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  Life   More Features  28 Jan 2017  Shelve the razor

Shelve the razor

THE ASIAN AGE. | POOJA SALVI
Published : Jan 28, 2017, 12:18 am IST
Updated : Jan 28, 2017, 6:34 am IST

As the Bangalore Beard Club opens its Mumbai chapter, we speak to its founder about what it takes to get in.

The Bangalore Beard Club at an event they organised.
 The Bangalore Beard Club at an event they organised.

When we heard of the Mumbai chapter of the Bangalore Beard Club, out of curiosity we asked Vishal Singh, its founder, what really goes on in this exclusive community. Contrary to popular perception, the boys don’t get together to only discuss bikes or beer. A part of their activities includes grooming the fuzz and the other, spreading awareness about a host of social issues. “Every month we pick up a new theme and venue and try to engage people and educate them about grooming standards for beards, general health of men and even issues related to women,” says Vishal, whose aim it is to start a similar club in all of the country’s metropolitan cities.

In June last year, he launched the Bangalore Beard Club (which now has a strength of 16 members and growing) with the idea of uniting men with beards across religions, regions, castes and creeds. “I want to bring them all under one roof,” he states. “In India, there are a lot of religions that encourage one to grow of a beard. But we just don’t know how to groom it. Through the club, we aim at spreading knowledge about this. At the same time, we raise money for men’s prostrate cancer awareness and YouWeCan, which is cricketer Yuvraj Singh’s cancer charity,” Vishal explains.

Every event hosted by the beard club charges an entry and a cover charge. “Then after the expenses are sorted out, whatever is left is donated to a cause,” Vishal says. One of which is to spread awareness about mental health issues that men suffer from. “We discuss depression in men for instance. It’s a classic man thing to do — we don’t talk about what goes on in our minds or our feelings. We want to build a community where it is okay for men to talk about it,” he elaborates.

A prerequisite to be a member of the group is of course, to sport a beard. But that’s not all. Vishal personally sifts through the profiles that apply to be part of the club. About the selection process Vishal says, “First and foremost, I check their social media profiles to get an understanding of their personality. It’s necessary to consider only responsible men because if something doesn’t go right tomorrow, the club’s reputation is stained.”

Once enrolled, Vishal is strict about maintaining the beard; there’s no room for a razor. What if someone does have a change of heart? “I would chuck him out of the club — unless it’s for a religious reason,” he adds.

The Bombay Beard Club will be launched on January 29, 8 pm onwards at The Barking Deer Brewpub, Mathuradas Mill Compound, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel (W).
Entry: Rs 1,000

Tags: bangalore beard club, beard