The first time I taught this story was in the summer of 2015, in Liktsey. ‘Annual Hair-Cutting Day’ was a hit amongst the students of Liktsey, and the face-painting, giggling, and outdoor practice sessions transcended the cold. The students were so few the day we first performed that the role of Sringeri Srinivas had to be carried out by me. It enthralled the children to be able to paint a moustache and beard on my face, all the while playing with my hair and laughing quietly to themselves. The thought of leaving Sringeri Srinivas behind saddened me, but I bid him and the children farewell.
One year later, in the small village of Matho, I taught the students the same story, this time in English. It hadn’t taken me long to decide which story I wanted to do with the children, considering how much Sringeri Srinivas meant to me already. Once again, I watched the Annual Hair-Cutting Day come to life through the students; the face-painting, prop-making, outdoor practice sessions, the giggles and subtle teasing.
Though the language differed, and so did the place, the students were tied together by one eccentric character and the innocence with which they wove magic into the story.
I pride myself on my long hair, and the thought of cutting it off is absolutely appalling to me. However, I think it’s safe to say that Sringeri Srinivas and his ‘Saalana Baal-Kataai Divas’ 1 will always be my favourite story, and perhaps even worth cutting hair for.
- Saalana Baal-Kataai Divas – Annual Hair-Cutting Day