Sign Up    /    Login

Shaving Sessions

One of the most enduring memories of my child hood were scraping, probing, groaning and blood letting sessions that grandpa undertook which could loosely be describes as having a shave. The whole tedium started with gathering all the implements of ordeal and stacking them on a table outside in sun. A convex mirror was of particular interest to us as it magnified the face in most grotesque manner and made hunting of lurking hair follicles inside nostrils and ears and unshaved patches around neck easier. A rubber bowl, a cake of shaving soap and brush and small box containing the razor completed the array. We gathered around the table as grand pa sat down in front of mirror, spread a towel upon his chest and regarded his blown up face in the mirror in a philosophical manner. Sometimes he dipped his fingers in moist water in the mug and opening his mouth moved them on his stretched cheeks much like a matador having assessment of the bull he was up against. Then the shining razor came out of the box and was gravely rubbed on the oil stone in the spirit of sharpening of sabre before an infantry charge. Next the rubber bowl filled up with lather as he moved the moist brush in it round and round and ultimately shifted a large blob of it on to his face with a dexterity which filled us with wonder. Soon, every inch of the skin was submerged under white foam. Then he picked up the razor and holding it delicately scraped the skin with concentration of a monk. As the shining skin appeared and splodges of used lather were transferred to the edge of the mug we stared in surprise. Some times he scraped the skin too closely specially around chin which made him to shudder and groan and filled us with laughter which we stifled my swelling our cheeks and looking at our feet. A drop of blood appeared which was wiped away with the towel and injury gravely examined in the mirror. A flat piece of alum appeared in his hand next which was rubbed upon the moist skin accompanied with painful squeals . This left no doubt in our mind that be beards that holy men kept was to keep away from the torture of having to shave. Next, mirror was picked up and cavities of the nostril and the ears were examined closely. A thin scissor with an elongated snout shaped much like proboscis of a Gharial appeared next in grandpa’s hands and he delicately smuggled it’s tip into the nostril. It was positioned at the base of unruly, large hair follicles which jutted out of these cavities like wild growth. They were chopped off with crisp snips. But every once in a while when the inner walls of these cavities were snipped accidently, a shudder progressed through his frame filling us with a mixture of mirth and concern. Those days are long gone and shaving foam and 3 blade razors have taken over this male bastion robbing it of drama , dexterity and heroics. But when ever I see an old style barber under a tree in open wielding an razor and hovering over the lathered face of his customer my mind goes back to that patch of sun in the lawn of Grandpa’s house where heroics were indulged in and I and my brother had a rollicking time.

Share with:


5 1 vote
Article Rating

Hemant Chopra

2 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ushasurya
8 months ago

That was a nice nostalgic ( was it ? ) flash back…describing in detils the nuances of the shave !!
I recall the barber ( I must have been around four) coming to my grand hather’s home backyard and shaving his ( grandfather’s ) face !! And of course giving him a hair cut too, leaving behind a “tuft” of hair hanging !!
He would then tonsure my grandpa’s elder sister’s head with those tiny bristles…she used to tell me how long ,jet black and flourishing and gleaming her hair long was before her husband died !! It makes me feel sad today!!
So strange Hemant…that she has to shave her head bald but an unknown man could touch her and remove the hair!!
Aw!! No female hairdressers those days!!

Navneet Bakshi
8 months ago

That was a close examination of a real close shave- that used to be a real close one in a literal sense :). Our father used the Gillette razor in which the blade was sandwiched. Writing about my father’s this routine is on my long list of articles to write. Nostalgic indeed. They all kept the equipment in an old box of Morton Sweets.

Random Posts

Placeholder Image 90

Thewriterfriends.com is an experiment to bring the creative people together on one platform. It is a free platform for creativity. While there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of platforms that provide space for expression around the world, the feeling of being a part of fraternity is often lacking. If you have a creative urge, then this is the right place for you. You are welcome here to be one of us.

Random Posts

वड़वानल – 52

By Charumati Ramdas | August 23, 2020 | 0 Comments

लेखक: राजगुरू द. आगरकर अनुवाद: आ. चारुमति रामदास 18 फरवरी को जनरल हेडक्वार्टर में जो उलझन की परिस्थिति थी वह आज भी कायम थी। दिनभर बैठकें चलती रहीं। विद्रोह द्वारा लिया गया नया मोड़, विद्रोह में सैनिकों का सहयोग, उनके द्वारा राजनीतिक पक्षों और सामान्य जनता से समर्थन के लिए की गई अपील, और विद्रोह…

Share with:


Read More

KARKIDAKA VAVU BALI-THE DAY WHEN SPIRITS COME ALIVE:

By Unnikrishnan | July 21, 2020 | 2 Comments

KARKIDAKA VAVU BALI-THE DAY WHEN SPIRITS COME ALIVE: Beneath everything lies trust and faith. It is only because of our Ancestors that we live and thrive in the present. A fact that is undeniable, in both biological as well spiritual senses. World over propitiating spirits is a practice that is done with fervor and dedication.…

Share with:


Read More

Promises Kept by Anand Mahindra

By Suresh Rao | September 20, 2020 | 4 Comments

(pic-1) Brand-new SUV handed over in Mysuru to Dakshinamurthy Krishna Kumar who travelled pan India with his mother on a scooter covering 56,522 kilometres in four countries to give his mother a temple run or Spiritual Bharat Yatra! (pic, is a download from Star of Mysore website) Son and Mother visited holy places in India…

Share with:


Read More

The Gecko:)

By Ushasurya | July 8, 2020 | 6 Comments

  ( Let me explain the title first. It was this crawly  creature that turned the whole household  topsyturvy. The dictionary refers to this creature as a nocturnal lizard with adhesive pads on the feet, found in warm regions. And warm, was our home. And there were plenty of geckos) I went to the kitchen…

Share with:


Read More

A REVIEW ON THE BOOK – A CHEQUERED BRILLIANCE: THE MANY LIVES OF V.K. KRISHNA MENON by Shri. Jairam Ramesh, M.P

By Unnikrishnan | July 24, 2020 | 3 Comments

A REVIEW ON THE BOOK – A CHEQUERED BRILLIANCE: THE MANY LIVES OF V.K. KRISHNA MENON by Shri. Jairam Ramesh, M.P : “Some cannot be pinned to any particular stage ; their stage is the world at large”. VK Krishna Menon was one such personality, who could not be confined to one place, community or…

Share with:


Read More

वड़वानल – 16

By Charumati Ramdas | July 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

लेखक: राजगुरु द. आगरकर अनुवाद: आ. चारुमति रामदास     आर.  के.     सुबह      6–30      की      फॉलिन      पर      गया      नहीं ।      दोपहर      12      से      4      उसकी कम्युनिकेशन  सेंटर  में  ड्यूटी  थी ।  चाहे  फॉलिन  पर  आर.  के.  की  गैरहाजिरी  को किसी  ने  अनदेखा  कर  दिया  हो,  मगर  कम्युनिकेशन  सेन्टर  में  उसकी  गैरहाजिरी को चीफ टेल ने…

Share with:


Read More

Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) shocked by Karnataka Gov-Bureaucrat’s Assets

By Suresh Rao | November 10, 2020 | 5 Comments

(photo) According to a statement released by ACB officials, they are investigating further to find out the source of income of the seized valuables which are allegedly disproportionate to her known sources of income of Dr B Sudha, a KAS official at Bengaluru. Credit: DH photo It’s now official that Karnataka Administrative Services (KAS) officer…

Share with:


Read More

A Fragile Life

By Navneet Bakshi | July 24, 2020 | 6 Comments

  Note:- This article was written by me in March 2020 in preparation for posting some fresh articles on this website which was then under construction, but like all other things, the construction too got stuck in unexpected Lock Down and got inordinately delayed. A Fragile Life Ever since the outbreak of Corona Virus in…

Share with:


Read More

From My Audio & Video Collections….

By Navneet Bakshi | May 16, 2020 | 0 Comments

I have lived a great part of my life away from home. But that is not unusual. So many  people are doing the jobs where their call of duty demands them to be away from home occasionally for short or long periods. Defense personnel in particular spend a lot of time away from their families,…

Share with:


Read More

The Flight

By Ushasurya | March 25, 2021 | 2 Comments

(This is the third post – a short story – of mine involving the Family of Chandru, his wife Jyothi and son Bharat. Though they seem to be having a lot of differences of opinions, they are a very loving couple. The previous ones were titled A Wedding   and A Vow…which I had posted here…

Share with:


Read More
2
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x