Monday, 17 June 2013

Parting ways

“Do you know how to do partition?” Omar asks me.

“Partition? Why, what happened?” I ask. My mind races through the possible battle scenes amongst the Lilliputians that had led to the ultimate decision to create boundary walls.

“I want a partition in my hair,” he bends his head so I can clearly see the space that needs to be ‘partitioned.’ Then he points to his left side and hands me a comb. “I want it here.”

“Oh, side parting. That’s easy.” I quickly run the comb through his hair.

“Partition done?” Omar asks as I put down the comb.

“Yes. Go look in the mirror.”

A second later, I hear a voice that seems like a prelude to a tantrum.

“You call this partition?” Omar shrieks.

“No, I call this parting,” I say in a quiet voice. The idea is to set an example of polite conversation.

Neither my impressive vocabulary nor my well-mannered conversing style impresses Omar. In fact, nothing registers.

“The line in my hair is not straight, and my skin is not visible. You said you knew how to do partition,” Omar thumps his feet on the floor.

“Okay. Bring me a scale and some water. I will have to wet your hair and use the scale to make a straight line,” I try to calm him by imparting some professional and technical touch to the entire undertaking.

Omar is impressed. He brings me a scale and some water. I wet his hair and with the help of the ‘scale’ divide it into two sections. Lo and behold! A beautiful part runs down the left side of his head.

To save my art work for future reference I take a photograph of this perfect partition and show it to Omar. “It looks like a white zebra crossing-minus stripes dividing a black road,” I comment on my art work. The analogy pleases Omar; he rushes to the looking glass, stands there, and admires himself for a while.

“This is better, but the partition is not wide enough. I want my scalp to be visible,” he comments while still looking in the mirror. “Do you think you could pluck some of my hair to make it wider?”

“It will hurt. This looks quite good. But why do you want this zebra crossing-minus stripes in your hair?” I obviously want to know the reason behind this sudden fascination with ‘partition’.

“I saw it on somebody. See it makes me look different,” Omar says while still looking in the mirror and feeling quite pleased with his new look.

Has Omar caught the fashion bug? And is it just the beginning?

Omar wants to look different by looking like somebody else. Isn’t this what fashion is all about?