My Xth CBSE Hindi syllabus had this chapter about a middle-aged man expressing his bittersweet feelings after he noticed the first gray strand on his scalp.
His feelings got my goat. I was 15, and had already begun graying.
My first gray strand appeared when I was 14. The second didn’t take too long after that.
At the peak of my hormonal pandemonium, just when I was supposed to experience the highs of youth, I was dealing with my first sign of aging.
I don’t know — it was probably the hard water. Or my diet. Or maybe that I think too much. Way too much.
By 18, it was a full-blown epidemic. The temples, the scalp, the back of the head — the grays were gaining ground.
I might have been 19 when I had my grays coloured black — something I resorted to, once in a while.
What made matters worse that my hairline receded too. From worrying about premature graying, now I was thankful to have hair at all.
After college, I was admitted to a journalism school. Before I joined, I thought it’d be best to get my hair coloured to look my best for the first day.
A month after a joined, when the colour faded away, I realised half the class was gray.
That’s when I knew I was at the right place. And I never worried about my grays since.