THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
‘WOMAN TO HAVE HAIR ONLY TO NECK FROM NEXT WEEK’
“At last the women short hair bill has been passed. It states that no female can have her hair reaching more than neck. Also if someone found with hair longer than neck, she would be jailed for 2 years, her hair would be shaved, and would be kept shaved for 5 years, during her punishment year and following 3years. The law would come to effect from next week, i.e. one day is left. It is expected that all woman who have their hair below the neck would cut it within this week, or would be ready for consequences."
“Regarding the haircutting problem in so little time, government has advised to women to get their hair cut from their family members (husband, brother etc), as nearly all saloon in the country has called strike for three days, to oppose this law"
I read this piece aloud to my wife, Mary (who has waist length hair) and sister Anne (who has breast length hair), who has came from her hostel to stay with us in the weekend holiday. They heard me carefully, and then started laughing loudly. I told, “It’s serious, see" and showed them the newspaper. They thought this must be a joke. I told," today is not 1st April, so why should a reputed newspaper publish such joke in the front page. This must be serious." They became silent. I continued, “This bill was pending for last few months in the people’s assembly." Mary said, “Maybe" with a sigh. I told her, “you are always busy with cooking shows and serials, how can you know what’s happening in the world." Then turned to Anne and said," same applies for you Anne" they became silent. Then Mary asked, “Do we really need to get our hair cut?" Anne interrupted and said, “We can revolt against this law by not cutting our hair short." I told, “It would be not a good idea, as you will get shaved and put in the bars if you oppose this law." Anne sighed. I continued," isn’t it better to cut and keep your hair short rather than keeping your head shaved for five years? “Anne wasn’t satisfied with my point; I turned to Mary and told her to make Anne understand. But Mary herself told," I am not in the support of cutting hair" I said, “you too?" she just turned her face. I said to her, “I can’t force you to cut your hair, as you are and adult, but regarding Anne, she is 17 now. And as mother and father are not here, I am her guardian and I will decide whether she will cut her hair or not? And I decide that she will have her haircut tomorrow morning" Anne shouted, “no" and ran to Mary. I told Mary," I am advising you to get your haircut also" she just left the room without answer with Anne. I went to bed early that evening, without any dinner.
Alarm beeped at 0600hrs. I woke up and saw Mary was still asleep. I went to kitchen and made some coffee for me. I then started collecting items required for haircut. I placed a chair in the living room and searched for comb, scissors in the Mary’s drawer. I at last found them all and placed them beside the chair. I took a table cloth as cape. I am now ready for haircutting. I went downstairs and found that both of them were awake. They greeted me with good morning, I replied them back. I told Anne to eat her breakfast fast, and be prepared for haircut. She just nodded. I told Mary," what have you decided, regarding haircut?" she replied, “You know the answer." I said," means no". She nodded.
I took the Anne with me, and told Mary to come upstairs, in case I need assistance. Mary just followed me. I told Anne to sit on the chair, and then put the cape with a swish. I combed her mid back hair and put the scissor near her shoulder, and said," this is for you good Anne" and then ssccrruunnchh, sccrruunnchh. Her locks felled to floor with each snip. She brook into tear, I said “it would be complete in a few seconds, be quite." I then started cutting small bits of hair, with comb and scissor. Some hair is collected in comb and then snip, snip. After it was completed in looked like a boyish cut. I dusted her, removed the cape told Anne to take shower and started collecting the chopped tresses. Mary came to help me. I asked for final time, she replied in negative.
The rest of the day was normal; Anne even liked her new haircut.
It was Monday, Anne left for her hostel in the early hours of day. Mary was now a little worried, as she didn’t cut her long mane. She just convinced herself, if she remains inside, who is going to check, if her hair is above neck or not. As she was thinking about this, the door was knocked. I opened the door and found two men. I said, “Yes". They showed their ID cards, in which it was written government agent, department- law and order maintenance. They checked a board and told, “House 45/6, correct?" I replied in positive. They continued, according to records there are two female in the house, Mrs. Mary Parker and Miss Anne Parker. I nodded. They said," We have to check their hair, if it is in correct state with the new dressing code of the country". I told," what if it is not in correct order?" they said, that she would be penalized. I told, “Anne’s hair has been cut the day before only, but she is in hostel now, you can check there." They said," we will verify" and put a round around her name. Then they asked for Mary. I told, “She is at home; you can ask her" and called her. On seeing they just put a cross on her name, and said, “Be prepared for punishment" and left. She became very scared, and tensed as she thought she would be in jail for 3 years and shaved for 5 years.
At the evening, breaking news flashed in the television that, ‘woman who is to be penalized for improper hair code, would not be jailed this time, and her shaving period has been reduced to 2 years for this time on request from Woman Welfare association. But government has introduced a new punishment which would be followed for this time only. The penalized woman would get her hair shaved in public in presence of any one of the following: sheriff of that area, mayor of the city, local judge or government agents who has charged you, shaving would be done by any of her male family member. Date of punishment would be told through emails’
On seeing the news, I told my wife," if you would have cut your hair, I would not have to shave you, at least in public" she became sad and was depressed, and straight way went to bed. I went to my laptop for my work. I received two emails email@example.com. 1st one it reads,’ Mrs. Mary parker has not met the required conditions of new hair code. So she is ordered along with one of her male family member to attend the punishment on 10/6/2022 at the local auditorium.’ 2nd one reads, ‘Miss Anne parker has met the required hair code. Thanks for showing respect to country’s laws’. I thought this means Mary head shaved is scheduled on the day after tomorrow. I told her the news immediately. She just broke into tears and remorse that she should have cut her hair. I just told her," Cry as much as you can, but please don’t cry in the stage during your shave." and left her room.
Next day passed, the shaving day came.
We were ready by 0900hrs to leave for the auditorium. Mary wore a scarf to hide her long hair. We reached the place at 0939hrs. A guard told us to go to the backstage and wait there. We could hear the sound of the mob. The attendance must have gone much higher than what a good drama can provide. After all who doesn’t want to see adult woman, with hairs at least longer than shoulder to be shaved by amateurs. In the backstage we saw some five to six couples like us. Some are young, some old. One has hair that just reached her neck; she too was guilty according to the agents. Mayor came at 1010hrs, and the process started. By then there were 16 to 17 odd couples like us. The first announcement was made, “offender, Miss Lucy Brown, come to stage with your family member." Lucy was a 20 or 21 year old lady has breast length hair. At the stage it was total humiliation, she was forced to tell why she didn’t chop her locks. She told, “I went to salon, but it was closed" anchor shouted, “Anyways, prepare for your shave." She brought her elder brother with her. Anchor gave her brother a straight razor, a comb, scissors and a cape, and signaled him to start. He put the cape, snipped her hair close to scalp without noticing her tears and then just run the blades of her razor on her head. She was completely bald in few minutes. We thought her turn is over, but it was not. Then anchor told her to collect all the chopped hair, only long locks and to keep them with her and told to sit on the stage. Next Jenny was called, she was a child only, may be 14 or 15 with the hair just reaching the neck. She was asked why she didn’t chop her locks. She answered back with confidence, ‘I cut my long hair to neck just the day before, rule was announced, and if your agents are blind what I can do’. The anchor was speechless, then just told her dad, who came with her to shave her. Her shaving was complete within 2 minutes.
Hours passed, most were called by then only we and another couple were left. Various weird questions were asked in stage like, what would happen, if we light your hair with fire? What would happen if we tie you with a pole by your hair? What would happen if the hair before it is cut is used to wash toilets? Mary was more scared of this type of question rather than her head shaving. Among the offender, she has the longest hair, reaching her waist. At last it was shouted on microphone, offender Mrs. Mary parker come to the stage. Anchor asked, what would happen if I light your hair, she replied back, “I will put the burning hair on your mouth". He was little irritated with this and last he gave me the comb, scissor, cape and razor and told me to start.
She was already sitting in the barber’s chair; I put the cape on her, then took out the hair from inside, and started combing it. I then placed the scissor near her ear, but couldn’t run the scissor. Mob now irritated started shouting in unity, ‘Cut it, cut it, cut it" but I couldn’t, as it was my wife’s best possession after me. Then Mary whispered, “I will be okay, cut it" hearing this I regained my confidence and then ssccrruunnchh, sccrruunnchh ssccrruunnchh, sccrruunnchh, her locks slid to the floor. Then I took the scissor and started cutting her hair as short as possible with scissor, and then razor took over my hand in place of scissor. I started with front, ran the razor blade. Gradually her head which was hidden from birth by forest of hair was seen. It took nearly 17 minutes to shave her. Then I was told to sit among the audience and she was told to collect her locks and sit in the corner of stage with the other offenders. After few minutes, last lady was also saved. I thought it was over, but it was not. Offenders were to be paraded throughout the day. I tried to go to Mary to comfort her, but security guards interrupted me & told to sit at my allotted place. Ultimately parade started, offenders were told to show their locks in the hand and their bald head parade, in front of the parade, a group hold placards, with message written on it, ‘thank God, you have cut your hair on time, or else, you would end among them’ I went to home, from the auditorium, assuming it would be useless to try to help Mary
Mary came home at 2147hrs in the night. She gave me a razor, and told, I must have shaved head for next two years, and you have to take responsibility of this" and straight way went sleep.
If you (reader) are a woman, don’t ignore the government order (in future), if they make short hair compulsory, or else you may end like Mary?. Please email me comments. Am in facebook with name Cole scissor, you can also post your comment there.
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