There was a time when every guy carried a comb. It sort of sat half in and half out of your pocket. And looking back at my comb carrying days of yore, I realize that it was a fashion statement.
The comb did not need mirror to be used. At the drop of a hat it was whipped out of the pocket with a flamboyant flourish and then run expertly through sleek, shiny hair.
For the comb to run through hair, a brylcreamed hairstyle was needed and since Travolta’s Saturday Night Fever portrayed the same sleek hair look, it became a rage to plaster your hair till the shape of your skull was duly seen and noted.
I had a major problem with the comb as if and when I dared to brandish it and run through my husk like hair, the damn thing entangled itself and refused to move. If then, I ever used muscle, which I had to do often, as you could not go around with a comb stuck in your hair, though I do see many young women doing it nowadays and it does look quite bewitching when they do, … yes and if I did ever use muscle, the comb fell into my hand in pieces.
So, I reserved my comb to it just being seen and never being used. Not on the hair anyway.
Where else? Have you ever travelled in one of those local or passenger trains. Have you ever looked up at the non-working fan above you with frustration. Then enters the hero and a hero he is for all the hot steamy passengers sitting below a still fan.
He pulls out his comb, like a sword from a scabbard and with a flourish pushes it between the metal guard and nudges the blades.
Even Lata Mangeshkar, I am sure has never felt the sense of adulation that the fan starter receives from the eyes of all those who are soon blessed by the cool effects of his comb pushing operations.
The other day at the station I saw a vendor selling little plastic brushes. I bought one and found that the tiny bristles could brush my unruly mop. But the brush was no fashion statement. Oh no. I can never think of letting half a brush show out of my pocket, nor could I ever try using the brush to move the blades of an obstinate fan.
A comb is a comb, like we have seen in more ways than one. It can even be used as a musical instrument.
I remember as a child, wrapping paper around a comb and then blowing into it and playing tunes. I am sure my poor mother must have shuddered at the cacophonic sound that must have been produced by her comb playing son. But it was music to my ears.
I don’t carry a comb any more, not because I don’t comb my hair, but because I don’t travel by the local train any more. But when I do see a comb carrying individual sauntering by, I smile at him and nod, because he is part of fast disappearing species..!