Guest post: Aditya’s Hairstyle

The following piece is by my brother, Aditya.

Missing: One right-partitioned hairstyle of neat appearance and dark colour, around 20 years old. Disappeared on 17th July, 2012. May be lonely, disheveled and afraid. If found in a state of shock, kindly administer first aid by application of Brylcreem and steady, gentle combining. Kindly return to “Aditya’s head, Top Floor, Aditya”.

My earliest memory of Appa: him rubbing in a generous dose of Brylcreem into my little head after a morning bath, followed by parting my hair from the right instead of the his own left. It made me feel special in some way, being a unique person worthy of the right partition.

It gave me an identity, my hairstyle. For most of my life, I’ve looked into the mirror and that smiling face stared back, hair parted neatly, everything disciplined and ordered.

We’d have haircuts together, Appa, Anna and I, getting identical looks, mine the mirror image of theirs. It made me feel proud to look like him, even if it was just a little bit.

But ever since he left, my lifelong hairstyle has disappeared, leaving in its place, a new growth of spiky hair, growing wild like weeds in a garden. It refuses to be tamed and rejects the authority of the Comb and the civilised principles of uniformity and aesthetics in favour of barbaric randomness and directionless anarchy. It dares to defy gravity itself and spills out over the head sporting a fuzzy helmet-like look. Even a haircut has done little to dampen its enthusiasm or diminish its ambition.

But even in these dark and dangerous times of disorder, there is hope. Somewhere out there, the old hairstyle lives on, biding its time until it is ready to rise again. According to an ancient Mayan prophesy of Hairmageddon, on the darkest night of 2012, it will return to reclaim its crown and kingdom. It will make its nemesis, the Spikes, stand on end one last time before finally restoring normalcy to my world again.

[Note from Achintya: My apologies about not publishing this in 2012! Hopefully, the Hairmageddon prophesy has come true, eh, brother?]

Update: 28th February 2013

This just in! The peace treaty was signed earlier today between rival factions, the Spikes and the Order, with both sides unanimously agreeing to the ceasefire that would put an end to months of instability in the region. The development comes just as the scenario was threatening to escalate out of control and has been cheerfully welcomed by various “Heads” of State and by the international community.

The six-month-long conflict began in mid-July when the Spikes, a rebel faction protesting against the inequality of partition, overthrew the Order in a violent coup that turned the entire kingdom into a barren wasteland. In the months that followed, the Spikes slowly took control of the kingdom. The Order, who had been banished into hiding, gradually grew in strength and returned to challenge the Spikes and reclaim the crown and have been locked in a struggle for power ever since.

A leader of the Mohawk tribe, on the condition of anonymity, had this to say: “This is indeed a positive move in the right direction and I’m confident that what will follow is a period of strong trichological growth and stability in the region.”

© 2013 Aditya Rao

Supernova origin of galactic cosmic rays confirmed

The first direct evidence that galactic cosmic rays are accelerated within supernova remnants has been provided by observations by the Fermi Large Area Telescope collaboration. The results make use of four years of data collected by the telescope observing two supernova remnants – IC 443 and W44 – within our galaxy. The observations fit very neatly with predictions of neutral pion decay.

Read full story on physicsworld.com