Lines of Sight ~それぞれのアジアへの視線~
海外フィールドワーク引率ブログ2007 > Day 91  インド・ タージマハール Taj Mahal, India アーカイブ

Day 91  インド・ タージマハール Taj Mahal, India

I went out from my hotel in the morning on June 19th to take photos of Taj Mahal, the World Heritage. Just before the East Gate of Taj Mahal, there was a drug store. I entered there to get mosquito repellent.

I asked a shopkeeper, “Do you sell mosquito repellent?”

The shopkeeper replied, “No we don’t. But we have much better one for you.”

Believe or not, he showed me Hair Loss Cream (cream to improve hair density and to prevent hair lose).



Holly smoke! I could not believe it. What kind of shopkeeper is he to try to sell such hair loss cream to a customer who came to buy mosquito repellent. If it was Samurai era, he was finished due to his disrespectfull behavior by Samurai sword. If it was 300 yeas earlier, his life could be ended in a second.

However, because his offering was so unexpected one from what I was looking for, I asked almost unconsciously:-

“Is this really effective?”

Then the shopkeeper answered strongly,

“100% guarantee”

He was a typical Indian merchant, I must say. I was again hit by his unexpected answer. But I tried to overcome and asked again.

「なにぃ、100%? ならば、どれくらいで毛が生えてくるのか?」
“What? 100%? You can’t be serious. Then how long will it take to see my new hair?”

I gave him a perceptive question. However, without hesitation, he replied.

"1 month!"

He said very straightly again.

「なにぃ、たったの1ヶ月? おのれ~、もし生えてこなかったら、警察呼ぶぞ。もう一度聞くが、それは本当か?」
“What? Only 1 month? Holly smoke! Are you joking? OK, if no hair will come out after 1 month, I sue you to the police. OK? I ask you again. Are you sure?”

“I guarantee 100%.”

He clearly answered. Myself, I completely forget about mosquito repellent and instead I was asking him the price of the Hair Loss Cream.

“150 Rupees”

It was only about 450 Japanese Yen. 100% guarantee product was only 450 yen. Not only that it takes only 1 month before seeing my new hair on my forehead. That mean, I will have a lot of hair around July 19th while I will be traveling in Silk Road in China. When I will return to Japan, I will be a totally different man having a lot of hair. I could even see people in Japan who could get surprised seeing my new hair. My wife would even say, “Oh my god!”.

I was already picking up my wallet from my bag. Then another shopkeeper who was watching me said,

“we have this kind of product as well.”


She showed me a conditioner to prevent hair to drop. “Are you guys magicians or something?”, I thought. I could not do anything but buying this product, too. The River Ganga is a secret holly place for Hindu people, but his small drug store just next to Taj Mahal was as if a secret holly place for those who have very little hair like me.

Then I should remember 2 lecturers of Fieldwork course in Tokyo, Mr. I and Mr. S. I wondered if I should buy those products for them as souvenirs or not for a sec, but to avoid my backpack to get more weight, I said to myself, “next time”, and I gave up to get for them.

Well, going backward to April in Vietnam.

Yuki, one of my student, who was walking behind of me suddenly asked me,

“Do you mind if I say something you may not like to hear or you may get hurt?”

I did not know what was going on and I also did not like to be hurt. But anyway, I asked her what was about.

She said,

“You said you lost 5 kg of your weight last year after the fieldwork trip, but this time you are losing your hair this year.”

I was hurt. Deeply hurt. If it was Samurai era again, she ended her short life in Vietnam.

Furthermore, I remember what Konno and Tokuda, my former students, said as a joke. They said,

“Is it a condition to have little hair to become a fieldwork lecturer?”

It is kind of natural for the students to misunderstand that little hair is a absolute condition to become a lecturer for our fieldwork course if they see Mr. I, Mr. S, and myself who have all little hair….. However, still if it was Samurai era, Konno and Tokuda could finish their lives there.


I was dealing with such stupid hair loss cream business just 30 meters besides Taj Mahal, the most beautiful architecture in the world. Such a shame. Oh god….

Taj Mahal, The World Heritage

By the way, it was 40 degree centigrade today (June 19th) which was the highest record for me since this journey has started last March.
Hygrometer above (abut 28%), and thermometer lower (40 degree centigrade)

And curry for my lunch and dinner every day.....

Before ending, I know it's such a shame, but I’d like to put my photos as a record of my hair as of June 19th, 2007. I can’t wait to see my new hair after 1 month from now!


Well, we will leave Agra tomorrow morning on June 20 by train for Jodhpur (so called blue city where houses are painted in blue). It will be 12 hours train jurney. See you!

All photos taken by Olympus myu770SW and E-1

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