By Tom Dare
AN INDIAN MAN whose hair measures an astonishing 62 feet (15 metres) long after he left it to grow for over 50 years following a visit from a god in his dreams has told the astonishing story of how it helped to save a young boys’ life.
Video shows 65-year-old Savjibhai Rathwa, of Vadorara, India’s Gujarat state, unravelling his hair and allowing it to be stretched out all the way down the road, with eight people required to hold it up above the ground.
Rathwa, who has been growing his hair since he was just 12-years-old, says he refused to have it cut after being visited by a deity in his dreams:
“I was 12 when I got the swapnadesh (direction in a dream) from Lord Shiva that I should never cut my hair. It is since then I have been growing my hair.
“Everybody — including family and friends — have been cool with my ever-growing hair.”
Ever since then he has become synonymous with his long locks – and they’ve even managed to save the life of a young boy fell after he fell into a pond at a local wedding ceremony.
“I almost intuitively started opening my dreadlock and even before someone could bring a rope, I hurled the loose end of my lock towards the drowning boy. Once he grabbed it, I started pulling it and slowly brought him to safety,” says Rathwa.
“So far, I didn’t know why I was growing my hair all this while. May be I was destined to save this boy’s life using my dreadlock. May this is why lord shiva had showed up in my dream asking me not to cut my hair some fifty years ago.”
Having such long locks isn’t all plain sailing, though, with Rathwa’s hair taking an astonishing three hours to wash every day
“I dedicate three hours every alternate day to wash my hair,” he says. Each wash takes 30 pouches (8ml each) of shampoo, just to ensure that my hair isn’t dirty and smelly. This burns a hole in my pocket, but I keep long hair for a hobby. It is my faith and it should be maintained at any cost,.
“I hate to keep my hair dirty and, luckily, I have my grandchildren to help me.
“When I first started growing it, some of my friends used to mockingly call me effeminate. Some even thought I was planning to become a hermit and renounce the world!”
But despite some of his struggles, Rathwa insists he has never questioned his decision to grow his hair to such an extraordinary length. Even when he began to see marriage proposals rejected by women who were put off by the length of his hair, he remained strong. And eventually he was rewarded, meeting a woman who did not care about the length of his hair and marrying her shortly afterward.
So what’s the secret to Rathwa’s luscious locks? Diet, according to the man himself. Rathwa says he eats a balanced diet rich in fruit, veg and nutrients, as well as having a daily routine that he always keeps to.
“People come from cities like Mumbai and Delhi to see my hair for themselves,” he says
“My long hair is the blessings of the god. The secret of my long hair is vegetarian food and cow milk. I have cow milk thrice a day. Six glasses to be precise. I add a little turmeric and jiggery [Indian sugar] in it to make it healthier.”
The title of ‘World’s longest hair’ previously belonged to Chinese man Xie Qiuping who boasted of 22ft before he passed away in 2010. However Rathwa has not yet had his hair length officially measured, declaring that such thing do not interest him.
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