When I Was a Picture, and Craved for Selfie

Selfie 1

 Published in Hindustan Times  (2.5.2016)

I am not a photo aficionado nor one of those whom you catch getting themselves clicked in different poses and pouts at every function and get-together. I am wary of individual clicks, and most of the time, it’s a cropped image from a larger group that goes as my profile picture.

But there was a time when I wished I could have a collection of my pictures. In May 2010, I fractured my right hand in a freak fall, and lo…! I was grounded for six-week with a plaster. The next few days were an ordeal as the ‘never-seen-before’ situation tested my guts and gumption.

What I went through was not only funny but scary as well. Had E.V. Lucas’s Miss Beam seen my predicament, she would have definitely found me a fit case for her ‘School for Sympathy’.  I tried hard to put up a brave face, ‘So what if the right hand is injured, the left is still there.’ But no!  I couldn’t manage my things; my self-esteem was at the lowest and confidence flew out of the window. The left hand that had been hitherto relegated to a secondary position played pricey; refused to oblige; and rendered me a funny look when I had to eat. I had never imagined that this small handicap would affect my appearance so badly! Can you imagine a person who prided herself on being smartly dressed-up, having the right sleeve of her shirt, with its seam torn apart hanging on the shoulder like a dead Albatross!

But that was not all! The biggest problem was to manage my heavy, almost knee-long tresses! Who would manage my hair! Being the only woman in the family, I had to look for help from outside. The obvious victim was the maid, who took up the challenge with a brave face. I drenched my hair in loads and loads of oil to make it easy for her; but just two days into it; she got scolded by her other ‘madams’ for being late by about forty odd minutes. But she was good enough to depute her teen-age daughter for the task.

Every morning she would land at my door, ‘Auntie, gutt kara lo!’ (Let me plait your hair) And the hapless auntie would surrender herself to the antics of the  girl. She would pull and tug at my hair for good 10 minutes in the name of untangling. I would simply close my eyes, forget who I was, my age and my status; scared what if she got annoyed and refused to come the next day!

And now the selfie part. Everyday that girl would have a different hair-style for me in mind. One day it would be center parting, next it would be side parting, or no parting at all, some day she would spread the hair flat on the forehead creating an inverted ‘V’ on the forehead. Once she was gone, I would gather courage to look at myself in the mirror…. ‘O My God…! Who…is…this?’ Every day, a strange apparition would glare at me. Thank God both my sons were away on their jobs or they would have refused to recognize me. And the husband…! Well, you see, after a time, husbands can stoically visualise and accept the worst!

That was the time I wished I could take my selfie everyday and prepare an album as a memory of my numerous avatars.


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Posted in Article, Just for Laughs, Selfie-Mania by Narinder Jit at May 2nd, 2016.