaratwasi without his daily cup of ‘chai’ and a phone fanatic without his charger.
And I missed you the most when MAGGI was banned in India. Believe me, just seeing your name anywhere was enough for me to wet pillows and… err… pillows. (I wanted to say bedsheets but you know how mean people can be, finding double meaning in everything).
My howls and cries reminded my family of Jacob in Twilight. Did you get a chance to watch it? Trust me, it will make you rise to the occasion. And they stayed as far away from me as possible, suspecting me of turning into a werewolf. Such is my devotion towards you, my precious. And you have to trust me when I say this.
You remember your name, don’t you, my love? I still remember the day when my friends played with you and lovingly named you Maggi. I fell in love with the name, and you have been Maggi ever since for me. How you had laughed silly about this name, bouncing and jumping like a child on a trampoline! Aah!! I miss those days and I wish you would come back to me.
You know MAGGI returned happily after the ban, but you didn’t. Every whisper of the wind would make me rush to the windows and doors, but you were not there. You had decided never to forgive me. And I have been heartbroken ever since. Okay! Sorry! That was cheesy. I promise, no cheesy declarations of love.
When you had gone, I looked for you – hair, there and everywhere, under the sofa, in the bathroom, down the drain, in the trash, everywhere, but you had left already. I put posters of you at every salon & wig selling shop, in the slim hope that you would turn up there, but no luck. I even loitered around various garbage dumps, hoping against hope that I would be united with you, but you had untangled yourself from me forever. My family tried locking away all your memories, fearing that I would turn into a madwoman, but they knew not that you were forever entwined and knotted in my heart. But how can I beg you for forgiveness, knowing how much I have betrayed you?
I know I have been lousy, mean, wicked and awful in my treatment of you, and sorry is a very flimsy word to atone for my sins. But I will say it, a zillion times over, until you agree to come back to me.
I took you for granted, Maggi, and that was the worst mistake I have ever made. I should never have done that. You were the twisted blessing in my life, but I decided to change you and straighten you up. And you became weaker and fragile with each shearing change, until you broke completely. I had started to find you boring and dull, messy and unmanageable, and I fell prey to the dictates of society. I cut you off from my existence. Funny, these were the same qualities which had made me fall in love with you. Now the same society keeps telling me how much it misses you.
I miss how you framed my face lovingly, teasing it gently with your balmy waves. And I still remember the day when we had gone to the beach. You had run with me, laughed with me, played with me, and you had been happy for me, more than for yourself. I had loosened you and set you free. At the end of the day we were an entangled mess, but it had been a happy mess. And that’s exactly what I changed in our relationship. I tied you and shut you up whenever you wanted to be free and unrestricted. I bound you in elastic chains, and caged you forever.
It was not you, but I who was the guilty strand of our relationship. It were your strands that held us together in a strong hold. But I let go of them. Even though you tugged harder and harder, I did not allow myself to walk towards your lustrous embrace. Every step away from you turned you into an irreparable disaster. You happily bore the brunt of my failures, my anxieties, my tears and my losses. Never once did your curls complain. But you started dying a slow and painful death, curl by curl, strand by strand, until your waves had washed away. And I, the heartless one never once answered your cries of distress. I got rid of you, once and for all.
And since then, my conscience has never allowed me to forgive myself. I should never have given up on you. I could have disentangled and worked on the stubborn knots in our relationship, one at a time, but I chose not to. A little bit of love and care could have worked wonders for us, but I was too selfish to get caught in the mess. And I left you in that mess, to die a twisted death.
Do you remember how much you loved CoCo Chanel’s words that “A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life”? And how I used to laugh at the utter silliness of it? But I have come to realize that those were the wisest words ever spoken. Nothing could have been more true.
Me and Maggi in happier times!
When you were with me, you would make heads turn. I felt like a queen and you were my crown. “The world’s envy, owner’s pride”, that’s what we used to say every time someone wished they had you. We were lost in our own tangles, oblivious to everything around us.
But not anymore Maggi, not anymore. No one even bothers to cast a passing glance at your replacement. She doesn’t laugh with me, cry with me, jump with me or fly with me. She doesn’t touch me the way you used to, she doesn’t tease me the way you used to. She doesn’t make me feel beautiful the way you used to. She’s not you, Maggi, she’s not you – and how I wish I had not run away from the mess, your beautiful mess. Why didn’t you bind me in your tangles for eternity, why did you release me from your hold, why? Every passing and twisting day reminds me more and more of your sacrifice and my loss. I had accused you of being unmanageable, but you should look at me now, how my being is unmanageable and clumsy without you.
My dearest, I have even written some vows for you, in the hope that you would read them and absolve me of my sins. Shall I read them out to you now? Trust me, they are not fragile and brittle promises, but the strength of my love for you.
I will never ever make you feel jealous and inadequate by praising other curls and strands. I will have eyes for you and only you.
I will never ever discriminate on the basis of colour, volume,length and texture. You shall always remain my favourite, even if you are thin, short,dull and lacklustrous. You will always be the shine and strength of my existence.
I will care for you and pamper you rotten. I will take you shopping, and fulfill your whims and fancies, even if it means being bankrupt. Money I can earn, but not you. There can only be one Maggi in my lifetime, the original. Beg, borrow, steal, I will do anything for you (although I know you would never ask me to do such outrageous things).
I will never set any boundaries and limitations for you. You will always be free to do whatever you desire.
I promise to grow grey, white and old with you. We were born together and will die together, I assure you that with all my heart.
And I promise never to lose faith in us, whatever the volume of mess we might find ourselves in.
Maggi, you have to take me at my word. Each word in this letter is worth a thousand tears that I have shed in your remembrance. If you wish, I am even ready to pledge my love and devotion at the annual AOPC (Association Of Precious Curls) meeting. I know you are out there, hiding somewhere waiting to be found. I am sending this letter of love and repentance into virtual space and not the way we loved to do. Times have changed drastically (like I changed) since you left, and nothing’s the same anymore. However much I want to, I cannot say now “Jaa, jaa, jaa, kabutar jaa, jaa, jaa, / Pehle pyaar ki pehli chitthi saajan ko de aa” (Fly, pigeon, fly and take my first letter of love to my first love).
I pray that this letter floating in space manages to catch your attention. And I am able to smell you and touch you once again.
Before I finish, I want to sing a song for you, the words of which I have agonized over a hundred times. I wanted this song to be just perfect for you, just as you were my love.
If I may
There’s something I am dying to say,
Since the day you left me
All broken and lonely,
I just want to say… I’M SORRY.
If you could see me now,
You’ll wonder how
I came to be like this,
Life with you was such bliss!
I just want to say… FORGIVE ME PLEASE!
If I could ask for something,
It would only be you my pretty thing,
I sing and dance no more,
I’m still waiting for your waves at the shore,
I just want to say …I MISS YOU TO THE CORE.
If you could unlock my heart,
You’ll see that we had never been apart,
Though my love for you did crack,
But your curls forever had my back.
I just want to say… PLEASE COME BACK.
If I could just see you one more time,
I would confess to my each crime,
How from from the mess I did run,
And made you suffer and burn,
I just want to say… YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE!!
Waiting to be entwined forever,
Your messy love.
I don’t know if I can ever get my Maggi back, but there may have been a Maggi in your lives too, whom you let go away. Your Maggi may have been your parents, your siblings, your best friend, your pet or any other loved one. It’s never too late to say sorry and seek forgiveness. And as the wise say, it’s never too late to heal and mend a broken heart.
Published here earlier.
Image source: pixabay
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If her MIL had accepted her with some affection, wouldn't they have built a mutually happier relationship by now?
The incident took place ten years ago.
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Trigger Warning: This has graphic descriptions of violence and may be triggering to survivors and victims of violence.
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