She always says, ‘Let my hands glide down your cheeks like a reveller goes down a water-slide.’ She is forever yearning for her husband to have the ‘best shaved face of the year’ look… and he has been doing this for a long time now. After all, they have been staying together now for more than twenty-five years and she has always had the thrill of gliding her hands down his smooth cheek-bone all the way to the chin accompanied by an orchestra of musical tingles that only couples-in-love can hear.

The 'Stubble Book of Facts'

The ‘Stubble Book of Facts’

Now don’t ask me how I know these intimate details. I am that forlorn stubble that gets restructured every morning. I know other intimate details as well that I wouldn’t be sharing in this post… however, there are a few interesting snippets of conversation that my ancestors have meticulously recorded in our ‘Stubble /Book of Facts’ that I can tell you about. Like the time when on the first evening after their marriage, she came in and he wanted a cursory cheek-to-cheek evening hug.

So, did they… or did they not?

Yes, they did, but she also giggled and made that inaudible sound that only husbands-in-love can listen and interpret correctly. Our venerable stubble fact-book clearly mentions that the interpretation was: ‘I love the hug. But it hurts. If you shave, I’ll crave this hug more.’

And thus my stubble book of facts
Goes in the depths of time to tell
How all the morning hairy tracts
Stood up to fight but all did fell!

Yes, our stubble history has its own list of martyrs and those who stood up to sacrifice in our fight against the tyranny of a smooth-n-suave skin! We stubble-folk are the sorts who light a bonfire and dance around an itchy patch of skin, celebrating the absence of blades and razors. Ah! Now blades and razors do remind me of the horrific evolution there has been in this area. We have an entire chapter on ‘The tyrannical rise of the terror razors’ where we have done a micro analysis of how razors and razor blades have pooled in their thought resources to invent a new and more effective murderous personality. We have our stubble bards singing about these terror activities:

There was a time when there was one
Razor blade to fight with
And now they come as three-in-one
And what do we fight with?
We only have our keratin shield
To rise against their steel
And yet our young and old in field
Stare boldly in the eyes of steel
Before they fall with heads raised high
‘We’ll never quit’ is the battle-cry!

But enough of all this talk of bloodshed… it has been going on for as long as we were just queer looking tufts of hair sprouting unevenly over the face. Those were such idyllic times… times when despite the stinging barbs of young school and college girls, my young man always muttered, ‘This is what gives me a feeling that even I can rebel.’ Yes, those were times when we were not reduced to being mere stubble. We were long and flowing and were caressed every morning. But I remember even that did not last very long. There was this girl… and I forget her name now… who walked up to my young man and told him, ‘Listen, you are no rebel. You have the power of words with you and all you fire is salvos of romantic stanzas.’

The young man said, ‘Yes, I know. I love writing them. You love hearing them. Where is the problem?’

‘The problem is with this ridiculous tuft that you walk around with. If you don’t get it trimmed, you’ll soon be hidden behind a smelly wall of hair. Let us see you properly… just as we hear you properly!’

Not that was one emphatic appeal and the young man listened to. That was the beginning of my stubble days! This is how it has all been recorded in our venerable ‘Stubble Book of Facts’.

Now if you’ll ask me if our history is replete only with gory tales of the razor warriors zooming in to attack… no, we have some really charming tales as well. We in the stubble world are particularly fond of hearing this little endearing tale of rhymes as well…

This was when Specky, our young man’s wife, had spent a few months romancing with the sort of poetry he wrote. One cold wintery evening, the husband said:
‘I do not want to shave, my dear
For even the day has not been clear!’ 

Now this wasn’t a very smart piece of poetry, but Specky, after an imperceptible nod to wake up her creative juices, replied:
‘The day, you say, was full of haze
So shave, be bright, and now amaze!’ 

‘Ha!’ wrote my stubble ancestors, ‘The battle had just begun. We in the stubble world were already cutting CDs of these great samples of lyrics. This is surely going to be one tough contest.’ As they predicted, the young man with the stubble to defend, said:
‘The morning shave will live, I know
Just feel, there’s no stubble to show!’ 

But the wife insisted:
‘No hug, no smile, if you don’t shave
A rasping stubble I do not crave!’ 

The young husband made one last desperate attempt:
‘A tiring day I’ve had, my dear
And need a loving snuggle now
And if I go to shave, I fear
My tired hands will wrongly plow!’ 

At this point, our historian for the day notes that Specky got up, gave a warm hug and brought out a brand new Gillette razor set. She was also quick enough to say:
‘Why must you nick or cut your face?
This razor new will help you shave
With lots of balance, poise, and grace
And as you shave I’ll stoke my crave!’

And obviously we all can conclude how the evening might have gone ahead. There were some very young stubble men who fell that evening… and I know how fast we had to work to bring our dwindling population back to some semblance of a decent number.

Some of our stubble philosophers have even tried to rationalise this craving for a smooth shave and let me tell you that they attribute this to the evolution of razors that now have multiple blades set at the right angles. According to them, it is this one unnerving factor that has promoted this epidemic of evening shaves and of shave and crave going out on dates together! They, however, also add: ‘The advent of these new razor warriors has ensured that our stubble folk don’t suffer a painful death. Our stubble wars now have less maimed and hurt fellows who will cry throughout the day or night. We, in the stubble thought force, must admit that such innovations have indeed reduced our spite for wars. We now love going into battle though we know we shall be mowed down.’ Not many people know that it was a delegation from the stubble world that had gone out into the razor-universe to discuss this very grave matter of disrespectful blades… and soon enough a treaty was signed where the razors had vowed to make stubble death clean and painless. We call this the ‘Stubrave Treaty’. Yes, we have gently merged crave, shave, and stubble in a single word now.

As the stubble spokesman I have been telling you all the truth there is to know. The final truth is that we in the stubble world do not wish our human owners to suffer in anguish and rave in pain about missing hugs and sensual moments. We also understand the sublime ingredients when shave and crave want to keep going out on dates every evening. After all, we aren’t a ‘khap panchayat’ here in the stubble world.

Our ‘Stubble Book of Facts’ now has a brand new chapter on how to conduct yourself gracefully when the time has come to leave this world. We insist that this evening shave phenomenon has indeed helped us understand how important it is to leaving our world more environmentally safe for future generations. Moreover, our new generation of stubble kids love gambolling on the lipstick marks that were born the previous evening!

So, my dear human readers please understand that we are no villains in the stubble world… all we wanted was to be made a partner in the cravings of a woman. Our book also clearly defines how women link ‘crave’ with ‘shave’… and men follow like docile lambs! And, as our Stubble poet-of-the-day writes in a limerick:

Stubbles come to tell us all
Stubbles also need to fall
Men shave
Women crave
And stubble kids have a ball!


This post is a part of the ‘Shave or Crave’ movement in association with


Arvind Passey
07 January 2013