With all due respect to Saurav Ganguly fans , exploited software engineers and other troubled souls of the nation , I am living a content life these days . Infact , I have always enjoyed my circumstances . But things are easy these days . The classes have the frequency of commercial breaks in a repeat telecast of a Kuchipudi dance program on doordarshan . Except the company pre placement talks I attend and a some time I devote to studying , I am as busy as a sales manager at the Antarctica Branch of Carrier Air conditioners . And tickets to Rang De Basanti’s first show have been procured .
And to make things better , N’s parents visited him at the hostel with a lot of of Gajar ka Halwa . It was like kissing your beloved after spending 51 years locked in a Tibetan monastery with a transistor and Rabri Devi for company . Gulping all that halwa was as pleasant as watching Kareena Kapoor retire from movies . After eating what must have taken three acres of carrot fields to make , I plopped down on N’s bed and flashed a content smile at the rickety ceiling fan , sending up a burpy thanks to N’s parents and carrot farmers for the halwa.
Now being true IIM tigers about to hit the corporate jungle soon , me and N tried to strike up a leisurely post-halwa discussion on the rising gold prices and its effect on the jute underwear industry of
Moustache . Or ‘mooch’ in hindi . Not the unshaven Abhishek bacchan stubble type thing , but the proper Anil Kapoor type thing . The stuff which is found stuffed in the space between the lips and the nose of some guys , and some girls who were fed some extra testesterone samosas by mothers worried about eve teasing .
I was subjected to the great Chinese moustache torture early in my life . Not that my ma used the wrong oil on me and I grew one at the age of three months , but my dad has one mooch since the time I wiggled open my little eyes . Now my Dad expressed love by saving on expensive lollipops and chocolates and planting free kisses instead . On my cheek . Nothing to do with Michael Jackson or his variety of affection for kids .
So when I was a kid , dad picked me up , smiled , said ‘Mera pyaara beta’ ( My lovely sonny boy ) and kissed me while the hair of his moustache dug into my baby skin . If you have ever been kissed by a mooch-ed object , you will know the weird feeling it produces . While the lips plant a soft kiss on the cheek , the mooch scrapes the skin over the kiss point and the feeling is rather tingly and unwanted . I always followed up this mentally damaging experience by snatching away my cheek from dad and yelling “ Uee ma , aapki mooch ke baal chubhte hain” ( Uee ma , your moustache hairs prick me ). Dad said “Hatt natkhat , Dad ki mooch ke baal baccho ko nahi chubte” .( Hatt naughty boy , Daddy’s moustache never pricks the kid ) . Fearing another kiss , I stayed quiet . When I could bear it no longer , I crept upto my sleeping Dad with his shaving razor in my hand . He woke up just as I grazed his moustache with the razor . At my next birthday party , he made all my moustached uncles and aunties kiss me as a punishment .
Thankfully , I grew up and the threat from Dad’s kissing subsided with his moustache hair softening with his increasing age and his love for me decreasing with my plunging school grades .
Infact I still cannot understand why any self respecting man will carry a toothbrush of hair under his nose . I have scientific evidence it blocks the free flow of air into the nostrils . It’s like holding a mini sugarcane field to your nose while the air struggles and huffs to move past this field of hair to enter the nostril caves . I have heard about cases of moustaches causing suffocation , more so at higher altitudes and in gas chambers . Then managing a moustache requires a lot of time and energy which can be judiciously spent by me going out with girls who enjoy going out with an ugly but 'clean-slate-above-lips' guy. Salman Khan could have wooed , thrashed and re-wooed Aishwarya nineteen times over in the time my Dad spent on trimming and shaping his moustache each day. And a girl needs to have the IQ of a masala dosa to actually prefer a guy with moustaches over a guy without one .
Imagine DDLJ with Raj ( Shahrukh ‘Bath Tub’ Khan ) sporting a hairy bushy Mangal Pandey category mooch dashing through a yellow field singing “Tujhe dekha to yeh jaana sanam” while a scared Simran yells in her cellphone “Hello ! Papa ! Bachao , something hairy is coming towards me !!! Papa !” . Raj Kapoor had a pencil mooch , but then his whole USP thing was in looking stupid . Yeah , Anil Kapoor sports one , but that’s because he has a three inch wide fluorescent yellow mole under his nose he needs to cover up . Infact , the fact that most south Indian heroes sport a mooch befuddles me like the IIT JEE question paper did .
And I had no choice when my dad kissed me . But today’s empowered , liberated and muscular woman may rise in a revolt when a boyfriend/husband approaches her 'dove washed- beautician maintained-lakme moisturised' skin with a sharp and smelly pile of hair just over his pouted lips . The consequences may range from a lost kissing opportunity to divorce . So me and N concluded that a mooch is a facial liability which obstructs respiratory process , eats up valuable time , serves to bring down the beauty quotient of our ugly faces and may prove to be detrimental to any kissing attempts we may undertake in the future , forced or otherwise .
Just then P walked into the room . P is a sikh guy , a sardaar . He has a moustache.
And a beard.
Our eyes checked out his moustache , mentally calculating the number of hours wasted and the number of potential girlfriends missed by P due to his mooch. I even had a sudden vision of P choking in a dinky dark room murmuring "Cough Cough..help..help..can't breathe...my mooch is killing me...oxygen..". Me and N exchanged knowing looks , nodded and smiled in the warm satisfaction of a meaningful discusion completed . Then our eyes slid down to his beard in unison , quietly starting to analyze a beard’s utility . We had zoomed down on the topic for our next leisurely post-halwa discussion. I am not even starting on that .