The band of beards

The band of beards

Club culture

The band of beards

It’s usually the month of November when men take up the challenge of Movember (an annual event that involves growing moustaches to raise awareness for men’s health). But a few men in the city believe that it’s important to talk about it throughout the year. 

So Vishal Singh, the founder of ‘Bangalore Beard Club’, decided to unite the bearded men from various races, religions and creed for this cause. Launched about a month ago, the club has been going strong since then. 

Vishal explains, “There’s a certain kind of conversation and ideas that arise when a group of bearded men comes together. We wanted to put those ideas together and form a brotherhood of beard. It’s also the first beard club in the country.”

The club had their first meeting recently where they held a competition for ‘the longest beard’, ‘the best beard’ and ‘the best beard on social media’. They were judged by Prasad Bidapa, Akshar and Anitha Kholay. With a successful evening, a part of the proceeds from the event went to ‘YouWecan Cancer Charity’. They also have other fun activities planned such as a photo shoot. Nishant Uppi, a social worker and member, says, “The idea that we have a brotherhood dedicated to charity is great! The first time we met, it was for an outdoor photo shoot where we were being styled and groomed in the middle of the road. It was fun to have a flowing audience with the commuters stuck in traffic.”

In order to be a part of this club, sporting a beard is a must. Vishal says, “One of the first things we need to check before someone becomes a member is to ensure that they will never shave their beard. It’s important that one is committed to their beard.” 

However, it’s not just the charity that is the focus here, the idea is also to bring together men who are making a cool statement with their beards. Rohit Kaul, another member and a store manager, explains, “This club has the perfect mix of style, charity and zeal towards life. Growing a beard has changed my life in many ways and has become an integral part of my identity. It’s awesome that we have a club which celebrates this lifestyle choice.”

Member Akshay Pandita, an MBA student, says, “The fact that India doesn’t boast of similar clubs like ours makes us unique. I look forward to many more events so that we can contribute more to our chosen charity cause.”

While many corporate fields have the ‘groom yourself’ policy, many are also happy that they can sport a beard at their workplaces these days. Jayandran, a beverage manager, says, “It’s difficult to sport a beard in the hospitality industry; it goes against the age-old norms. It’s great that we have a club which celebrates this lifestyle and helps to make it mainstream.” 

These men are also changing the way one would generally think about bearded men. Anand Gungun, co-owner of ‘Kargeens’, says, “One assumes that if you have a beard you are either heartbroken, sad or poor. We are here to change that misconception. We are here to teach that it’s a style statement. We are here to show the love for the beard.”

They hope to meet once a month with fun activities to talk about varied topics and spread awareness as much as they can. As Zeeshan Khan, a consultant, says, “This group is not just an online social club; it creates opportunities for personal interactions at social events. So keep calm and grow a beard!”

(Bangalore Beard Club can be contacted at bangalorebeardclub@gmail.com)