From the time I can remember having hair on my chin; I have always sported a goatee with a mustache (or at least tried to). I was trimming it recently when all the comments I have received on it came back as a flashback. Very often have I been complimented on how it enhances my looks. Sometimes it also ends up people calling me ‘oi french-cut‘ or ‘hey frenchie‘(with the pun intended on their part). What really brought a smile on was the fact that a couple of people remember me because of this beard style.
During my work experience as an engineer, I had to frequently negotiate with Korean suppliers. They couldn’t pronounce my name so whenever they came to my section, they would ask anyone with a sweeping gesture over their lips and chin to indicate me. It later became a standard joke in the department to use that gesture for me.
I was once having a flaming-tequila shot with a friend in a pub. The bartender gave me my shot and said – “Bhai sahib, araam se warna dadhi jal jayegi.”(Go easy or your beard might catch fire). It was some time before my friends could stop laughing.
The latest one was from a restaurateur who saw me after at least two and a half years. I used to haunt his joint often in the earlier days, but I wasn’t sure he would recognize me after such a gap. When I walked up to him and asked if he remembered me, he grinned, shook my hand and said -“Amitabh ki dadhi wale khud ko Amitabh samajte hai, par hum to asliyat jaante hai na.”(People sporting Amitabh’s beard might think they are Amitabh, but I know the real person behind it). Old friends remembering you…it feels nice, it always does.