Saturday, July 15, 2006

All wrong......

After the 7000th shave of my life, I have learnt that I have been doing it wrong all along. I always shave before I take a shower; now wiser people tell me that I ought to shave after the shower. Apparently, this opens up the pores of the facial skin and renders the job of the razor easier. Also, I have harboured the mistaken impression that the shaving brush was not such an important accessory and that its role was merely to spread the cream over the cheeks. Knowledgeable shavers now tell me that the brush is the single most important piece in the shaving armoury, as the more time you spend in working up lather with a good brush, the less time you will need to spend with the razor. And, the brush had better be made of genuine badger hair, not boar hair which can be stiffer and pricklier. And the hair has to be from the neck of the badger, not anywhere else.

I remember seeing a dentist, somewhere between my 9000th and 10000th brushing of my teeth. He implored me to be gentle on my teeth (giving the example of the paint brush softly caressing the wall) and to use a soft tooth brush always. And, of course, to keep consulting him once in 3 months for the rest of my life. When I had to consult another dentist, between the 20000th and 21000th brushing milestones, I was told in no uncertain terms that my technique was completely flawed and I had to move my wrists more vigorously, using a harder brush. The toothbrush, she added, should be completely worn out in 15 days, if I followed her advice correctly.

About my shampooing methods. For many years, the only shampoo I knew was the one sold under the Tata brand name. One just poured a handful of this shampoo on the hair, generated some brisk effervescence (as my Chemistry teacher would put it) and then stood under the shower. Between my 2000th and 3000th shampoo, I learnt to my dismay that what I had been doing all my bathing life was completely inadequate. I ought to, I was told, also use something called the ‘conditioner’ to rejuvenate my hair. And the important thing about the shampoo and the conditioner was not the ‘applying’. One had to rinse the hair, apply the shampoo and wait for 3-4 minutes to allow these chemicals to soak through into the brain. Otherwise, it was as good as not shampooing. Damn. I have wasted tons and tons of shampoo not knowing the right procedure.

Coming down to my shoes. The criterion I have applied all my life while selecting shoes is that they should be durable, should last a year or two as a minimum and shouldn’t give way at a crucial moment. All wrong, said the expert being interviewed on TV the other day. Shoes, however strong they are and however unused they might look, need to be replaced once in 4-5 months, as they undergo invisible deterioration in their cushioning elasticity and shock absorption. Damn again. Nobody told me this till I bought my 50th pair of shoes.

That’s not all. My sleeping position is all wrong. So, I have been given to understand. I have strained my spinal column due to my misguided habit of using two hard pillows when I sleep. This habit was picked up when I used to suffer from nasal blocks, but years of reclining in this position has taken its toll. Better to lie flat, preferably without any pillow, an orthopedic tells me, after I have spent more than 14000 nights with my head propped up on two hard pillows.

So, quite late in life, I have been given this feedback that I have frittered away my time. I have not brushed my teeth, shaved my face, shampooed my hair, selected my shoes or adopted the sleeping position in the manner recommended by the experts. In fact, it turns out I haven’t got one simple thing right. Let me check out on the other mundane things that I do –combing my hair, eating, walking, sitting down, driving, cleaning my spectacles, switching on the TV, opening the fridge... before it is too late. I am sure that are more efficient methods that I did not know existed….


Karthik S said...

Another efficient method is never to listen to experts which you will sure learn between 151st and 152nd advise...

Lalita said...

Here's my contribution:

Dentists telling you that you've been brushing your teeth wrong all your life.

Lalita said...

I was going to add to that, but broadband keeps dying on me. I take it that forces beyond my control do not want me to speak further. :D

You rock, dude.

Lalita said...

Combing your hair: If you let your stylist hold forth you are always dead wrong, in every way.

Eating: "Excuse me, ma'am. May I help you with twirling your fork round that spaghetti?"

Sitting down: 'Always remember and make sure your spine is straight, and your shoulders are thrown back.'

They all forget that a human spine is curved naturally, and it is only a few gazillion years ago we thought of
straightening it. Throwing shoulders back is akin to preparing to pounce, actually.

Maybe your millionth shave will produce more wisdom. I can't wait, I tell you. So give us more.

Shruthi said...

Ha ha! This topic is very close to my heart :D
We have to put up with another thing. I thought my skin was great with a dab of Ponds Cold Cream. BUt somewhere after 20 years of cold creaming, I was told that I needed to cleanse, tone and moisturise my skin, and for that I need a cleanser, a toner and a moisturiser. Humph!
And brushing your hair, and drying wet hair - I am apparently still doing it wrong.
Oh and chewing food....
I could go on and on!

Usha said...

Hey I am pretty sure i left a comment here yesterday but voila, it has just gone up in thin air - now what did i do wrong?
well, whatever it is you have not got right, you have got one thing dead right - that is getting your posts right.
So whatever it is you have n't got right, it is ok.
Please keep them coming!

Bishu said...

Wow man you had imparted so much of valuable knowledge in a single post that could have taken atleast a few thousand rupees of consultations. Carry on Raj distributing your pearls :-P

Srik said...

Its really a great university Raj, ur blog.
Wonderful. I've no words to describe it. Every post makes a good learning, here!!!!!!

Hawkeye said...

dont shave after bath. its unhealthy. small pieces of beard hair stick to you and next time you bend to it it wil fall on the plate and if u eat hair you will have loose motion :-)

combing my hair: cant use comb with pointy spokes. shouldn't press too hard. hair will fall

eating: 50 munches between 2 guls, no water inbetween, less ghee.

walking: head shoulders up! toes should curve in.

sitting down: sit more on your thighs than b u m s

driving: hands on steering on 10 clock position

cleaning my spectacles: use banian cloth.

switching on the TV: dont keep your head close to it. electro magnetic waves

opening the fridge: dont keep your nose close. freons.

Raj said...

Kartik : Even if I don't want to listen to experts, they give me unsolicited advice all the time!

Lalita : I am sure that when I reach my millionth shave, some expert will tell me that 'shaving' is actually detrimental to health and I ought to have sported a beard all along.

Shruti : Let's have a post from you on this subject.

Usha : thanks.

bishu : why do you assume all this is for free ? My invoice is in the mail.

srik : University, eh ? Thanks for the generous praise.

hawkeye : Man, you sure have all that it takes to be an expert on such a variety of subjects!

Ram Viswanathan said...


So many things to 're-learn'.. Interesting post..