The Hair Factor

Every month is a Movember for us. So what is this exercise all about? I don't qualify to say the above words as I do not sport a moustache anymore. But I am sure several others voiced this question, openly and otherwise. The moustache is a man's sign. Right from childhood, I waited for the first external signs of manhood. I spent countless hours in front of the mirror checking for the evidence of follicle related activities. To accelerate the growth of moustache, I discreetly used the shaving razor. Little did I know, my action may have been discreet, but the after effects were clearly evident on my face.   It is easier to write on a blank page. The phrase found a new meaning in my life.

Everyone in Kerala sported a moustache. This particular categorisation included who were classified as grown up and was not referred to with an endearing prefixed with a grand as in grandfather, granduncle etc. Some of the older generation didn't have a moustache. Although I would encounter the real reason for this soon in my life, I attributed it to the aging process. This attribution was accidental but right on the spot. I would learn it later in my life. Growing up among moustaches of different sizes and shapes, the moustache was one of the criteria to define a handsome man. To rate a moustache, there was two critical factors in my lexicon - the density and the twirl endurance.

The excitement of nurturing and grooming a moustache is only found in certain parts of the world. The rest of the world do not share the same enthusiasm. As you travel towards north from the south, the chances are you find moustache losing the prominence. If you go outside India, there may be genuine interest in why you are sprouting facial hair over your upper lips and also, veiled requests to don a clean shaven look for seeking acceptance. Why is there a disdain for moustaches? 

I don't sport a moustache anymore. I will be lying if I say the losing moustache was not an attempt to be treated as an inside person. The truth is I wanted to be accepted. The other factor that drove me into committing this heinous act was the grays gaining prominence over the blacks. It was making me looking me look older. Stop right there with your hallucinations. George Clooney and Richard Gere may look smart sporting their salt and pepper look. Haven't you heard of "apples to apples, oranges to oranges"? I rest my case.

I am not only the one falling into the acceptance trap. Recently, my recently immigrated friend turns up sans the moustache. I couldn't help smile and ask why. He eluded the reason by citing lesser time for maintenance. What happens when he moves back to India? He might grow it back. While the older ones were dropping moustaches, the younger ones are eager to cultivate facial hair. A friend's son is visiting home on a college break. The son turns up with long hair, an overflowing moustache, and a beard. They are shocked. Then it dawns on them. We know why he had been avoiding Skype calls.

Photo Courtesy: Meena Kadri

Tags: Musings, Moustache


  1. Being a Keralite myself, I know how moustaches are perceived in here. Several of my classmates are ridiculed for not sporting a moustach. Haha, try as they might, not a single strand of hair showed up in their faces!
    P.s: I personally dislike moustaches though they're pretty common here. :p

    1. Check out moustaches on wiki. They come in different flavours. So it is a good pass time in addition to being a man's sign. :)


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