Ear Wax

Cleansing souls, and ears, on India’s trains.
At the dusty Hardiwar train station in the foothills of India’s Himalayas, passengers can buy a morning newspaper, sip a steaming cup of chai and endure an enthusiastic ear-cleaning by the station’s earwax wallah.

With more than 7,000 train stations, and customers taking 5 billion trips annually, India has one of the world’s largest railway networks. To serve the passengers, there is a haphazard legion of scrawny porters to carry bulky bags, shoe-shiners who will polish flip-flops and, yes, earwax cleaners.

At 10:15 a.m. one morning, Mr. Wax Wallah, as he is known, removes a giant swab of cotton from the folds of his red turban. He hooks the cotton onto a stick and roams the station, calling out: “Ears cleaned here!”

Some less-scrupulous ear-cleaners have been known to pretend to stick a cotton swab into the ear of an unsuspecting would-be customer and reveal it coated in a dirty, waxlike goo. The soiled swab becomes Exhibit A for the wax-cleaner’s argument that the potential customer is in desperate need of a thorough cleaning, which costs the equivalent of 25 cents.

But Mr. Wax Wallah has a stellar reputation and skilled hands. He says he has never faked the need for a cleaning or punctured an eardrum.

Years ago, I remember reading that accidents on the Indian rail network average over 300 per year, with a high number of fatalities.

Once, a cyclone drove a train off a track and into a river – over 800 dead.

Was this because of ear wax overload?

I think the dead were all found with bloodied cotton swabs protruding from their brains.


Welcome to the world of ear wax removal…

//youtu.be/- YouTube

Perhaps Mr. Robinson is crying out for help with dealing with this obsession…

Weird. Cool, but weird!:eek:

Nah don’t be like that - I know you collect yours in jam jars :stuck_out_tongue:

Holy wow… Dude thats a weird video Karl.

I really did not need to see that just before my bedtime.

Thanks Karl :slight_smile:

In a pouch, then a pinch between the cheek and gum!