By Dinesh Wagle on November 20th, 2004 in Wagle Monologues
Originally published under UWB banner
beard (noun) hair growing on a chin and lower cheeks of a man’s face: a week’s growth of beard. a false/grey/bushy/long/white beard.
Thus defines the Oxford dictionary the word beard. We in Nepali call daari to what they call beard in English. Therefore, the hair on chin and lower cheeks of my face is daari. I cannot give you an exact number of my daari.
However, I can tell you how important they are. Huge. Daari generate talks, start conversations, and create such an atmosphere where people feel free to express themselves. Ditto with my daari. They are thought provokers. They attract attention from both sexes. You might understand why my daari is popular among females. I will explain why male are interested in my daari.
Let’s start the discourse, I call it Daari Mahatmye, from the news. Today, I am no longer a bearded man today. I am a beardless man. No daari, clean shaved face, cute and shining, at least for some of you people out there.
This is today. Until yesterday, the story was different. I was a man with beard. Daari was my identity. Some colleagues would call me “Daari” or “Daariwal”, the person who grows daari. I certainly didn’t have thick daari. They were somewhat bushy, thin, black but beautiful. That’s why at this moment, I am tremendously missing them.
Fidel Castro has daari; Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam) wears long beard.. Why not me? They seem perfectly satisfied with their daari. So was I. Then why did I shave? One reason: Because I wanted to shave. Another: I did that because of the talks. They generated too much talk. I as a person was being sidelined by my daari. I was being hid in them. People wouldn’t talk about me but my daari.
For Kiran Chapagain, a beardless fellow at the Kathmandu Post, I was Osama bin Laden, America’s most wanted man. Whenever Kiran would meet me, my daari reminded him of Laden. “Ohâ ¦Dinesh,” Kiran repeated for the seventh time this compliment in our last conversation. “There is no difference between you and Laden. That white piece of the cloth on the head is the only thing that is missing.” Did I look like a man whom America considers its’ number one enemy? I know, he wasn’t being rude to compare me with Laden. He just couldn’t hide his thought. My daari did the job, starting conversation.
Ameet Dhakal, the News Editor at the Post too would remember Taliban or something like that whenever he saw me. “Oh.. Dinesh”, once he told me before talking something about Daari. He wouldn’t shave on Saturdays. That’s a day of relief for his cute daari.
Almost everyone would talk about my daari whenever they saw me. I would patiently hear their comments. For some, I was in deep tragedy. For some, I was a damn lazy. For some beautiful females, I was a handsome gusy. For other females, I was a Jhyaure.
After hearing so much reference of Muslim personalities regarding my daari, I became determined to find the relationship of daari and Muslim religion. After doing a small search on Google, I found one website with this text (edited version):
Importance of the Beard in the words of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam):
1. “I have no connection with one who shaves, shouts and tears his clothing e.g. in grief or affection.” Reported by Abu Darda (R.A.) in Muslim, Hadith no. 501 .
2. “Trim closely the moustache and grow the beard.” Reported by Abu Hurairah (R.A.) in Muslim, Hadith no. 501.
3. “Anyone who shaves has no claim to the mercy of Allah” Reported by Ibn Abbas (R.A.) in Tibrabi.
Well, I really don’t buy whatever Mr. Rasullullah has to offer. There were no reasons behind my daari. I didn’t find much time for them. This might be one. I wanted to have them for some time because I always wanted to have long daari when I was a child.
This might be another reason.
In fact, I am a later comer when it comes to Daari. My uncle Achyut Ghimire, who is 9 months younger than myself, started shaving his daari long before I had any hair on my cheeks that was suitable enough to call Daari. I envied him. Perhaps, that ego was responsible for me being uninterested for shaving. The list can be longer.
I also found a story of Abraham Lincoln, the letter of Miss Grace Bedell and his daari. “All the ladies like whiskers and they would tease their husband’s to vote for you and then you would be President,” the 11-year-old wrote to the Republican Presidential candidate. He replies, “As to the whiskers, having never worn any, do you not think people would call it a piece of silly affection if I were to begin it now?” The site, where I found these letters, writes, “The rest is history. When Abraham Lincoln left Springfield on February 11th, 1861, bound for the White House, he was fully bearded.”
Well, no Grace Bedell has ever written me with such suggestion. And I don’t think, at least for the time being, that I will wear daari for a long period. Of course, I might enjoy different styles of daari in the coming days. French Cut? Who knows?
When people saw be without beard, the talk got even intense. “Dinesh! Where the hell are your daari?” Everyone wanted explanation. Did my girl friend changed her mind and come back? Ameet Dhakal too was surprised. He said he doesn’t usually shave on Saturdays. Milan Mani Sharma, another guy from the Post offered me New Pinch. I was a new guy. Murahari Parajuli, a fellow at Kantipur thought I was a “chicken chilli” meaning a hairless chicken.
Yuvraj Acharya, a Post man who is master at making conversations, related my shave with that of World Toilet Day. An article about World Toilet Organization written by me had appeared in Kantipur on that day. “Oh.. so you had vowed to shave on the World Toilet Day?” he wanted to know. Ganesh Rai of Kantipur simply smiled pointing to my beardless checks. I can’t remember all those who had to offer their opinion regarding a bearded Dinesh or a beardless Dinesh. Did I say Dinesh? No, they all were talking about Dinesh’s Daari, not me or that is to say Dinesh. Oh..Daari! You looted me from myself. Still, I don’t hate you. Because you are right there on my cheeks.
5 Responses to “Beard (Daari), What a Lively Thing U R!”
1. Uzz! Says:
November 28th, 2004 at 4:08 pm
Dinesh looks like a terrorist.
2. sanjay neupane Says:
November 30th, 2004 at 6:36 pm
It’s fantastic dinesh. I remembered the story of linkon and his daari. It took about 2 min to remember that was tild by u. any way i enjoyed ur daari mahatmya. I also feel to write in this forum. But lost where to start. But i deffinitely read and try to write too. any way dinesh keep it up.
3. ck Says:
December 3rd, 2004 at 11:53 pm
jis ka dari hai, uska sari hai aur jis ka muchha nahi uska kuch nahin. this much for today. to be continued….
4. H.S. Says:
December 7th, 2004 at 12:34 pm
Hey dinesh, u look much much much better with your thin daari. I think your daari itself is a new style to the daari makers. It gives your face a different charm. so, give a damn to those filthy comments and grow your beard until it looks just like that in your photgraph. You really looks coool with that! It’s your life after all. So, why worry?
5. Binita Says:
December 12th, 2004 at 7:23 pm
I think people with beards look really great. My husband sports one when he wants to. I think u should grow your beard again. Its cool. You look more serious and intelligent. Forget about all the names that people call you.