Beard and Brown Skin – Anurag Singh

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I love to grow a beard. A good, well-grown and groomed beard looks cool. I can attribute two reasons for my love for a beard. One, I am lazy to shave and two, I really like beards. OK, enough drooling over beards. I feel adding an Indian perspective to anything really makes it interesting. I hope that this is an interesting take on beards by an Indian guy living in the USA. The key words to heed here are “Indian guy”, “beard” and the mighty, but strange, USA.

About a year and half back, I grew a beard and I liked it. At least, I thought it looked cool. Then, things started to happen in my life that I had never experienced before. I started getting attention from completely strange, unrelated, unknown people. Random people would come up to me and compliment my beard. What really made those compliments interesting was the places where I got them.

A few compliments made me happy. Like the receptionist at my work. I have been coming to the same office for almost a year and she never noticed me. Then beard. I mean, a weird thing happened. She noticed me. She said, “The beard looks good on me”. That definitely was an achievement for me.

Something similar happened with my beautiful neighbor. Our doors are less than 5 feet away. We share several common walls, even our car parking is next to each other. Still not a smile, nor a glance from her for almost a year. However, fate had something else planned for me. The beard happened again. She smiled at me one day. I guess it was because of my beard. I am sure it was my beard. Because in the past year, I have done absolutely nothing to transform myself into the good looks of Ryan Gosling. I know, you can judge me all you want but I like him.

Weirdest of the compliment I received was in the men’s room of a strip club. At strip clubs, men are supposed to appreciate the gorgeous women in neon lingerie, not other man’s beard. Instead, if all you can think about is another man’s beard while you are holding your “little john” and peeing, then it is certainly not a glorious place to receive a compliment.

I was enjoying all this for a while. Then a realization happened. I think a story is incomplete until the realization part. You can have happy moments, then not so happy moments followed by weird moments in your story. However, it still needs a realization, an awakening moment. That is what makes a story complete. My moment of realization happened at a traffic light. I saw a white dude. Not just any white dude, but one with a gorgeous beard. While I was still admiring his beard, another thought came to my mind. What if, I change the skin color of this white dude to brown? Just the color from white to brown. That, my friends, was a scary thought. He could very well make it on to the FBI’s most wanted list. He could have unmarked cars tailing him. Perhaps, even a drone hovering over him. At the same moment, while my mind was running amok with these theories of mine, I happened to see myself in the mirror. And the realization moment I have been building up so far in the blog happened, I noticed I had a beard. I was in the USA. And I was “Brown”. I went straight to the hair saloon and I am clean now.

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