Beta Perwata, Short Story, The Jakarta Post

A Hairy Tale


She sits at her usual place, where she can perfectly see the sun gradually go to sleep and the world go by. She likes the concept of writing in a public place, as it gives her constant inspiration. And this café on Marine Drive has a big French window facing the promenade, which is like a giant LCD TV that broadcasts the reality show of a tiny part of Mumbai to her: the busy main streets, people going for a jog under the blazing sun, domestic helpers walking the house toy dogs, a line of young lovers sitting along the promenade, an open place where they can get more privacy than at their own home. She calls that line ‘the row of love poles’.


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But today, her mind is not outside. Today, it ponders and observes others at the café. There’s a skinny guy with a lot of hair, body hair, talking on the phone. And then there’s this girl; a pretty one, her long hair is blowing in the breeze, gleaming with the reflection of the afternoon sun. She’s wearing a sleeveless top and keeps raising her hand when she talks. Ugh, Anjali could see the stubs of hair popping out from her underarm pores, like a bed of grass’s tip. Disgusting, she thinks. It should be a crime to wear sleeveless attire when one doesn’t have smooth underarms. There’s a woman with awfully thick unruly eyebrows that are connected to each other like a bridge; a unibrow.

Baca juga  The Chosen Ones: New World Order

She pans from left to right again and all she sees is body hair on people. Why is it that when one has something on one’s mind, suddenly that’s the only thing that pops up before one’s eyes?

Read also: Home Sweet Home – Short Story by Jonathan G T Tan (The Jakarta Post, September 24, 2018)

She caresses her smooth hairless hand. Her mind reminisces the very first time she had the hair removal treatment at the clinic.


“Ouch…” Anjali bit her lips and tried to swallow the pain.

“That’s some nasty coarse hair in there,” the therapist glided and swirled the laser device over Anjali’s skin.


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