Her attention wavered to a small group of younger men in designer outfits, looking misfit in that gathering. They were shouting “AD thumbs up man” M confusedly wondered what AD was , to her it appeared in history textbooks , BC before Christ or AD after death. Adithya smiled self consciously, “I only drink coke, that too never without scotch, these guys are having a dig at me, I shouldn’t have called them” M asked gingerly “What is AD?” Adithya laughed “My initials’ she felt foolish, she hated all drinks,they brought tears to her eyes. She noticed one of the young men to be particularly flamboyant, as loudly seeking attention as Padmini.
He was short, thin with longish hair but a head looking larger than his torso, his eyes were slanted, narrow like slits, and he positively looked evil.M was curious about men with long hair. She wondered if they found their masculinity to be a vulnerability and masked it with long hair or were they flaunting it because long hair invariably drew attention to sexuality in both sexes.
Whenever M entered her regular “man hating” phases, she was tempted to cut her hair or at least trim it. So men who grew their hair were they in “woman hating” phases? All hermits who regarded women as distraction grew long hair. M wondered if Menaka was a distraction to Vishwamitra, what he was to Menaka? Just a challenge or temptation, or a situation of voluntary sexual abuse of a heavenly body? Male desire was loud in its description, elaborate in translation; female desire was stubbornly silent in all pages of history and prehistoric times. Scriptures only recorded the events in the lives of female characters.
As the story goes her father had fallen for her mother’s long plait in his friend’s wedding. When he followed her mother and found the glimpse of the face of the owner of that plait to be lovelier than the plait , he wanted to marry. M’s mother cared for her hair for years grooming her. But M had cut her knee length hair when she was fifteen years old and vowed never to grow it for any man. Her man hating spells occurred too frequently for her hair to reach a length beyond her shoulders.
Her father had that expression of some one who was mutilated when he saw her at the dining table with a crew-cut. Since his opinion did not matter as the act was over, he ate his dinner silently, not looking at her , like ignoring a painful boil on the sole of his feet.