Some people wear the mask below their chin, some hold it in their hand. And some use their ear as a mask hanger.
Enjoy Morning Meanderings Season 2 with your hot cuppa and cookies. ☕🍪😊
There was a knock at the door. Two years back, I would have rushed to the door in two quick strides, and flung open the door. But not now.
A thousand and one things had to be done before heading towards the door. A frantic hunting for the mask. At least three repeated queries.
“Who is it?” in different tones and tenors before the mumbling at the other end could make some sense.
A diffident opening of the door. A masked face staring at an unmasked one. Another brusque question hurled at the person standing at the threshold, “Where is your mask?” A few glares thrown at him as he pulls out the mask from his frayed pocket.
“You are supposed to wear the mask, not keep it snugly in your pocket.” Then you are also expected to read the meanings under his grunts.
“Give me the car keys. I have to clean it.” I decoded his grunts, as he stood there, still holding the mask in his hand. Maybe to let me have a clearer view of his face. Honestly speaking, I have never opened the door whenever the car cleaner has knocked at the door, it has always been my husband. So, I looked apprehensively at him, while he stood before me, mask in hand, to let me have a proper look at his young face. He had a beard (thanks to our cricketers, beards are in) and a bonus ponytail.
Did I say thousand and one questions? Well, in a panicky state of mind, the questions seemed to have multiplied. What if he runs away with the car? Satans big and small were doing a grotesque dance in my head. Satans of all variants, mutating into different shapes. And the inbuilt step tracker in my cell phone had been brazenly reminding me that I had not been doing much exercise lately, so despite the overcast sky, I headed out for my so called walk.
There was a time two years back that there used to be a spring in my walk, but now, it had been replaced by a reluctant plodding.
“SATANISE it properly!” I yelled at the car cleaner, stepping gingerly out of the house, well-masked, well-capped (it really was cold!) and adequately socially distanced.
“I have SANITISED the car properly,” he emphasised. Was the cheeky fellow trying to correct me?
“You have still not worn your mask! Masking your hand is not going to keep away Covid.”
I was not ready to offer him my other cheek for a knock, but readily threw a cheeky remark at him of my own. He grimaced and moved his hand almost in filmy slow motion, hung the mask from one ear and pretended to pull it to the other ear. With the other hand, he offered the key.
“Keep it outside the door,” I said, crinkling my nose at the key. “I will come back and pick it,” I added, without my smile. He immediately let go off the mask and left it precariously dangling from one ear like an oversized earring, just about to fall off. I don’t know why, all of a sudden, Asha Bhosle’s Jhumka gira re, Bareily ke baazar mein started playing at the back of my mind like a second track.
Nature was at its sparkling best, wild flowers doing a wild dance, and birdsong filling the air. Had some mushrooms sprouted overnight against the wall? Or had my imagination gone into overdrive?
The moment I entered the house, after a half hearted ramble, I stopped in my tracks. Something knocked against my head. Another cheeky remark.
“You look like a mushroom with that bucket hat on your head! It is not so cold!” This disembodied voice fell into my ears. I stood rooted to that spot, frantically wondering whether being called a mushroom is a compliment or a snide remark!
But then I have always loved mushrooms so my smirk quickly mutated into a smile, and I braced myself for the day ahead, sheathed in a profusion of smiles.
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