Meet Shridhar Chillal, from Pune, India, the man who hasn’t clipped his fingernails in over six decades!
Chillal began growing his fingernails when he was still in school, and now holds the Guinness World Record for the ‘Longest Fingernails on a Single Hand Ever’. The super-long talons on his left hand now have a cumulative length of 909.6 cm, his nails even grew so artsy that each of which curls at the end!
Can you ever imagine that?
Chillal’s thumb nail is the longest at two meters and curls into a tight coil at the end. The middle finger nail comes a next at 186.6 cm, followed by the ring finger which measures 181.6 cm, then the little finger – 179.1 cm, and last would be the index nail which stands at 164.5 cm.
I can’t move much, so every half an hour or so I wake up and move my hand to the other side of the bed,” he admitted.
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. Unless we grew long nails we would never understand the kind of care required not to break them,” Chillal recalled.
That’s when Chillal took on the challenge of growing his nails. But when they grew beyond to the acceptable length, he faced a lot of resistance from friends and family.
First our family members opposed, then teachers were opposed but I decided from that point on that I would never cut my nails again,” Chillal said.
No one would wash my clothes and I had to wash them by hand. Finding a job was also difficult, as no one was ready to employ me. When I was to get married, no one was ready to marry me. I saw nearly 10 to 12 girls. If the girl agreed to marry, her parents would say I would strangle their daughter’s neck and refuse. If the parents agreed, the girl would say she would not marry such a dirty person,” Chillal shared.
Things got better in time, and Chillal eventually got married to his brother’s sister-in-law at age 29. He then cut off the nails on his right hand and decided only to keep growing the ones on his left, just so he could lead a somewhat normal life. He took up photography for a while, and even pursued it as a career.
But now that he’s nearly 80 years old, he wants to finally have his nails cut and preserve them. “I have been growing my nails since 1952 so it is now 62 years since I first started to let my nails grow. I can tell everyone now with pride about my record. When I am on my travels, people will recognise me as a Guinness World Records title holder. Now that I am 78 years old, my nails have become much more delicate due to my age, so my wish is to preserve these nails in a museum,” Chillal said, fondly.