The Curious Case of Chess and Stubble


Sometimes some decisions can become disastrous in our lives. An incident I experienced last year perhaps held the best example to it.

There are several indoor games in the recreation room of our office. We all spend some time there especially on Saturdays. That Saturday, as I entered the room, my friend Suresh called out loudly,”Oh, here you’re… come on mate, this new dude from the HR department claims that no one will be able to beat him in chess…so we all are waiting for you to accept the challenge”. I felt quite smug. Yes, I play chess quite well and had been the champion in my college. I looked squarely at the new boy who introduced himself as Akaash and asked.”Are you sure to accept the challenge?” He smiled and nodded. He then added, “but there is one condition…I will shave off my mustache if I lose and you’ll stop shaving for a month in case you are the loser”. Everybody, including me, laughed at his statement and I readily accepted the challenge.

It is said, that too much pride is the reason behind one’s fall. It is also said that never underestimate your opponent. I did both! …and after one hour when Akaash calmly said “checkmate”, I was stunned. My colleagues, who were cheering for me, they stood silent. But a challenge was a challenge. I congratulated Akaash and said that I’ll definitely keep myself away from shaving for one month. He was a nice person to say that it was just a joke and he was ready to take back his words. But, oh! my male ego! I refused his proposal.

For the first week it was actually not a problem. From the second week, I began to feel irritated with that messy stuff. It was so unhealthy and disturbing ! I almost stopped looking at myself in the mirror. And then…the most unexpected and  dangerous thing happened. My fiance Snigdha told me (she was almost mad with me seeing my unshaven face) that her Grandpa was coming to Mumbai and wanted to meet me!!

Now, I’m in a relationship with Snigdha for almost one year and both our families are happy with it. But according to their family tradition, her Grandpa would have to say the last word in this matter. It was really important that he must approve me as a ‘suitable boy’ for his grand-daughter. I assured Snigdha that I didn’t look that bad with my overgrown facial hairs and I couldn’t step down now from the chess-challenge. I also cursed myself and vouched in the name of Kasparov that I would never play chess in my lifetime!

On that auspicious day I dressed my best and prayed almost for 5 minutes. I prayed again before pressing the bell of their apartment. Snigdha’s mother opened the door and her expression clearly showed that she was shocked. But she didn’t say anything and ushered me inside. Snigdha’s sister giggled and said, “mere honewale jiju, ye kya haal bana rakkha hain? kuchh lete kyun nahi?“. Her mother reprimanded her and she went inside, still giggling. I was feeling really tensed.

After some time, Snigdha’s Grandpa entered the room. His clean-shaved face and taut complexion belied his age. After exchanging the usual niceties, he asked me about my job and my family and left the room. And then I heard his voice,”it seems the boy is too busy with his work and office, gets no time even for a decent shaving….how would he keep my dear Snigdha happy?…Moreover, he looks so clumsy and untidy”!!!!

Snigdha rushed out of the room and threw a glaring look at me. She was almost at the verge of crying.

I returned home and picked up my Gillette Mach3.

“To hell with the challenge and chess and everything ! I can’t afford to lose Snigdha even for my life”!

#WillYouShave? “Yes, I must”.

I visited Snigdha’s house again that evening.

Snigdha is now officially engaged with me.

 This post is a part of #WillYouShave activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette

I’m tagging RamanManiparna and Gowthama for the #WillYouShave activity. Kindly mention my tag while posting.