I will begin this manly post with swearing. Here goes – I swear that any resemblance between the items of this post and your brothers, boyfriends, blogger-throbs, sons, husbands and fathers-in-law is a matter of pure coincidence. I am pinching the skin of my Adam’s Apple and saying this. Swear! No fingers or toes are crossed as I say this and what is, remains none of your business.
I also promise you this post has not been written for a shaving contest with a year’s supply of pretty blue ladies razors up for grabs, even though I need one so badly my son has been mixing up my legs for my husband’s. Like it matters! Horses all kinds are meant to have hair all over. I’m only keeping it very real for my child’s favourite four-legged activity.
This post, macrocosmically, is a confession of the handful of regrets I have. Microcosmically, they are all to do with me commenting virally on the various kinds of beards I see walking-talking around me and how! Just imagine yourself a priest with me in the confession box and read. Also, I have made peace with the ‘Woman, you have sinned’ in my life so keep it to yourself and “listen” in silence. You see, I had to drink half a glass of Horlicks to feel encouraged to do this, especially since I’m not a regrets-on-the-table kind of person even though I am often quite a regrettable companion .
Like when I couldn’t resist asking my best friend’s brand new husband why he sports a week-long stubble every time we get together for a formal party. If only I had asked him just that on his house warming do. But no. How could I? ‘When you get your house whitewashed next time you don’t need sandpaper to scrub the floor.’ My husband, oh that clean shaven man God bless him, had choked, coughed, caught my thigh under the table and squeezed it. Our secret signal for when my sense of humour is lance-shaped. We met for my friend’s birthday at a swanky restaurant where he gifted her a pug in pink ribbons. All seemed to be going well with the mike being passed around and barks and blessings being tuned out when ‘Happy birthday, Sheena. Oh, you won’t need a brush to make your dog’s coat shiny and flea-free. You married one!’ said my mouth, half full of apple custard. I wasn’t drunk. Four vodkas with lime make you honest, not drunk (Do try it at home.) Of course I went home soon after, but with the greatest doubt playing aloud – does she wear gloves before doing paari to him?
Did I ask her boyfriend this the next time we met? Of course!
A very cute boy in college had my full attention, till he started growing hair on his chin. No beard no moustache. It spread like a coir door mat covering what didn’t anyway seem a strong point of his features. Just his chin. In a few weeks, there was a forest there. I always wondered what shape the hair was in – Oval? Circle? Star? – Till he took a proud selfie with his chin raised and I realized it was shaped like algae and looked it too. Anyway, his door mat went wherever he did and I was certain I saw the guitar on his back green with jealousy in Chandni Chowk, wondering how come guitars were no longer the sole cynosures for 20-somethings. 'Did you kiss the ground Anil Kapoor walked on? His assets are stuck on your chin!’ The face he made I thought no human could. But then again, anything is possible with golgappe in the mouth. By Diwali we had made up. His mom sent gajar ka halwa for us poor hostellers. ‘Happy Diwali, Jiggs. You peeled the carrots well. Hope your mum didn’t take those nods as a yes for marriage.’
Obviously, I said it after I had eaten up the halwa. It was yum!
The most sinfully fascinating of all is that tiny beard (beard?) middle aged men have taken a liking to. Irrespective of the shape of the face, or any shape at all, so many are seen sporting an inverted triangle right under their lower lip, the most unloved place. An attempt to look kewl dewd? Younger? Nostalgia for college? While I was still trying to solve the mystery, one mister I had to encounter. Had to. Across a meal table. First I thought it was a bit of dal makhni stuck. After much staring in the direction of his lips, I realized it was follicular growth. That’s all it took to make me imagine him shaving in front of his mirror – razor in one hand, magnifying glass in the other, chin out-stretched with the combined efforts of teeth and tongue, and Van Gogh’s artistry. ‘You a fan of Shakespeare, sir?’ I had blurted before stuffing my mouth with biryani and hoping the “imperial” bone didn’t go the wrong way down his throat. It didn’t. The talk veered to the favourite topic between just-met friends – the GoI - and between sips of Coke and high on camaraderie I pointed towards him and said – ‘You could be a mascot for the government's Family Planning Scheme. Just paint the inverted triangle red.’
Needless to say, I blamed it on the caffeine. Needless to mention he will never lunch with me again.
I regret to have said all this and then to have repeated it here. So to whomsoever it is due, here's a heart-felt apology.
But then, Humanity is bound in the sameness of being.
Plato Neitzsche Decartes Anonymous said so. I am sure you too must have had the same beard thoughts. No? Very similar thoughts? Come on! Are you saying you have never noticed how the biggest most well-maintained mooches grow beneath shiny clean pates? The Gods work in crazy ways and the human body in crazier. ‘We can have hair!’ the foot-long monsters seem to be symbolising.
Wait, let me go write about it in another post.
And regret it all in yet another!
[Written for WordPress Daily Prompts : 365 Writing Prompts. The prompt for today was - Regrets, I’ve had a few - What’s your biggest regret? How would your life have been different if you’d made another decision?]