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Let me tell you an interesting story which led to a Guinness record. The story is about a boy named Shridhar Chillal from Pune. When Shridhar was 14 years old, he accidentally broke his teacher’s long fingernail. The teacher got frustrated and shouted at him.

The teacher said Chillal that he would never understand the importance of what he had done because he never was committed to anything. Chillal got so upset and angry eventually in this process that he decided to grow longer nails than his teacher and later on never to cut it anymore. Well, this happened in 1952.

Sixty-Six years later, Chillal holds the Guinness record for having the longest nail in the world. He had grown his left-hand nail to over 31 feet long. The final update is that at the age of 82, he has finally cut his nail and his record nails can be found in New York at Ripley’s Believe it or Not museum. Well, I doubt if there would be anyone keen on seeing it at all except for his teacher who must be smiling at them from the heavens.

Records apart, acknowledgement apart, this story sounded too sad to me. This Shridhar Chillal has wasted his life just to satisfy his tiny ego at a young age. I am not sure if he would be ever celebrated as a hero any day for growing his nails, but I am sure he must have been shouted every day by his near and dear for the troubles his nail must have caused them.

Adding to this agony, he had disfigurement his fingers, loss of function of his left hand and his left ear became deaf owing to the nerve damage caused by his nails immense weight.

All this for what?

I somehow feel that Chillal’s nail had been his alter ego. As he grew, his alter ego grew with him. This continued so long that by the time he realized that he should cut it, he had lost most of his active life. He failed to recognize his true self and lost his beautiful life in this process.

Interestingly his alter ego was visible whereas for most of us it remains invisible inherently within us. We feel somehow special than most of the others we see. We carry this invisible nail called ego, which is just as dirty as Chillal’s nail.

The more it grows, the more dirt it attracts.

The more it grows, the more it pains you.

The more it grows, the more people stay away from you.

Finally, the more it grows, the shorter your real life becomes.

Old Tired Chillal with his Dirty Ego before they parted ways

I hope we don’t wait till we age 82 to cut down our nail (Ego). At the end of the day, anybody can grow nails, but not everyone understands it’s just dead cells which need to be trimmed once in a while.

Keep your nails short; you will realize that you can do a lot, and a lot happier too.


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