The Razor’s Edge

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The Razor’s Edge is a book by W. Somerset Maugham published in 1944.
Its epigraph reads, “The sharp edge of a razor is difficult to pass over; thus the wise say the path to Salvation is hard.”
(Katha-Upanishad)

There are many barbers on the Ghats along the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras) who are offering shaving and haircuts.
It is a tradition there where many devotees shave their head as a symbol of purification before bathing in the holy waters, it is also a sign of bearevement for some mourners after the cremation of one of their relatives.
Those barbers don’t work on Thursdays and Saturdays as, according to Hindu tradition, it is inauspicious to be shaved or tonsured then.

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