History ... as those bald men made it

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Syed Badrul Ahsan
Published : 22:27, Apr 21, 2019 | Updated : 22:53, Apr 21, 2019

Syed Badrul AhsanThere are some wonderful images, even realities, you tend to associate with bald or balding men. Euphemistically speaking, of course, you could suggest that men who lose hair are not getting bald or have already reached that stage in life but are only developing or expanding their foreheads. That is a most wonderful thing, seeing that many of the greatest figures in global history have been men without hair. You do not have to go too far back in time to find yourself vindicated on this issue. There is Julius Caesar for you. Take a good look at all the images of him which have come down to us all these hundreds of years. He is bald and not even that coronet of leaves on his head can hide that fact.
But then, Caesar was a reputed soldier who successfully crossed the Rubicon to become master of Rome. He was an intensely romantic man, like any other bald man. He loved his wife passionately and then came the fury with which he fell in love with the Egyptian Cleopatra. In recent times, you have the image of the actor Yul Brynner, one man for whom women across the western world would do anything to get into his favours and then into his heart. There is something of the sensual about bald men. The writer Henry Miller left us in no doubt about this truth in life when he wrote all those Tropic romances of flaming passion and uninhibited sex. And then, of course, was the sheer eroticism he brought into his relationship with Anais Nin. He and she enjoyed life, as they enjoyed each other, to the hilt. And literally too.
Creativity has generally been the privilege of balding or plain bald men. Every image or sketch of William Shakespeare is proof of how such men shake up our world with ideas. Or observe the history of literature anywhere around the world. The chances are that bald men will pretty much outnumber the hairy ones when it comes to a dissemination of original thoughts. Isaiah Berlin and Pablo Picasso are two energetic examples readily available to us. The fact of the matter is that it is not until one begins to lose hair that one begins demonstrating the fertility of one’s mind, in nearly every area of life. There is something about the shining pate which serves as an intimation of the fruits of lifelong experience.
Combination of photos shows Mikhail Gorbachev, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Winston Churchill.And a surefire way of ascertaining the veracity of this statement is through recalling the lives and times of some of the more influential of men in the political arena. Gandhi and Nehru were both bald men, with ideas which revolutionised thoughts in modern times. In Nehru especially, there was a certain allure in the baldness, to a point where women like Edwina Mountbatten could not resist the charm in the man. Besides, Nehru’s baldness is forever an image of a politician in whom subsisted a true scholar. That is, however, something you cannot say about the bald Dwight Eisenhower. In war he was not a very remarkable soldier. In politics he did not make much of a difference, though it was in his times in the White House that the Cold War began to take a crooked, sinister shape. Speaking of cold wars, though, there is the ubiquitous, bald Winston Churchill with his sense of humour resting on a degree of hauteur he could have done without. He was always putting down others, wanted to write history himself and then walked away with the Nobel Prize for literature.
Adlai Stevenson was bald and so was Isaac Bashevis Singer. By the time he perished in August 1945, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was on his way to becoming a shining example of radicalized baldness. In times closer to ours, we have the remarkably unfortunate Mikhail Gorbachev, whose baldness gave us glasnost and perestroika before it tore the Soviet Union into pieces.
Let us call it a day. But before we do, let us dwell on how happy bald men in ordinary circumstances can be. For starters, bald men do not need any comb. Nature has seen to it that such a contraption does not any more cause havoc in their personal economy. And since baldness implies an absence of hair, there is simply no need of shampoo or oil to go with or after your bath. Bald men have never been seen to settle their hair back when the winds leave it ruffled.
Ah, did anyone ever tell you bald men are sometimes in epic love with some of the most beautiful women on earth? A union of the bald and the beautiful?
Syed Badrul Ahsan is the editor in charge at the Asian Age.

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