Read time: 1 mins

Hair Dye

by Shyam Darihare
9 August 2021

Translated from Maithili to English by Ashutosh Jha 

Translator’s note

I try not to compromise meaning in my translations. Normally I attempt to retain the original voice in my translations. As for diction, I employ language in accordance with the social background of the narrator (class, education, etc.). Above all, I don’t hesitate to make alterations to my translation to retain the meaning of the original work.


Hair Dye


Just think of it,

Had hair dye

Not been available

In the market,

People would not have dyed

Their hair.

Many beautiful women

Would have looked

Like old hags.

Forget the old


The middle aged,

Imagine how

Men and women

Of thirty-five,



For that matter,

Would have looked

Sans hair camouflage!

The entire city

Would have been

Like the jungle

Of kaas plant!

The tag of

‘A young country’

Would have been

Taken away from us.

Kudos to those

Who invented

Hair dyes,

Fake smiles,

Face masks,

Giving camouflage

To the era,

Inventing the cream

Hiding wrinkles


Various marks

On skin.

They don’t have

A small contribution


Making the world look

As it looks today.

Return to the collection

Illustration by Nadhir Nor

About the Author

Shyam Darihare

Shyam Darihare (also known as Shyam Chandra Jha) worked with the Government of Jharkhand, India as Divisional Commandant. He has published five novels, three poetry collections and three story collections and has received awards from Shitya Akademi of India, among others. He passed away in June 2021, just before his work was published on adda. […]