Straighten Your Hair And Heart

Straighten Your Hair And Heart

“Move in here” Lulu, my parrot said as I hurriedly covered my head with a handkerchief and took shelter under the banyan tree.

“Untimely rains” I protested, as Lulu descended from the tree on my shoulder.

“Think of it as abhishek from heaven,” Lulu said as he fluttered his wings to remove the droplets of water.

“Oh, that reminds me, Lulu. I went to a Ganesha temple yesterday. They did ‘abhishek’ on the idol of Lord Ganesha with water and milk. Also, with curds and honey. I wonder why they perform abhishek.”

“Well, they say that the garbhagriha or the sanctum sanctorum becomes hot with the lighting of lamps, Pooja, and aarati. They need to cool the idol down.”


“And some say that ‘it helps the growth of devotion and adoration for the deity and eventually lead to with pure abundant flow of love towards God.’ Another school of thought says ‘it is necessary to maintain the idol/ Sanctum sanctorum always wet so that the energy radiates at its peak.’” 

“You mean we enter the temple to imbibe the energy?”

“You got it.”

“Wow! What should be cleansed? Idol or the devotee’s mind?”

“You raised a valid question. Christians have this practice of confessions. I like it. It opens the mind. Cathartic. Even if done too-late-in-the-day like Danish Kaneria, the Pakistani Cricketer. He was already banned six years ago, and he confessed to match-fixing now.”

“Some confessions may have an ulterior motive – to extract sympathy. We will never know if there was remorse or penitence.”

“I would agree. Yet it is better than you corporate managers who speak only of feedback and not of disclosure, although you give sermons on Johari Window .”

“What’s happening on ‘MeToo’? No disclosures, right? Or yes, one or two by the offenders. Such disclosures have some value, but not much.”

“I wonder… does it come from public pressure or from a genuine bottom-of-the-heart feeling? Disclosures must have the effect of cleansing your mind.”

“Hmmm….. I have often seen that men are not ready to handle some situations. I know that some men have messed it up when they are to handle a complaint from a girl about somebody harassing her – sometimes she lodges a complaint against him for inappropriate behaviour or language or even his failure to understand her!”

“But that can’t be the excuse. Men must learn to consult those who can guide them. The problem is that seeking advice does not come easily to men. They see it as their failure or weakness.”

“We talk of detox these days.”

“Right. We need detox of the mind.”

“I agree. Sometimes it happens with tears.”

“Che Guevara was right. Insightful.”

“What did he say?”

““Everyday people straighten up their hair, why not the heart? Detox must be done daily. Not occasionally.” Lulu turned to philosophy.

The drizzle had stopped. I wiped off droplets of water fallen on my head. And took out a comb to straighten my hair. Lulu and I looked at each other and smiled.

Vivek S Patwardhan