A Small Price Toupee

I came back home after a tiring day at school. I saw my dad’s face all tensed up. He called me for a meeting at the dining table right away. I saw him holding the thing that I’ve been hiding for a very long time. Well, a very long time seems like an exaggeration. It was just a week. As I sat down opposite him, my dad began “I went to put your washed clothes in the cupboard, and found this. Do you care to explain yourself?” 

“Remember the snowstorm last week? You fell and lost it in the snow. I was able to find it and put it inside my bag” I replied, pondering over what my punishment might be.

My dad’s eyes widened on hearing what I had to say. My father was furious hearing this. “You knew and didn’t tell me?! Do you know what I’ve been through this past week? The security at my office kept me from entering. I see that guy every day and yet he didn’t recognize me. At the supermarket, the store owner had a good laugh at my expense. I had to cancel on my friends’ plans last night for fear of being laughed at. You knew all this and yet you didn’t feel like giving it back?”  He shouted, and while shouting, waved his hands in such anger that the wig he was holding fell on the floor.

Just as he bent to pick it up, I yelled “Stop!” 

He turned, wearing a perplexed look on his face. 

“I agree. I could’ve given it to you the minute I found it. But then, I thought about mom. She’s the most gorgeous woman we know. I remember how one day she returned from the border with a big scar on her face. I asked her if she needed something to cover it up. The answer she gave me still rings clearly in my head – ‘These scars don’t make me ugly, they define who I am. It isn’t something to hide, but rather something to show with pride.’ “

I stopped for a moment to take a sip of water and then continued, “When she’s out there embracing who she is, I wonder why it’s so difficult for you papa. Remember when we saw that Fast and Furious movie? Those two heroes looked like Giant Thumbs fighting. But they owned it and have made it a part of their identity. When they can, what’s stopping you?”

My dad stood there speechless. Maybe not for my uplifting speech, but probably because I called his favorite actors giant thumbs. He took his wig and put it back on. When I noticed he hadn’t placed it right, I climbed up the table and went up to him.

“It’s up to you papa. If you want to keep wearing it, I won’t stop you. But it won’t be the papa I know. To embrace who you are, losing the wig is a small price toupee, don’t you think?” I said and winked as I was adjusting his wig. 

Just then, the clock struck six and it was time to talk with my mother. I ran and took my Ipad to call her up. 

“Hey, mom!” I uttered in excitement. 

“Where’s papa?” she asked. 

“He’s right next to me” I replied and turned the Ipad towards him. 

Her eyes were filled with amusement as she remarked, “Well well well, why is there a giant thumb sitting on our couch?” 


Author: Harshavardhan (Instagram – @harsha_2598)