The Wolf Cub

Written By

Ushasi Sen Basu

The Wolf Cub Loading

My daughter was born like a 2.7 kg wolf cub. Very sweet, but very hairy. It gave me quite a turn when I saw her. I looked up at the nurse who’d brought my baby to me and tremulously said, “The bunny’s adorable, but can I see my baby please?”

Then as she got older much of the fur fell out. I’m convinced that her back is comparatively smooth because of the religious fervor with which the whole family burped her after every feed. Still, she’s a long way from silky smooth. And how will she be, may I ask?

I am a hairy lady. There, I said it. Like everything else, it’s my mother’s fault in her turn. And so I assume it goes back through the women in my family tree, up to the matriarch who proudly boasted of the special insulation that kept her warm and toasty through many a chilly night in the cave.

To compound matters, my husband is trebly hirsute. When we started seeing each other in University a friend (who was also a jilted suitor) snarkily remarked, “You’re dating him? With those genes, your kids will look like tumbleweed rolling through the house.”

Of course I put it down to jealousy, but his words came eerily true.

I get my waxing and threading done at home, and my daughter finds the process extremely entertaining. She drinks everything in with her big brown eyes — the instruments of torture, the bizarre poses, the Administrator of Agony, ‘Ramya aunty’ at work. Predictably, my daughter pretends to thread me and other female relatives with random lengths of string and has tried to wax herself once with her ‘Hello Kitty’ stickers. Needless to say, she hasn’t tried the latter experiment again.

What pains me (almost more than getting hair ripped out by the roots from my limbs) is that, if the world continues to be the way it is; in another 13/14 years this will not be a game anymore. She’ll curse her parents for giving her hairy genes while some stranger scalds her with hot wax and tears the hair from her shrieking skin. Once a month, if she’s not that fastidious. I hate the thought of it, I really do.

And why must she do it, I ask you? Is it good for her health? Will it make her, in any way, a better person than she will be already? Will the men around her be required to undertake a similar regimen too?

I can only pray that, bucking the trend of several thousands of years; the world will begin to accept that it’s perfectly natural for women (being warm-blooded mammals and not scaly reptiles) to have hair on their bodies. Perhaps it can be an option, like the length of your hair (on the head). And maybe, with time, it can even be considered attractive.

The perfectly nice Ramya aunty will be out of business, but that’ll be a very small price to pay.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ushasi Sen Basu, 37, lives in Bangalore and is the erstwhile Editor-in-Chief of SiyaWoman.com. She published her debut contemporary literary fiction novel, 'Kathputli’ in early 2017, in both Kindle and paperback formats. Ushasi has been a professional writer and editor for over a decade. She also has an unpopular blog called The Crib that pokes fun at everything, including herself. Ushasi (aka Shashi, "U" and 'You-Over-There') loves literature and music, and dances like nobody’s watching. She is the mother of a five-year-old girl, who is the joy of her life and grudging guinea pig for many of her parenting experiments.

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