Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Gillettine

The first few years after I started shaving, I used the most basic of implements. A safety razor made of gleaming metal and a clean sharp blade. The razor was meant to last for ever. It had doors on the top and a knob below that needed to be rotated gently to open the doors on the top. The all-metal, double-edged blade needed to be changed once a week. The whole operation was so low-tech and the replacement cost of the blade was probably less than two rupees.

Then Gillette entered my life with its Sensor spring-loaded blades that claimed to retract if the blade came into contact with the facial skin rather than the hair. This was a quantum jump in comfort as well as price. I think the blades cost Rs 15 each and I used to feel so guilty at this extravagance.

A few years passed and, sure enough, Gillette introduced the Sensor Excel, which had two blades. More comfort, more money, more guilt. Possibly Rs 30 a blade.

Then the Mach 3 exploded on the scene. It was the first 3-blade razor and was the ultimate in shaving comfort. It required fewer strokes as it gently caressed the face. I tried to resist the temptation to buy one, but succumbed to the marketing blitzkrieg of Gillette. Once you used a Mach 3, there was no going back to cheaper stuff. You stayed wedded for life. I suspect that Gillette designed it in such a way that the blade would change the contour of the beard to make it cuttable only at a certain angle that the Mach 3 traversed. These blades cost more than Rs 100/- apiece and I have squirmed in remorse everytime I bought them. But, not once in the last 4 years, have I been disloyal to Mach 3 and I thought that I had found my life partner.

Famous last words they turned out to be as Gillette, the serpent, is dangling the apple in the garden again. The new Gillette Fusion has- hold your breath- 5 blades. Gillette says that 'the combination of adding more blades and narrowing the inter-blade span creates a “Shaving Surface” that distributes the shaving force across the blades, resulting in significantly less irritation and more comfort'. Hell, they even have a battery-powered model which has a vibrating head that will make the hair stand up and be slaughtered. And the price, a whopping Rs 300/- for a blade.

I have been eyeing this beauty at the departmental stores for quite some time. I know that sooner or later I am going to buckle under the strain and buy one, I can see it standing there, staring at me, egging me to give it a try, daring me to move on……….

In a few years, I am afraid, Gillette will introduce the ultimate version of the shaving razor. A model with thousands of micromotion blades that will be guided by laser. Each micro-blade will seek out individual facial hair and destroy it without a trace. It will have a micro-chip loaded with a thousand mp3 files and will sense the mood of the face’s owner and play the appropriate music. It will sprinkle after-shave lotion on its reverse stroke. And, all these features will come at a price of Rs 10,000 a blade. I will spend 10 minutes every day shaving my face with this masterpiece of a razor and the remaining 23 hours 50 minutes, slogging my butt out to earn the money to pay for the blades, in a deadly vicious spiral that will last for eternity………

( Disclosure: Picture of guillotine taken from Google Images)

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

what next?? the tooth brush??

dipali said...

Let us pray that they narrowly miss making the zillion micro-blade version- that would really be a close shave, wouldn't it?

Anonymous said...

may be APPLE will come out with I-SHAVE version

Raj said...

anon 1: don't give them ideas.

dipali : yes, if the shaver gets any closer, I will have no skin left.

anon 2 : that's a brilliant suggestion

Sundar Narayanan said...

had a good laugh reading your post. the same thing is happening with cell phones..

the IPHONE is being dubbed the swiss army knife of phones, but can it place a call is stil in question.

are you even aware that the Marketing team of Gillette is reading your blog as I type because you are on their Radar.

you might see the Gillette Laser Xcel + on the market in two years, where you buy a laser for 20000 instead of a blade!

:)

and an Indian Ladies version which puts Manjal paste...

Raj said...

sundar, we better patent the manjal idea fast, before it goes the way of neem......

Ashu said...

Did you mean the "guillotine" ? I got a bit confused with the title but I guess it's more to do with gillette :D

Raj said...

ashu, that was my pathetic attempt to pun.

Aru said...

Boss i have the Vibrator enhanced shaving kit. It is too good , but as u said it is bloody expensive.
!!

Raj said...

aru, enjoy the vibrations, man. Money be damned!

Anil Jagalur said...

Your writing is as deadly as the Gillette ads. Most appropriate pic at the top too. Looks like I am hooked too, to reading your past and future posts! Bravo!!

Raj said...

Anil, thanks and welcome to my blog.

CodeNameV said...

you seem to have missed out Blue Tooth in next generation shaving razor. Like Sheldon Cooper of BBT would say "everything sells with Blue Tooth" :D