About two months into the total national lockdown in India my stock of various things including that of my favorite shaving gel had been dwindling fast, and at some stage I had no option but to apply the razor on my foamless facial surface that needed to be shaved. That these products were termed ‘non-essentials’ gave me some solace in terms of continuing my existence without any of these. In particular, the daily shaving act for which I reasoned “who on earth is likely to behold my unshaven face with chaotic strings of beard if I don’t shave daily, because when I go out my face is fully masked and if some guest of the most ‘essential’ kind does turn up we again get fully masked accost him/her!” however, I felt my wife would be nastily offended if I went on showing my ugly face for days following the continuous ‘stay-home’ phenomenon; and therefore, I began my search for any of the shaving creams or gels, not caring about my preferences.
During that period only the ‘essential’ shops/supermarkets were open for limited hours daily, and even though they usually kept all kinds of shaving products due to the ‘non-essential’ classification the supply had stopped and they ran out of stock. I searched in the online stores, but they too suffered from the same cause and effect, only sticking to delivering essentials that too was not operational for over two months. Call it my luck or misfortune, finally, I found one shaving gel that was almost ten times costlier than my favorite gels. As in desperate times desperate measures are required, I ordered for the same. I had some doubts from the beginning, because the company mostly manufactures products for women, and in my wife’s adequate stocks of cosmetics I found an abundance of their products.
In my hurry to have a gentlemanly shave I ignored the instructions written on one side of the long-shaped round plastic bottle. As usual, I pressed out a little gel on my shaving brush and went ahead with the usual mechanisms. It was an absolute disaster, and I had to complete the job with the thinnest possible foam lines across those parts of my face that needed to be shaved. Then I read the instructions or rather had to.
Next morning, I tried the tutorial-pressed out a little creamy gel on my left palm and with my right one applied it directly on the places of my face that needed to be shaved. That day too it was not successful as the rich creamy foam penetrated my nostrils more than covering the parts of my face that needed to be shaved, and the creamy layers so enriched my palms that I had to spend a lot of time at the wash basin. I thought the product was not right for me and the huge amount of money I spent just was wasted. Again, I found solace in the fact that many of our fellow-beings were spending millions paying at least three of four times more than that of the MRP on some products of the addictive kind that were made available through a crookedly diverted supply chain; you can simply call it black marketing.
It was a normal practice for many of our lucky fellow-beings with an assured monthly income to watch a lot of television and movies that were available on the streaming platforms thanks to the ‘connectivity’ being considered a ‘must essential’ for the emerging phenomena of online classes and online office-work. In one of the movies I watched, I suddenly beheld the hero having a casual shave while delivering the dialogues and using a similar gel that I purchased out of compulsion. I was stunned by the ease with which he was applying the gel and spreading the rich creamy foam across the parts of his face that needed to be shaved. That enthused me tremendously, and that also explained why the product was so costly.
Then onward, I began using that gel regularly, and slowly and steadily got accustomed to its mechanisms, beginning to enjoy it too-the rich creamy foam making this nonentity feel like a poor man’s hero. Unfortunately, my joyride with the facile richness was cut short abruptly as my favorite shaving gels, at tenth of the price of that rich gel, became available in the market. As a twist in the tale as I switched back to my affordable gels my poor shaving brush-neglected and abandoned for so long a period-refused to comply with its strings developing a kind of goose bumps. But fortunately, that problem was slowly resolved and as a result the costly gel became everlasting. Therefore, I often check the rich product’s expiry date, and when I find the date approaching, I start using it more. Well, there is absolutely nothing insensible about feeling rich… occasionally, of course.
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