The case of the disappearing mustache

Say it isn't so. Please tell me that Indian men are sporting facial hair as enthusiastically as ever, that Mustache
the choir-boy look isn't taking over. I've had a goatee for the last decade or so and don't want to be seen as a relic, a reminder of what Indians used to look like. According to a new book, I have reason to be concerned.

"Hair India – A Guide to the Bizarre Beards and Magnificent
Moustaches of Hindustan" says that India's extravagant beards and
moustaches – proudly sported by generations of Indian men – are being
trimmed as the country becomes more clean-shaven and urban.

Author Richard McCallum says that clean chins are becoming more
commonplace among younger people who no longer have role models
sporting beards or moustaches.

He points out that most well-known Indian cricket players no
longer have facial hair, while many in Bollywood have opted instead for
token designer stubble.

Mr McCallum spent several months travelling the length and breadth of
the country to find the bushiest beards and most magisterial moustaches
before they disappeared forever. [Link]

Disappeared forever? Please don't scare me like that. I really don't want to live in a world with no handle-bar mustaches and bee-hive beards, a world where every man is a smooth operator.

While facial hair will always be proudly displayed by Sikhs, for whom
"kesh" (uncut hair) is a religious principle, it seems that … [Link]

Ah yes, the Sikhs. I can always count on the Sikhs. Thank God for the Sikhs.

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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