Masks or Maks – we were stuck with them. The fact is that we always had masks on – those of the invisible variety.
Enjoy Morning Meanderings Season 2 with your hot cuppa and cookies. ☕🍪😊
I walked a few steps.
She walked a few steps.
I stopped in my tracks.
She did the same.
I was out on my morning walk appropriately masked, she was also out on her morning walk, inappropriately unmasked – and she realised her indiscretion immediately. She stood there in the throes of indecision, not moving forward.
Realising her dilemma, I quickly turned back and stepped back into the house. Then I watched her through my window, as she quickly headed forth, her face now covered with her scarf.
She was wise enough not to come face to face with me, unmasked. But not many have such wisdom. With no more unmasked folks to deal with, I stepped out once again, fully masked.
The morning was waiting with its palette of colours, which is replenished every day with tender care and creative ingenuity.
Under the shade of a tree sat a beggar woman, bruised feet, battered soles and probably a bludgeoned soul too. And yes, a weather-beaten bowl. I was pleasantly surprised to see that she had a mask on.
She said nothing to the passersby, just sat there, looking around with unseeing eyes. Her eyes fell on a five year old playing all alone with a big, red ball. She suddenly became wistful and smiled absently at him . As the tiny one kicked the ball, it came in her direction. Her eyes lit up and she sprang up with an agility matching the five year old and kicked the ball in his direction.
The boy looked at her, understandably surprised and smiled a humongous smile of gratitude. His small eyes, looked her up and down and found a playmate in her.
“Will you play with me ?” He beseeched.
“No beta. Aajkal door rehna hi theek hai. Jab haalaat theek ho jayengey tab khelengey. Aap ghar jao aur maks pehen kar aao.” (No, child, it is wise to stay away from each other these days. When the situation improves, then we will play. And go home and wear your maks.”)
He pouted a little and remarked, “Okay aunty,” and headed home. Then, on second thoughts, he turned back and with a smile added, “Maks nahi aunty. Mask.”
“Arrey wahi to keh rahi hoon. Maks,” (That’s exactly what I am saying. Maks) she rejoined, adjusting her mask.
Masks or Maks, I realised with a pang of anguish that we were stuck with them. But consoled myself with the fact that we always had masks on – those of the invisible variety. Masks for all occasions.
Now, they were visible. Visibility was always better than invisibility, in a world which was just a masquerade, ‘all sound and fury signifying nothing ‘.
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