A sure remedy

I would wash my hair and by the time I came out, I would be sneezing, continuously.

I used to dread the days when I washed my hair. I would have my bath in the morning and by the time I came out, I would be sneezing, continuously. In fact, there were days when, out of sheer exhaustion, I would lie down on my bed. I do not know when this sorry situation started, but it bothered me for at least three years while I was studying in college in Chennai.

Once, when I was in Cochin for the holidays, I mentioned this to an older cousin of mine. “You poor girl,” she said. “Wish you had told me earlier. Now, listen carefully. Do not pour water on your hair till you have finished you body bath. Then, before you get your hair wet, fill your mouth with water and close it tightly. Then wet your hair and shampoo it the usual way. After you finish washing your hair, dry it well. But keep the water in your mouth and do not open it, not even for a second. Then dress, and open your mouth and spit out the water just before you come out of the bathroom. Dry the hair again and that is all. Write and let me know the result.”

I could hardly wait for the next morning. I did all she had said and lo and behold! I had the first sneeze-less hair wash in a very long time! I rang up my cousin the very next day jubilantly! “It is a miracle” I told her. She laughed and said that the trick was “when you wet your hair after filling your mouth with water, you had to breathe through your nose. As a result, the water had no chance to enter your nostrils. So, it did not get filled with water, which is what was causing the sneezing!” I still maintained that it was a miracle!

Years went by, sneezelessly, and I told this secret to many of my friends! Then, one day, my husband and I went to our bank in Cochin to meet the manager. The nice young man seemed to be having a bad cold and had a pile of neatly folded handkerchiefs on the corner of his table. He saw me looking at them curiously and told us that every day after his hair wash he seemed to be having a long bout of sneezing.

My husband knew I was longing to tell him of my solution. He laughed and told the manager that I had a ‘Sure Remedy’ to his problem. And, when I did tell him, the man seemed interested and thanked me. After our work, we left.

A few months later, my husband got transferred to Trivandrum and, surprisingly, met the same manager there! He, too, had been transferred there. While he was leaving, he told my husband. “By the way, please tell your wife that the Sure Remedy she told me about to stop sneezing after a hair wash worked superbly. My heartfelt thanks!”

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