Today, while at the hairdresser's to get my two-monthly trim, I had an itch to write. This itch was provoked by a turban lying on a nearby chair as I sat waiting for my turn. Glancing ahead, I saw a mirror with the reflection of an Indian-looking man, a pair of scissors swiftly moving across his forehead. Glancing below, I saw a garden of dark hair against the light-coloured floorboards of the salon - big and small ringlets forming such intricate patterns that their random beauty almost broke my heart.
Born in a Sikh family, I first cut my hair five years ago when I moved to Australia. I suspect this was the case for the aforementioned gentleman as he later took a picture of his newly hair-shorn self on his phone camera. This photo would now be on its way to friends and lovers, but what about family? I am still reprimanded every time I go home with slightly shorter hair, or unusual layers, or anything deemed too foreign. And despite being independent in every way possible, I occasionally experience pangs of guilt. Not for breaking some religious code, but simply for missing my former long, thick, straight locks in all their natural unruliness. They are not all gone, simply altered over the course of the last few years. This progressive change has not made me more Australian and less Indian, but it has reflected the changing colours and textures of my inner turmoil as I spend more time overseas.