One man in India hasn’t clipped the nails on one of his hands in 62 years, which makes them the world’s longest fingernails on record at 30-feet. However, even with the longest nails in the world, which places him in the Guinness Book of World Records, Shridhar Chillal’s feat is bitter and sweet.
The Indian man with the world’s longest fingernails didn’t perform a stunt, walk on a bed of nails, solve a Rubik’s cube in record time, or prepare exhaustively in order to best a standing record. In fact, all he had to do was not listen to his parents, friends, and relatives. In fact, he had to be willing to be rejected by potential employers and even girls, according to a report from Yahoo News.
Why did the man grow his nails on one hand to that extraordinary length? We’re glad you asked. The 2106 fingernail record-holder offered a rather odd reason for growing his nails so incredibly long. In one word — or two: a challenge. Even before today’s Ice Bucket Challenge, there was a contest that challenged brave souls to forgo cutting their nails. Well, it wasn’t something official, but as Shridhar recalled, he decided to grow his nails indefinitely after experiencing an uncomfortable moment in his life. It all began with a paddling — a very painful one.
“When I was a schoolboy, we were once beaten badly by our teacher, because my friend broke his nail. The teacher had grown a very long nail. We asked him why he had beaten us so much for just breaking his nail. He said that we would not understand as we had never grown long nails.”
His teacher added that anyone who has never grown their nails with care would not understand the sacrifice that goes along with setting a lofty goal. Perhaps, there was a larger lesson at play? Undoubtedly, the educator was not suggesting that his students grow their nails into talons or claws. The rebellious boy, 16 -years-old at the time, likely didn’t realize that by not doing “proper hygiene,” he would one day own the the distinction of having the world’s longest fingernails, according to the Daily Mail.
Once he set his mind to growing the fingernails, there was no turning back. But his problems began to mount. His family chided him over the strange mission he undertook. Employers balked at the idea of hiring a person with fingernails of such extraordinary length.
Finally, Shridhar found it difficult to establish a love life. Parents of potential mates feared his nails would endanger their lives, especially the welfare of children born out of the union. However, as luck would have it, he finally found a lover, and at 29, Shridhar married a woman who loved him unconditionally.
At nearly 80, Shridhar plans to finally cut his 30 feet of keratin. He said that while he appreciates the prestige and sense of personal accomplishment that comes with having the world’s longest fingernails, it’s a burden to his fragile body. However, he hatched a novel idea to preserve his nails for posterity: he’s donating them to a museum.
At this time, he has not decided on a date for the nail-cutting ceremony or what facility will house his fingernails. For now, he’s keeping things under wraps.
In 1962, not only did the man began his decades-long quest to grow the world’s longest fingernails, but some other interesting milestones are worth mentioning, according to OnThisDay. The Beatles auditioned for Decca and failed. The United States Navy SEALS was established. Pope John XXIII excommunicated Fidel Castro. MLB player Jackie Robinson became the first African American selected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Isley Brothers released “Twist & Shout.”
[Photos via Twitter]