THIS is the latest amongst the hopping teens and sprinting youth, a signature style of masculinity! From times of yore, we’ve heard of Shammi Kapoor-style, Dev Anand-style, Rajesh Khanna-style, and lately, youngsters swooning over the Varun Dhawan and Ranveer Singh-style statements! Yet, nothing to beat or debate the present ‘veggie hairstyles’! As I walked down through the college gate, I almost gasped at the sight before me! A group of a dozen youngsters presenting the same look from the head to the face! ‘Katori-cut’ - I was told (resembling the uniformed personnel-look), with a moustache curling down and twirling up slightly on the cheeks - they affirmed on the latest ‘style statement of the macho’! Another set of youngsters sported a left-side-of-the-head shaven to a quarter centimetre (or even less!),
while the right side had the hair flowing down the ear, and with every move of the body, the head jerked and shirked to keep the waves at bay! The reflex action of the fingers continuously patting up the unruly growth or the fingers running through the fresh ‘style’ kept the youngsters busy all through the class hours as well as the off-times they spent in the campus! The inquisitively curious mind, though amused at the sight, asked the supposed-to-be leaders of the groups as to what this ‘latest’ meant! I never received such quick response in my teaching term, when they answered unanimously - “Ma’am, yeh ‘A-cut’ hai! Bilkul fresh!” I remembered Manoj, a Std. X student, instantly! Despite being a good student, he was uncontrollably naughty, hyper energetic and very restless! Many times, I would tempt him with a chocolaty ‘bribe’ to keep quiet in class; many times, I would show some false annoyance to keep his antics at bay! He was in the habit of changing his hair-style every week/fortnight. His attention was more on his fresh hair style than what was being taught in class! His fingers hardly held a pen or pencil! They were busy ‘rummaging’ through his tresses, now cauliflower, now mushroom, now broccoli! Returning to my campus of the undergraduates, I tried to clear my doubts on why names of the vegetables made the rounds on hair styles!
Taking a look around the city, nine out of ten teenagers had their hair cropped up like a plate holding some grizzly-frizzly curls rounded on the top! Some were coloured fawn, brown, blue, gold, yellow - any colour that ‘matched’ their moods. A-little-older guys sported a pink-purple-blue tinge just above the brows. Again, I am told, this is the ‘in-thing’! Not to forget the pigtails, pony tails or the little buns on the heads! I will not be surprised if I am ‘accosted’ with another most happening style making the rounds (as the IPL is on) - the slitheringly serpentine ‘Russel’ hair style! His proficiency with the bat takes him over sixes and fours, but the bunch of revelling youngsters of the city have not been making any ‘waves’ to reckon with except their fascination for the latest fad of hairdos! I was tempted to ask my boys what their ‘A-cut’ meant.
While I stood to appreciate them and also congratulate them for their ‘handsome’ looks, very teacher-like, I said: “Define this A-cut!” “Ma’am, yeh to latest hai! Aap ne TV nahin dekha? A-cut yane ‘Abhinandan-cut! Latest hai!” Then the whole ‘story’ of the valiant ‘Abhinandan’ flowed out - how smartly he stood, how he walked, his gait, his posture and of course, his hair style and his moustache! “Kya jhakkass, Ma’am! It’s taken young India by storm! No doubt!” But, I doubted! I posed a question - “Who is ‘Abhinandan’? What did he do?” Sadly, I barely had answers to count on my finger tips! His valour, his dedication, his commitment to duty - most of our teenagers and youth do not know. What they did was copy his looks - face value! For the Youth of this country - “abhinandan, abhinandan”!!