Black Gold Poem by Asit Kumar Sanyal

Black Gold

You must visit Balaji temple once
about a crore people
tonsure their heads there annually
In peak season
about 30,000 men and 20000 women
get their heads tonsured daily
at 16 tonsuring halls
two of which stay open round the clock
It's custodian Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam
in short form 'TTD'
earns about Rs 200 crore per year
selling 6 lakh Kg tonsured hair
donated by male and female devotees
as part of their vow to Lord Venkateswara.
There is a huge market for hair in the US, Europe and China
women's long hair popular abroad
called "Tirupati hair"
and used to make wigs and hair extensions
Persians prefer Tirupati hair
as Indian women nurture their hairs
with organic oils rather than chemicals
Men's tonsured hair used in coat linings
Chinese mix it with local hair
and make cheap wigs and hair extensions.
The hair collected in Tirumala
cleaned and dried
at controlled temperatures
and stored in categorized bins at the warehouse
It's broadly divided into six grades
depending on the length and texture
Remy hair is the best
it's long, uniformly trimmed
and has a big market in Europe and US
where it is woven into wigs
There is huge demand for non-remy hair
broken and short hair too
specially in China
where wigs are made and sold
to the American and African markets
wigmakers and e-traders believe
foreign film stars love to use wigs
made of hair tonsured at the Balaji temple
Some 650 barbers work for the TTD
including 60 women
Each of them shaves about 60 heads
during a six-hour shift
Rural women of coastal South India
grow long hair
and offer it to Lord Venkateswara
in a custom called "Niluvu Dopidi"
means 'complete offer'.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Topic(s) of this poem: barbers,film star,hair,market
Asit Kumar Sanyal

Asit Kumar Sanyal

Lalgola, Murshidabad, West Bengal, India.
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