Thursday, January 15, 2009
one too many?
last year when s visited usa,she spent a few days with her cousin at phoenix,arizona.it was a most welcome and refreshing change that she had had after a gruelling tour.when the time came to leave and she was on her way back to india,she realised that she hadn't bought any presents for her dear hubby.her host gave her a great suggestion."buy him a gilette fusion.you and he will never regret it".and so she did.and it is one of the presents,i cherish.and why on earth you might ask? because,it gives you the closest shave ever.
after all we are all mammals.and we have plenty of hair.and i complain that i don't have it where i would love to have.instead of lots of it on my head, i have it on my face. i have two choices.either grow a beard and look sagely at my age or keep a cleanshaven look.now that is tricky, when your stubble starts appearing within two hours of a shave.that is called the forenoon shadow.how to get a clean shave is a thought that always flashes when you pick up the razor to shave.a shave that protects your skin and gives your face comfort. there are umpteen theories that float around to achieve the hairless look on your face.
a good shave depends on: a) softness of the hair, b) the moisture content on the face, c) the creamy lubricant that you apply,d) the hardness/softness of the water, e) the temperature of the water,f) whether you shave along the grain or across the grain and g) last but not least the sharpness of the blade and the design of the razor that you use.if you are able to combine all these factors optimally your shave turns out to be a perfect one. (a) to (f) is very much controllable.but what do you do for the razor? a tough question. there are so many shaving blade brands and razors in the market. 7 O'clock,gilette, merkur etc etc. for those who are daring they can buy the barber's long razor as well.
shaving is a big industry.everyone shaves excepting kids,perhaps.girls,women,men and even the very elderly.from the roman days women have been removing unwanted hair with razors.they have been made into a target audience by the marketeers of the blade and razor manufacturers.this segment has opened up a huge market for the shaving industry.
shaving is a job that consumes on an average about 850 hours in a man's life.it deserves to be given due importance and recognition.and after all isn't one's face very important? a safety razor has to be a well engineered product.i remember when i joined my company as a trainee engineer more than forty years ago,we had received a huge order from a subsidiary of hindustan lever to manufacture razor blade dies. and press tools for manufacturing the razor. we designed the tools and manufacutured them and later productionised them in which i was quite extensively involved.that perhaps may to some extent explain my obsession with shaving blades and razors! we subsequently started receiving orders from other razor manufacturers as well. it is huge business in india though dominated by a few world brands.gilette is one of the top selling brands in india. it has a big market share.panama blades of the malhotra group is the home-spun brand.it too has a big market at the lower price band.they make blades,disposable and normal razors.
thanks to s and her cousin in phoenix,i have a prized possession with me now. the five-bladed razor.like the mythical hydra-headed creature.the 'gilette fusion'. lot of thinking has gone into it.the blade spacing,the angle,the geometry and most importantly the spring mounting.the blades are positoned so close together that you get a feeling of a composite plane against your face when you shave.if you do all the right things,you can get maximum shaving satisfaction with the 'fusion'.
but if you still want to get a very very close shave visit the taj or the oberoi.hygiene is of the highest order.they will pamper you with hot water on the face,foam up a big lather with a badger hair brush and glycerine based shaving cream and make your shave as smooth and close and comfortable as can be. a far cry from the seashell which our forefathers used across their cheeks.
when i showed the barber at our gymkhana club my fancy toy,he shrugged.he said it has too many blades. "saab, me tumhala changla shave deto. tumi maazha kade ya." sir, i will give you a terrific shave,come to me." though he didn't divulge his trade secret,i am tempted to take jagtap's offer. but will he be able to match my 'fusion'? no nicks,no cuts and no razor burns. effortless and smooth as smooth can be.