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Comb Over

(This short story was originally published in GQ India as 'The Hatchling'. Illustration by Kunal Kundu) The funny thing is, I was dreaming about dad when they broke in. He was young and handsome, stepping from an Ambassador in a white suit and mirrored shades that popped with camera flashes from a cheering and whistling crowd. He ran a gold-ringed hand through his hair and grinned. I was amazed. All along, my dad had been a movie star and never told me . I struggled through a forest of legs and tugged at his trousers. He looked down. “Dad!” I cried. “Are you Amitabh Bachchan?” But when he bent down to me, I could see it was all an act. “No, Chicky,” he whispered nervously, “I’m not.” He pulled at his hair: a wig. Underneath, he was completely bald. He put a finger to his lips. “But keep it under your hat.” He stood up again. “I’m sorry I can’t give you much, Chicky,” he said sadly, patting me on the head. “It’s the price of fame.”

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