The other day my son was asking me to help him shave for the first time in his life..
When I heard this, I remembered the first time I shaved.
Well, I don't remember the first time I shaved per se. But I remember the incidents leading up to and after my first shaving.
I was in class 8 at that time. Normally, kids do not start shaving in class 8, they wait till they are in class 9 or Class 10, may be even in plus One to start shaving. You could say I matured early when it came to my first shaving.
There was this kid named John in my class 8. My aspiration to shave started when John suddenly announced one day that he has started shaving.
I looked longingly and adoringly at the trimmed mustache of John. He was my hero. If he can start shaving in Class 8, so can I.
I used to stand in front of the mirror, affectionately caressing my almost invisible beard and mustache. I dreamed of my heroic looks after my first shave.
I spent considerable amount of time planning for my first shave. How do I get my shaving razor and shaving gel? Buying them was out of question. My parents will never give me money to buy my shaving kit. Only option was to use my father's shaving material. My father will never allow me to use his shaving kit.
So what do I do? WHAT DO I DO?
I got the opportunity when my parents were out on one sunday. I surreptitiously sneaked into the bathroom, closed the door and....
I applied lather. I took the razor. I started shaving. I shaved. I cut myself. Badly.
When my parents came, I tried to play cool. "Appa, Amma, how was the function?", I asked casually. Situation all normal, you know. There is an 'unshaven' kid in front of you.
"What is on your cheek? Did you cut yourself? How? Were you trying to shave?", the questions came in torrents.
My father flipped out. "What does the boy think of himself? Does he think he has become an adult? By the time he is in Class 10, he is going to look grown up. He will spend all his time shaving. He shouldn't be shaving now. This is not the age. What is his problem? Why can't he wait like other normal kids?"
My father has a very colourful vocabulary when he is angry. On that day, VIBGYOR was literally in our house. He was alternating between red, green, blue, yellow and colours in between. As his anger grew, his language also attained a sort of vitality. The window's in our neighbour's house opened unobtrusively. Crows and birds flew to distant locations to escape my father's wrath.
You know, my father flipped out.
I did not have the courage to tell him of John. I fled.
Later on, I was telling my friend about my shaving experience. In a weird sort of way, I had become his hero, because I had shaved, something which he wanted to do but was scared of. I told him that if John can shave, what is the problem if I do too? After all both of us are in Class 8, aren't we?
"Don't you know?" informed my friend, "John has already repeated his Class 5 and Class 7. Ideally he should be in Class 10 by now."