It was a rainy Sunday evening when more than half of the city was already at Marine drive, and I sat in my balcony gazing at it with my cup of coffee in one hand and stroking my beard with the other (oh yes! I have a bad-ass full grown beard). As I saw the raindrops finding solace in the red-brown earth, I thought about world politics, the socio-economic crunch our country is facing and how insensitive the human race is becoming day by day (who am I kidding, I was doing nothing!). And all of a sudden, I heard a scream from a very familiar voice.

I looked back to find my mother shouting at me for some random reason which I took incredibly long to figure out (Moms!). After 45 mins of continuous nagging (it isn't over yet), I found the reason behind it, my beard.

Confused, eh? Don't be.

This is pretty normal. Nothing much, she just calls me names, tells me that I'm a disgrace to the family, says that my beard is the reason she cannot show her face to anyone in the society, she is ashamed to call me her son because of my beard, and that I look like a madman. As if this wasn't enough, my dad joins in and says that I am a becoming a Muslim, or worse, an atheist (he isn't a racist, just a little too much of a 'god lover'). So this lecture went on for another hour or so taking the total duration a little over 2 hours, and I decided rather take a walk in the rain than hear any of this anymore.

As soon as I thought that the nonsense was done, for the moment, the Mrs. IPokeMyNoseInEveryonesMatter of my society walked in. She has to have her opinion expressed and forced upon everyone, on every issue, which is obviously unasked for. She, being herself, had to comment on my beard and said 'Arrey beta, shave kyu nahi karwa lete. Terrorist lag rahe ho. Police tumhe drug addict rapist samajke arrest kar legi' Why don't you shave? You look like a terrorist. Police might arrest you thinking you are a drug addict/rapist (What? Why?).

Not stressing myself anymore I just walked away with a fake smile only to meet two pain in the ass friends from the society (Why do I even live here?). 'There comes our Osama! When is your date of joining of ISIS?' 'Don't be such a stereotypical man! He is our very own Gareebon ka Khal Drogo.' And I blatantly ignored them and walked away to face the last possible mock someone could throw at me that day. The girl next door passed by remarking 'The Beard looks hot on you but until when do you plan to sulk about the breakup.' (So now I am a scorned lover as well! But at least she called me hot.)

But why does my beard have to mean anything? Why is a beard related to religion, or failed relationships, or an outcast? Why cannot the person be simply a pogonophile?

Yes, it's a word. No, it has nothing to do with the Pogo channel. It means one who loves Beard

So why cannot a person be simply that? Why cannot he just choose how he wants to look? Why does the world have to judge him? I wonder if Narendra Modi is also called such names for having a beard I'm sure his mother definitely would be nagging so that he shaves (Indian Mother after all).

P.s. There are people who don't call me names and are in awe of my beard.

P.p.s. Some juniors even call me up for tips to grow a beard.