Shaving of heads is an age-old tradition in India. Some hindu families tonsure kids at about 1 year of age. It is believed to liberate them from the ties of their previous life. It is also felt that the new growth of hair is healthier and thicker than the old one.
Tonsuring is an act of surrender. It also means giving up one’s vanity. It can be a sign of mourning in some southern states in India. Father’s soul can find peace after death if his son shaves his head. Shaving is a way of raising funds for charity and for showing solidarity with a cause, such as free Tibet.
Saagar had beautiful soft curls. They were shaved when he was a toddler. It was a shock to him but it helped him cope with the hot summer. When he visited Uganda for charity work at 18 years of age he shaved his head again. This time it was a shock to me. I thought it was a big step for a teenager, especially one who angled his head and checked out his hair each time he purposefully or accidentally came face to face with a mirror. He was very much his own man, my boy!