Life never turns out to be the way we want it, never. We plan things, some of them work out as we want them to be and rest of them teach us. Rightly said, “The taste of life can only be found when it’s most uncertain”.
Events like that, uncertain, spontaneous, are the true essence of life and always unfold something that we never expected out of it, which I came to know very well until one happened with me. I would have described that day as a “normal-pandemic day” but it was different. My family and I were about to be jabbed (fancy term for vaccination!!) and thus we were on our way to the hospital.
Just like an epilogue, I would like to provide a back story for the events I would be elucidating ahead. Being from a middle-class family we all have thousands of dreams and in our whole life, we always try to check those boxes, every second. Like every boy in a middle-class family, we boys have some dreams to achieve that are so common, not in professional fields of course.
What I had, was to have long hair. Yes, I know some of you would relate and some may tag me mad, but it is what it is. I always wanted to have long hair and the motivation for the same came from watching the depiction of all those kings and pharaohs from ancient history. Another reason was that from childhood itself, I was a lover of science and all those scientific experiments and whenever I used to see photograph of scientists, all used to have long hair. That time I used to think that if I grow my hair I’ll be a scientist too (Childhood dreams!). They always fascinated me and I always imagined myself in those long hair and flicks but couldn’t sort it through until last year.
Lockdown imposed, everything came to an abrupt halt and being at home served me that opportunity. I never knew at that time, destiny had something else for me, something worth inspiring. Eventually, as the days passed, I didn’t have a haircut even though continuous rants by family were a constant demotivation but my passion for my dream was way beyond everything. I started to take notice and admire myself when my hair grew to 5 inches.
I was happy that what I needed from my childhood was actually happening and this forced me more to let them grow more. Weeks passed and so did my hair grew to 8 inches and now my friends started including that in every conversation.
So, yes, we all were going to the vaccination centre for our first dose, at last. Kind of excited but nervous too about hearing all those medical effects of vaccine but we were not smart enough to risk our life instead of looking out for a mere fever. The hospital was something opposite of what markets were, crowded and flocked by people and doctors. That was not the thing that caught me off guard but it was something else.
Just outside the hospital, instead of waiting for their call for vaccination, few cancer patients being head shaved as they have medical repercussions of Chemotherapy. It was then where my love and passion for long hair turned into empathy and my capabilities to help the patients. Later that night, still moved by what I saw at the hospital, I was surfing about cancer and chemotherapy where an article of The Hindu caught my whole attention and changed things for me. There was it, about an organization HYDERABAD HAIR DONATION which is providing wigs to those who are battling cancer and spreading a ray of hope and it hit me, why I can’t be a streak of light in the ray of hope and positivity?
The uncertainty of life hit me and that was the moment I decided that I had my dream of seeing myself in long hair, so why not help someone to see theirs even when they are fighting the worst of their battles, fighting cancer?
I started contacting the organization and then eventually came into contact with Shiva, the man who is solely responsible for the success of this organization to provide wigs to the cancer patients in his locality. About his organization, it all started when our Hairstylist Shiva noticed the large amount of waste hair that was reaching the bin and questioned himself why it can’t be used for someone needy. His vision propelled him and he started sending hair to a Mumbai-based organization that was providing wigs with all the hair they procured. Just after the start of the pandemic hit and it has to halt, but not the passion that Shiva had for helping the patients and putting a smile on their face. He single-handedly started visiting donors in Hyderabad and collected hair and started making wigs out of it, covering nearly 500 donors and providing wigs to around 50 patients.
Since our first meeting, Shiva helped me through all the procedures and kept my zeal going. I had to meet the criteria of 12 inches long hair for men. The D-day came, 14th Of May, on the auspicious day of Eid, when I finally met the benchmark and was made to follow the procedure of proper head-bath and different measures. Actually, it is done when the hair is braided and in a high pony with bands tucked at the end, middle, and root of the hair. The donor is free to donate any length of hair after the criteria are met but as I was never head shaved too (another fantasy I experienced) I decided to go all in.
The moment when shaving was done, I had goosebumps, I was so proud of myself, and nothing ever actually made me that happy in my whole life. That day I was taught a lesson by life that not every time you need to receive something to get happy; Sometimes you give and that’s where the purest of happiness lies. What made me happier and motivated to carry this chain forward to my friends was to imagine the amount of satisfaction Shiva would be feeling by helping all these patients in their rough phase of life.
When I disclosed the reason for keeping long hair to my family, even they had tears of joy and embraced this moment as something special to all of them, and what started as continuous rants and taunts turned into posting about me on social media by my family and friends. While I have a platform where I can inspire my friend and juniors and everyone around me, Shiva motivated me to spread the cause to more and more people. There is no need to prove anything to anyone when it’s your passion that keeps you going and I made up my mind that I will inspire others for this noble cause.
Just last week, a junior of mine contacted me about the procedure and all the details, that’s where I felt that I am doing something that doesn’t concern me, but the society we all live in. We all have our parts to do except living ravishingly and enjoying the perks ignoring our social obligations and all those who are suffering. There is nothing we can do when we fight it alone, and standing together with all those who are suffering from cancer or any disease, helping them to make it through, is what will make us more HUMAN and not looking past all of this.
Anyways, I took that call, hopefully by now, you must have also decided to do something, with of course growing your hair and calling Shiva to donate in the coming days. Cheers!
About the Author:
Hey everyone! I’m Sohail Shaik, a Verto from the School of Computer Science, looking for all possible ways to contribute to society.