Mission Delhi – Sanjeev Das, Gurgaon
One of the one percent in 13 million.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Sanjeev Das willingly exited from “the pointlessness of the ordinary world” about a decade ago and became a baba, an ascetic. He now travels the land, passing through cities and villages, in the company of babas like him.
The 46-year-old gentleman, however, hasn’t renounced his love for one essential element of his life— his hair. This afternoon, on a Gurgaon pavement in the National Capital Region, he is carefully, slowly, combing his crowning glory.
Mr Das’s head is leaning to one side as he brings the comb down through his dense smooth hair. “I shampoo them daily,” he discloses the habits of his vanity, briefly raising his eyes. Sadhus and fakirs often have long hair “but those are jatas, always unkempt and unwashed. I maintain my hair properly, as you can see.”
Even so, Mr Das is anxious about his “hairfall problem” and has started oiling them regularly.
He says he hasn’t let scissors come close to his head “since I became a baba”. Earlier, when he was a member of samaj (society), he would regularly dye his hair black. “My hair has a natural golden shade… but I stopped dyeing them after I left the world.”
Mindfully stroking his tresses, the sadhu confesses in a lazy murmuring voice that “I‘m not attached to my life but I put a great deal of effort and time to make my hair beautiful… I love them.”
[This is the 187th portrait of Mission Delhi project]
His crowning glory