memories – comb.

I was a teenager. I don’t remember the exact age. We used to go to Saudi every summer. This was nice at first, because we were returning to where we once lived. A homecoming of sorts. But as time passed I didn’t like it because it kept me from developing friendships during those summer months.

When in Saudi, family would come visit us. On and off we’d have uncles, aunts and cousins in the apartment. Some would live in the same city, some even in the neighbourhood. But others would come from afar. Two of my uncles were doctors and they lived in remote parts of the country. That’s where their hospitals were.

One of the doctor uncles had come to visit with his family. My cousins were in the range of 5-9 years old. One of them had his hair combed super proper. I was amused at how someone so small and young was so invested in the precision of their hair. Specially given how imprecise I was about such things.

So to tease my little cousin, I ruffled up his hair as we were playing. He got flustered, ran away and combed his back into place. I hid the comb and ruffled up his hair again. He got upset, of course, and was able to find another comb. I was increasing curious what his recourse would be if he wasn’t able to comb his hair into perfect alignment. I hid the second comb and ruffled up his hair again.

Unable to find another comb, he started crying. I had not expected this outcome. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting. I felt so cruel in that moment. I returned the combs to him but he kept crying.

It’s interesting how curiosity without consideration can turn into cruelty.

Anyway, I’m bald now.

memories – tyre puncture.

I guess I will note down stray memories as they find me.

I remember being in Hyderabad as a child. We would go every year. Most years to attend a wedding. My mom has nine brothers. If all of them got married each year, that’d be nine years. This wasn’t the case, but a lot of our visits were related to an uncle getting married.

We were in a car. I don’t remember where we were going, nor where we had left. This was the children’s car. Full of my cousins.

We were passing by this Hindu man riding his bicycle. One of my cousins stuck his head out and yelled, “anna, tyre puncture!” in a Telgu accent (anna means brother). There was no tire puncture. It was a prank. The man started to worry and look at the tires on his cycle. Noticing that everything was fine, he yelled back some angry words. I don’t remember what he said.

I do remember being very upset about this. We were on the road. What if this man had lost control of his cycle being worried about the tire? I felt like it could have caused some real harm. I wondered why my cousin would do such a thing. Maybe we had seen a similar prank in a movie and he was trying it out on the road.

I didn’t have the courage to bring it up with my cousin.