by Rajbir Deswal
Watching me shave while standing almost akimbo in front of the washroom mirror, wife said the other day, “Looking great in this style!”
“What style?” I questioned. “The way you are standing, with one hand taken behind you on your back and the other working up lather, with the brush on your face!” she explained smiling.
“And you call it style! I am only trying to give some support to my Lumber-five & S-one diagnosed slip disc, darling!” I elucidated while she took the justification with a pinch of salt.
On another occasion, a teenage daughter of a friend told my wife about me that “Uncle has a unique style of holding his chin always, when he is thoughtful or reflecting.” I had to explain it to her in our next meeting that some kind of neck pain had me hold my chin sometimes. But the young-thing didn’t buy it, grinned and laughed away.
On hindsight, there is nothing wrong if you could make up for your deformities and inadequacies in a way that it appears to be a style. Everybody is not as strong and handsome as Hrithik Roshan, who can afford to show his six-fingers on screen, believing he could be spared his (otherwise perceived as such) handicap.
Legendary Meena Kumari is said to have chopped off her little finger, which she hid in a way while dancing, etc, as would appear to be one of the mudras. Zeenat Amaan in Satyam Shivam Sundaram had her scalded face covered with side-locks and looked cute. Fight the composer and villain of yesteryears; bald Shetty, had a meek voice box. The directors always thought it wise not to put words into his mouth lest the impact was gone.
Those who stammer and have their tongue, too, protrude in an attempt to grab a spoken word, generally cover their mouth to let it appear a style, a la Manoj Kumar. Bharat Kumar though took exception to his caricaturing and lampooning as such, in Om Shanti Om. But he had been doing it, not to cover a handicap, but for style. And here handicap and style come to each other’s rescue.
Those who lose their crowning glory, and go bald in whatever balding pattern, have a tendency to grow as much hair on their faces as they can whether it is the sideburns or a bushy moustache, or even a French-cut beard. Also they would allow a dense growth, on the nape, as also on one side of the scalp, that they could turn the entire bunch of hair the other side to cover every shining spot.
Those men who are hairy on the chest leading to the neck and forearms wear full-sleeves shirts, as the bow-legged always wear losers and not the slim fit. For reasons of decency, I would desist from talking about women, who do what they do and who do not do what they do not do to allow a swap of their handicaps with styles. I can gainsay, but they are the master connoisseurs in the art of stylising the handicaps.
Correcting the handicap in a style is also a wayout. I met an officer who earned two doctorates, and in the process of deep studying his eye lashes lost the voluntary control of blinking and what he had was a look to present, as if he was sleeping, always. Once his superior officer visited him, and I found him wearing the double-triangle fixture, which helped him show by holding up the eyelashes that he was enormously attendant to the celebrations.
Last but the not the least, one must mention those who care two hoots to stylise their handicap. There are people who would allow hair to grow on their ears like the alien in Koi Mil Gaya. They aver-removing them would make them lose their riches. So far, so good! But style is the man himself.