Think your Movember effort is going to be pretty impressive? India’s Ram Singh Chauhan will make you hang your head in shame at your weedy facial fuzz.
The 58-year-old is the proud owner of the world’s longest moustache – at an astonishing 14 feet long.
Chauhan, who hails from the city of Jaipur in Rajasthan state, says his whiskers are his ‘most prized possession’.
He has spent an incredible 32 years cultivating the tash – which he spends two hours a day grooming.
Chauhan, whose facial fur has even landed him a part in the James Bond movie ‘Octopussy’, said: “Growing a moustache is like taking care of a baby – you really need to nurture it. It has taken me a long, long time to get it to 14 feet. It’s not been an easy task.”
Chauhan started growing his moustache during his late teens.
“I haven’t used a shaving blade on my moustache, or trimmed them since 1970,” he said.
“The moustache is the symbol of pride and respect. In ancient India, a moustache meant everything.
It is priceless. It’s a man thing,” Chauhan said.
Chauhan, whose feat has been recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records, is still cultivating his tash, but its growth has slowed drastically in recent years.
But despite a number of contenders to his title, no others have come close to the mark.
He said: “When I first started to grow my moustache, I did not intend to break any record. Moustaches have been a part of Rajasthani and Indian culture for centuries. This is an age-old tradition.”
“We are Rajputs. It’s a common practice to sport a moustache in our clan. My father also sported a flowing one. Now my son has also started growing his.”
However, Chauhan’s moustache has seen him travel the world showing it off – including trips to Italy and Germany.
Closer to home, he was the brand ambassador for the Rajasthan tourism department for over 30 years. A major part of his job was to show off his flowing moustache at tourist destinations.
Chauhan said: “Whenever I go out to the market or anywhere else, I become the centre of attention. People look at me in complete awe. They ask me all sorts of questions.”
A few years ago, Chauhan was also invited to the famed German Beard and Moustache Club.
“They gave me lot of respect. They loved my moustache. Many said they had never seen something like this before,’ boasts Chauhan.”
“I have even done a show on the India-Pakistan border. It was like reuniting both sides.”
Chauhan has also been cast in Hollywood movies and half a dozen Bollywood films.
He said: “Once I get up in the morning, the first thing I do is to massage my moustache using coconut, olive or almond oil.”
“I do not use a shampoo or soap, just herbals. Then, I comb them and neatly roll them up. This is the daily routine,” Chauhan said.
“Once a week, I do other treatments too. But all of them are natural methods. I never use commercial products,” he added.
Chauhan’s wife, Asha, is happy that her husband has hogged the limelight all this time.
Their children, two daughters and a son, are also proud of their father.
Asha said: “When we got married, he had a small moustache. But then he started growing it longer and longer. But it is nice – I have grown fond of it”.
“The whole family is happy. He has done us so proud. I had never imagined that he would grow such a long moustache. The family is recognised only by this,” she said.
“We used to have fights, and I often told him to shave his moustache off. But those were just outbursts. I never meant it,” she added.
Chauhan says he wishes the younger generations would carry on India’s historic love affair with the moustache.
He said: “This is the time of the clean-shaven youngsters, everywhere you look young people are without moustaches. It is nice to grow a moustache. It is the symbol of manhood. I would want to see every youngster grow a moustache.”
He also adds that he wants an Indian to break his record.
“Records are meant to be broken. If at all my record for longest moustache is broken, I would want and an Indian to break it,” he remarks.