P.s. For the record, I have never kept a moustache in my life

I have lived in over 7 states, and that accounts for more than 20 cities where I have spent atleast a fortnight. I can speak 4 languages, and decipher (to an extent) what the person in front of me is saying in another 3 languages. No, I am not rehearsing what to put in my resume if you are wondering.

Out of these 20 odd cities, I have the luxury (?) of visiting the local saloon in almost all of them (trust me, it is a luxury, especially if you are ready to spend the extra buck to get a face massage), mostly to get a shave. The process for a shave in any of these cities would generally mean the following steps : I enter saloon, he looks at my shabby beardy face, beckons towards the empty chair with a nod. I sit, and he gives me the shave, and then I pay and leave. Once in a while the enterprising one tries to start a conversation, but generally due to lack of a common language and the short duration of the entire activity, its a wordless process.

Except for this time. I enter the saloon. The dusty radio is blaring some local songs, the saloon’s half empty as it’s close to noon – not the busiest time of the day for your saloon,no? I take up one of the empty seats, he gets his gear ready; and then the one in a million question –

“Saar, you want to keep the moustache?”

I almost fall of the seat. Words fail me, I mutter something and give him a disapproving nod. He gives me a weird look, and gets back to work. Once done, I pay him and get up and then I look around.

Out of the 7 odd guys in the saloon, I’m the only one without a moustache.

Then it hits me. I’m in Chennai.