“Ouch..”As I yelped in pain two of the ladies near me looked at me. Omg! what if they see my mustache!! I am not really bothered about it but people are really concerned about my mustache. I guess it’s ok now I screamed a little, this woman at the parlor applied steaming hot wax on my upper lip and pulled the waxing stip hard. My usual parlor woman is really not very fancy. She does a home visit and I get everything done. But she had to go out of town and its December. Its the wedding season. Everyone meets u and see u from up close. The ones who see me for the first time look at my lips with suspicion. If they are not shy they directly look or if they are shy they ask me “oh such a beautiful lipstick what shade is it?” Or “ where did u buy it from” and the ones who are meeting me again always look to see if I still have the moustache. The elder once who have seen me without a moustache has a hint of pity in their eyes and say “it’s ok dear nowadays it doesn’t matter guys have long hair women pose a bald look its a different world” Sometimes I feel as if they are not consoling me rather themselves. To be very frank I am quite comfortable with my moustache. I have had her for years now. Every day when I look in the mirror I see me and also her my moustache. Some have warts, some have cracks, some have chest hair. These people don’t seem to be very unhappy with themselves.
In a women’s body, there are certain hormones that have a certain level which causes fine hair on the face in my case these hormones are a bit too much. But still, I am as feminine as any woman can be. Not a man! I had a hard time convincing people about this. No one has ever confronted me about it but I can see it in their eyes. I have never been a favorite in the marriage market too. Generally, women have a great interest in the matchmaking of others but I have never been approached by them ever. “Can’t really be sure about her what if she has some issue” that’s what they must have thought at least once.
To their surprise, I had a love marriage. There was one man in this whole world who didnt care about my facial hair and liked me for my thoughts and my brain. My husband has never been bothered about my moustache. At times he has helped me wax my upper lip too, coz I can’t do it on my own. When we are alone together just the two of us he makes jokes about my moustache. People always get mocked about having a flat nose or thin lips, they are always laughed at and none of them feel bad too. I also am not ashamed of my moustache. What can I do now I have a moustache!!
I want to but I can’t really talk about it openly with anyone. It’s apparently not acceptable to them. When these women come close to me I want to tell them that I didnt get enough time to trim them so I have tried to comb them, so please don’t stare at my moustache. Bit if I say something like that to their face I am scared it might give them a little heart attack. Whenever I have said that I am worried about my daughter coz as a baby she had a lot of hair too. So she can get a moustache too. This makes them think I am being a bad mother by thinking like this about my own daughter. For me, it’s practical thinking. If there is any solution to this then we can discuss it and come up with some solution. So that she doesn’t have to carry my fate. But huh
To be very frank it amuses me coz a lot of people are jealous of me, why you ask, haha there are a lot of teen age boys in my building complex, they must be looking in the mirror every day hoping to grow a moustache, seeing mine I have seen them stare at me in awe. Looking twice at me always. Coz they can’t grow one and I can’t get rid of one. The way they look at me amuses me.
Once it happened so that I had taken a vacation for a month as my daughter was just born. It was my birthday and the first time in my 18years at the job it was the first time I wasn’t in the office for my birthday. It was morning time I bathed my daughter and she slept so I was just about to take a nap when the phone rang “ Surprise!! Open the door” as I opened the door I saw my whole team from my office at my door. Omg, this was such a disaster for me. As I was home for 4 months almost so I had not gone to the parlor. I was at my mom’s place and had just come back yesterday. And these guys are at my door. Now, what should I do? Come in. Instead of me Surprised, they looked they had seen me for the first time with my fully-grown moustache. That day it was just me who was laughing and talking about things in order to make the atmosphere less awkward. But it didn’t work. To be really frank do we need to go to the parlor so regularly, keeping change, taking time out, and make it a point and go there. Some times I just can’t!
It was better before. This wasn’t such a big problem. But now with the excellent clarity cameras and Facebook, people tend to take such close-ups that even skin pores are easily visible. How will my moustache be hidden? And everyone wants to look their best the pictures they upload and don’t really care about how others look in them. And thse selfish people and the comments that the photos get the real credit goes to me not these beautiful girls.
Some times I wonder how will all the women look if they all have a beard and a moustache. Will they be less beautiful? Don’t women feel that along with a beautiful body you also need to have a beautiful brain? How do you know if you were selected in a workplace or for marriage or so on based on your intellect or your beauty? Is the beauty of women a substitute for their dim wit? At least I am glad that my husband must really love me and my intellect coz I don’t really have beauty as my strength.
Thoughts thoughts thoughts! Trying to rearrange my thoughts I slowly opened my eyes. The woman at the Parlour was engrossed in threading my hair with all her mind and might and was staring at me as if it was a crime to have facial hair. I got a bit startled by her stare and tried to move a little. She yelled at me “ madam please keep your tongue properly under ur lip, you have a lot of growth.” She didn’t has to say the second sentence, maybe she said the first sentence so she could say the second. Sometimes these women in parlours make me really angry, you have to pay them so that they can criticise you for how you look. I really feel like cursing them “ hope in their next life… Nope… in this life itself hope you get a dense growth on your face… Moustache and a beard! both!” But let it be. Aah, the threading is done & I am on m way out, wore my shoes, and called out for a rickshaw! Someone was calling out for me from behind, I was unaware and walking ahead “ ma’am.. ma’am..” I didn’t hear her until something caught my ear “ ma’am with a moustache” the lady in the parlour was calling me she wanted to return my change of Rs. 50 the lady who just freed me from my moustache is calling me “ma’am with a moustache” !!
You just read the translated version of Marathi article ‘Mishiwalya Tai’, written by Sayali Kedar.
Translation by – Mrunmayee Bhave.