The Masks

(Image Credit – Gaffey – Pixabay)

‘The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are.’ – Jim Morrison

You take off one mask and you wear another.

You are spoilt for choice. There are so many of them!

Some are smiling and some, frowning. There is the meeting mask, the outing mask, the greeting mask and the thinking mask. Then is the interview mask, work mask, promotion mask and the party mask. There is one you can wear when talking to family and another for friends.

Some of them look similar but you know that they are not the same. There are subtle differences. A twitch of the lips, more blinking or less, a voice polite, sweet or firm. Those little things make all the difference.

Then there are special masks which you can wear for the kids.

Children don’t wear masks, do they?

When did you begin? When was the first time you used one? You don’t remember. But before you knew it, your hand would reach out for one and slip it on.

Each one has a purpose, time and place. A part to play.

And play it does, that perfect mask. It works beautifully.

At every moment, on every occasion, you are dazzling all those around you. You are brilliant. You, my friend, are a winner.

And yes there is a mask for that as well – the winning mask.

Ah! You must keep wearing them, one after the other. Lest someone with a prettier mask gets ahead of you. No, no. We can’t have that.

Often, there isn’t enough time to change. So you end up wearing one over the other and then one more. Maybe you are wearing too many at a time. But that’s OK, because they still work just as well.

Except one tiny problem.

They won’t come off.

Try as you might, they are stuck. Like they are glued to your face. It seems they are going to stay. How strange.

What if they stay forever?

It’s already time to wear the next one! There is no time to waste. Not even a moment to spare.

You simply don’t have time for to worry about such frivolous things. Where is the next one? Where did you keep it? Ah, there it is.

What to do but wear it?

You have made your masks with great love and care. You have tended them for so long now.

So you polish all your masks and keep them spick and span. And ready. You can wear ten at a time, twenty at a time effortlessly. It’s Ok. It’s all good. All under control.

But sometimes you do wonder.

If. If at all they do come off.

All of them. Every single one of them.

What will your real face look like?


Authors Notes –

Somehow pretence seems to be the norm in today’s world.

I often feel we say yes when we want to say no. We say we are excited to take something on even when our heart is saying otherwise. We say we are OK when it is likely otherwise and we simply learn to silence that tiny voice deep inside.

While there are times when we may not have much of a choice but I still hope we can learn to express ourselves, say things better and experience more meaning! Even if it means awkwardness, feeling vulnerable and being messy.

Comments and feedback, much appreciated.

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  1. When all the people around you expect you to wear masks, you are forced to do so. Else one cannot go ahead in life. A person has to be diplomatic at least here in India.

  2. I love this.

    The idea of a world less occupied with doubts and more open with imperfections.
    Together, we could all accomodate each other’s imperfections.

    1. Yes! We habitualy accept a false way of living simply because we are surrounded by it and there seems to be no way out. And it’s not really improving our mental standards of living!

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