I cut my hair

Posted on May 8, 2023 by Amneesh
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Hello, it has been ages since I last wrote something, life has been hard in ways more than one. As the post title says, I cut my hair, for the very first time, a few days before my 20th birthday.

It may not seem like a huge deal to many but being born in a Sikh family, although I was never initiated/baptised (Amrit Sanchar/ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਸੰਚਾਰ), I have had my hair my entire life. That is the only way I have ever lived, with uncut hair and a turban when outside. I went through an atheist phase back in middle school like many, and that is when I decided I will get rid of my hair some day. Albeit I am not an atheist (or a theist for that matter) anymore, I got a haircut yesterday. I had been preparing for this passively for years and mentally for months at least, but a day later, it hit me like a truck.

I woke up feeling rather shitty about the whole situation. I cut my hair and that’s what I wanted, then why am I mad about it? The answer is an amalgam of a number of reasons, one of the major ones being that it was not about Sikhi or religion anymore, it was about the culture.It is ironic but I have never cared about Sikh tenets that much despite knowing their significance; that is how it has been, but the hair and the turban have become my very identity. They are me and I am them, at least that’s how it had been up until yesterday. Now I am left with this gaping hole in my chest with this new me. My relatives do not know about the entire ordeal but my parents and sister have accepted me for what I did and do not think ill of it anymore. The problem is selfish. I want to go back to how I was so much, and think about all this again. The entire problem stems from my coping mechanism for major changes; but even if I say that, everything is the same - friend and family are the same and so are my memories; however, I am not me anymore. I cannot bring myself to look into the eyes of other people, as if I have somehow defiled myself. I am completely aware that this is not the case, and people who have not been in this situation might find it offensive or hilarious at best, my upbringing has has had somewhat of an effect on how I think subconsciously. I should try to get rid of that.

Even Bulleh Shah did not know who they were, nor does any thinking mortal either. And Nanak said that the ‘I’ does not exist. But the fact remains that people are who they believe they are, and that is not at all wrong. Maybe that is why the lack of an existing identity is so excruciating. Being as reserved and introverted as I am, with no contact with the native Punjabi culture outside textbooks and the internet, why do I feel this strange lack of brotherhood? I am more fragile and weak than I thought. Doing this on purpose without being forced by external factors does not feel right. Maybe I was looking for a reason, but that would mean I indeed wanted what I did. Today is a rough day and tomorrow will be rougher, all I can hope for is for me to get through it.

Before closing, I must state that I did not do this to “look” good. I looked much better when I used to don a turban, I do not anymore. I do not hate or even dislike Sikhi or Punjabi culture; on the contrary, I very much like it since I somewhat grew up with it. The only reason I did it was because I did not want to be associated with a single group identity; turns out I miss it. This post was just me sharing my experience.

Short hair feel shitty and my beard is prickly. Maybe I will go back to being the way I was some day or maybe I won’t.

Too many ’I’s in this post, lol.