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Why it's difficult for men to observe Movember

Why it's difficult for men to observe MovemberMen in Lucknow find it difficult to observe No Shave November, despite wanting to be part of it. A few share their constraints

Been lately seeing a net spurt of heavily bearded selfies on the with the hashtag #NoShaveNovember #Movember? Well, that's because it's that time of the year again when a social campaign is making waves on the internet (again), with all the activist souls getting charged up and going viral pledging their support to whichever cause has gotten its 15 seconds (in this case, a month) of fame. After bucketfuls of ice being emptied over oneself and wielding the jhaadu coz it's the in thing, it's the turn of the beards and the mustaches to take the forefront and make hairy (!) selfies look fashionable. We're talking about No Shave November and its cousin Movember, where men around the world pledge to keep their facial hair intact for a month in order to raise awareness about men's health issues, cancer in particular. With the movement gaining momentum all around the world year after year, men in Lucknow too have jumped (or at least, tried to) on the bandwagon to show their support. While it may not sound that big a deal to not shave for an entire month, turns out it actually is. Ranging from legitimate professional reasons to notso-legitimate girlfriend issues, dudes in the city who want to observe No Shave November tell us why it's not an easy ride to do so.

Not 'work'ing out
With workplaces requiring a well-kept look at all times, professional reasons are the most common excuse for the men to disassociate themselves from the campaign. Says Achal Krishna, a 25-year-old sales executive with a media company , "I recently came to know about the campaign when I saw a lot of articles being shared online about No Shave November. After reading about it and realizing that it's for men's health awareness, I thought of giving it a try. But I realized that it's not at all feasible since I'm meeting clients every day and would look quite unkempt, so I gave it a miss."

Similar is the case with Aviral Jain, an entrepreneur in his twenties, who gave the campaign a miss because of work-related issues. "I have been observing No Shave November since 2008. It's a big thing in the West and I came to know about it during my college days there.However, this year, I have to travel for a couple of meetings, and it wouldn't seem proper to turn up for them in a heavily-bearded look," says Aviral, adding, "However, I'll try sticking to the campaign and not shaving in the last two weeks of the month, just to keep up with my personal tradition."

Anubhav Banerjee, a pilot with a private airline, faces a tough uniform protocol. "I'm flying six days a week and have to be well-groomed at all times.I can't keep a beard," says Anubhav, adding, "Though I did keep it last year when I wasn't flying. I know quite a bit about the campaign." Bosses too agree that the campaign is not a feasible option at the workplace. "Being wellgroomed is very important at the workplace. In our office, we emphasize on employees shaving every day , so a month is a bit too much. Taking part in such a campaign is okay on a personal level, but at the end of the day , you are representing the organization when you meet people. We cannot have the entire office looking like that for a month," says Iti Capoor, general manager, sales, at a private radio station in the city .

Where's the facial hair?!
While there are some who are ruing at their profession being a hindrance, other boys in the city don't even have much of a choice. Attribute it to the lack of facial hair! "No Shave November is a pretty unique idea to raise awareness about cancers in men. I've seen so much about it on the internet and in newspapers. But, even though I want observe the campaign and show my support, I cannot because I don't get enough facial hair," smiles Zafir Kirmani, an entrepreneur in his early twenties.

Adds Aman Singh Bisht, a real estate dealer in his early twenties, "I know quite a bit about the campaign that it raises awareness about prostrate cancer and other men's health issues and I think it's quite cool. But then, I'm not that old to observe it because frankly, mere utni dadhi nikalti bhi nahi hai."

Nitish Nautiyal, a management student, also has a similar problem. "The entire point of No Shave November is donating the money that goes into keeping yourself wellgroomed. But then, I don't even spend that much money on shaving and everything, so what's the point," laughs Nitish.

Girls play spoilsport
Work's ok, so is the beard, but the girlfriend isn't that's another issue! "I'm a supporter of the No Shave November campaign, and even kept my beard intact for the entire month last year. But this year, I had to shave it off eight days into the month because my girlfriend had a problem and thought that I looked quite bad. No such issues last year because I didn't have a girlfriend back then," laughs Aditya Singh, a businessman in his early twenties.

Going with the trend
While some of the boys have dug deep to know all about No Shave November and pledge their support, there are some who are growing their beards just coz #NoShaveNovember is trending all over. "Frankly speaking, I don't know much about the campaign. I overheard people talking about it a bar and decided to follow it. I think it's related to men's hygiene and is growing," says Charu Vikram Singh, a 20-yearold shooter.

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