A Close Shave!

I was secretly pleased when the last date for a certain blogging event passed us by, since the missus had written a post that she wanted me to enter for it. The post was not very flattering to me, so I dilly-dallied in the name of being busy with the anti-rape protests and let the last date go past. But as is the fate of all married men, such pleasures are only temporal. The last date got extended and I got bombarded. So, for the sake of family harmony and world peace, here is the post. Please do not read it, do not share it on your networks, and do not vote for it. And please, please, please - do not make the same mistake that I have made – of asking your better half  (strike out) dearest spouse to bare his or her soul on your blog!

*****

When I met you first, you were living in a men’s hostel, and I would not be allowed to come inside. Most days when I would come to pick you up on my bike, you would still not be ready, and I would wait outside. Your room had a back door that led down to the bath, and you would stand on the landing, wearing a towel and shave yourself, hanging your mirror on the window grill. You would use a double-edged safety razor and lather up with a brush and a round of shaving soap. I would be sitting on my bike on the other side of the wall and watch you as you lathered up a second time and carefully ran your razor along the contours of your scarred jaw, and wait as you disappeared down the stairs to wash your face. I actually looked forward to this quiet, voyeuristic and almost erotic experience. I might have never told you this but it was quite a turn on.


gillette sensor excel
 
A couple of years later, we set up home in a two room studio apartment, and though we were still hard up, you graduated to shaving cream and a twin-blade. You would gush after each shave about its swivel head while I would rush to get breakfast ready in time for you to leave for work. On evenings when we would have the energy to go out (yes, there was such a time) you would wait till the last moment and then announce that you wanted to shave. You would point out that it was not a female prerogative to keep the man waiting and then purposely adopt a snail’s pace and explain the nuances of shaving to me as you let the razor glide down your throat, spooning up the lather lovingly and into sensuous mounds. I would sulk and pout, but I loved the clean and smooth look that you would wear when we finally went out. When our cheeks would touch, it was magic. I loved the fact that you wanted to look good and attractive when you would be seen with me.

Your mother used to tell me that you were middle-aged by the time you were in your teens. I realized what she had meant as we moved into our present home three years back, and you showed no interest in doing the place up. Minimalism – that is what you called it. Frugality was your standard response to my choices when we went shopping for furniture or upholstery. There I was all excited to do all the things I had dreamed of, and there you were, a boring bum with a book cover for a face.


But that didn’t stop you from dumping your twin blade for a powered five-blade monster. I wondered why anyone would pay so much for a razor and set of four cartridges, but I was happy if it made you happy. Anyway, you explained it away by pointing to your dented and painted facial architecture. As usual, I nodded happily, since it got you to shave in the evening when we went out.

I still remember the childish excitement when you came and showed me the five blades and the deep swivel and the cushioned motion and the microcomb. But all of these became nothing but words when you turned the power on and began to shave. The razor came to life, pulsing like an excited kitten preparing to leap. The smooth round handle sat purring in your hand like a devil, and I felt all tingly watching the clean swathe of skin that the razor left behind. I could see from your hands and your expressions that you were also experiencing a similar happiness as the blades glided effortlessly and needing no coaxing, almost as if they had a mind of their own.

With time, even your powered shave became commonplace, and now you shave only when you have to. You feel fine stepping out for family gatherings and work meetings with a day-old stubble, and if you have shaved in the morning, there is no way you will shave again in the evening. We still do manage to make time to go out in the evenings sometimes, but you just spritz some cologne and pull on a t-shirt over your from-another-lifetime jeans, and nudge me towards the door. I remember how you would groom yourself when we went out earlier, and I satisfy myself with the thought that once I was that important to you. If I say anything, you tell me that you are not a kid trying to impress the girls out there. It is as if you are done with impressing me, and now it doesn’t matter if I am impressed any more. It is as if I could impress myself for all you cared!!

I am writing this to remind you that inside me is that same woman who you would go to any length to impress, the woman for whom you never forgot an anniversary, and the woman for whom you got flowers on the silliest of occasion. Inside me is the woman who likes to go out with you and feel your smooth skin as we dance close to each other or put our heads together in the dark of the movie theater. Inside me is the woman who wants to see the look in the eyes of the other girls (those poor things) as they measure you up and the look in the eyes of the guys as they wonder what you have that they don’t. Inside me is the woman who is ready to be kept waiting while you catch your last minute shave. Inside me is the woman who thinks you are man enough for her.

Will proving me wrong make you feel better?

28 comments:

  1. True, there's something mesmerizing about watching a man shave. The first thing I did after getting married is, making him shave his much loved beard off.

    It takes years off a man's face.

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    1. Somehow women seem to be convinced that they know what is right for their man. Statistically husbands die before their wives more often than the other way around. Must be all that righteous concern that kills them!!

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  2. Tell Madhavi to spill more beans about you! This post rocks! Utterly sensual and yet funny and sweet... Geez, Madhavi you found yourself a romantic dude! What a readable entry for this otherwise weird contest!

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    1. Hi, Bhavana,

      I've nothing to do with this post beyond giving the idea. The masala's all his & all unreal. Are u sure ur talking abt him only?

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    2. Thanks, Bhavana. This was embarrassing enough. Not that I didn't enjoy reading and helping write it. :) Madhavi doesn't need your encouragement to make me the laughingstock of the neighborhood. You are all equally sadistic. :)

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  3. Very sweet! I am a sucker for clean shaven look. And my hubby was forced to take his mooch and stubble. But then he looks so handsome clean shaven ;-). Totally with your wife. What do you guys think -- you're done with impressing your wives? You are so wrong, mister :). Wish you luck for the contest.

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    1. Thanks for your good wishes, Rachna. I see your point, I see her point, and her point, and hers too. That is the point. I see that point too.

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    2. hehehe That had me in splits, Subhorup! I am almost saying poor husband ;-P.

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  4. Aha, so typical of married men. You guys have a Bible that your refer to? I almost saw my man there! E-mailing him the link :)

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    1. Thanks, BG. Men are basically simple, straightforward, practical creatures. That is the Bible. :)

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  5. I am keeping my stubble and the moustache for the time being he he he he

    Bikram's

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  6. Now I know why I am able to keep my mustache and beard - I am single, that is why!!!

    A '...boring bum with a book cover for a face' ? :) That is a description that strikes close to home as well for me :)

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    Replies
    1. Everything passes, Suresh. Wish you luck. In every way.

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  7. Very well written madhavi! I must say that I'm pleasantly surprised. :)

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    1. Thanks, Aparna. Wonderful to see you here. Do keep visiting for more surprises.

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  8. Loved reading it and it is true to the core. We still deserve to be impressed...

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  9. Impressive writing, was visualizing Subho Sir's face all the way along

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    1. Not sure what to make of your comment, Soumitra. Wait till I meet you.

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  10. Anonymous5:07 AM

    Enjoyed the write up thoroughly, romantic as well as sensuous. Could vry well relate to the feelings. Rightly said .... it takes off ages frm a man.... believe it or not men.... Clean shaved wid a neat hairdo is always a delight for any women. Having said all this, this post also seems like a promotional campaign for gillette razor and its evolution into a fine tuned gazette.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have seen some very fine writing show up as contest entries, but I have never felt up to writing for one. I had a post on shaving in mind for a long time, but when the contest came along, I was stumped, since it was for women bloggers only. I feel that sponsors of contests should get some return on investment too. The promotional spin on the post is intentional and without any hesitation. Moreover, I am shamelessly a Gillette person, no offense to Merkur.

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  11. Good show Subhorup Dasgupta, you took it all on your chin.

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    1. What choice, Pattu, does a married man have but to look brave about it?

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  12. One of the most romantic writings I have had the pleasure to read. I was pro-beard but I sent one of my 7 o' clock shadow photo to my fiance and called me "rowdy pilloda" and preferred a clean-shaven look photo. Goodbye stubble, it was good while it lasted.

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    1. The attachment that men have to their facial hair is one of the last mysteries that will ever be solved. Close to what women carry in their bags and why.

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  13. I liked the post but am pretty sure this is another way of PG to double sales of shaving products. Add another occasion to shave,.... :)

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    Replies
    1. Agreed. But having been in the beard, stubble and the clean camps, I can vouch that shaving for the occasion has its advantages.

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