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Masks. Some brilliant, others not so much. Some people are adept in hiding their real selves behind masks so well, that one can't help but wonder whether what you see of them are all that meets the eye? Masks are welcome as long as one can hide their pain, anguish, betrayal and betrayal. So many people, yet each mask is different. What is hidden behind each one says a different story about its wearer.
The man you saw crossing the street with holding the hand of his child? The very one who pretends to listen what the young boy was saying animatedly to his father? He is not listening. No. He wonders when the love has crept out of his marriage. Only to be replaced by discipline. And boredom. He wears a mask of Contentment.
The old woman who always smiles and wishes you Good morning when you offer your seat to her on the metro? She is lonely. So used to living on her own for years. Each tiny gesture that a stranger bestows her is like a welcome relief. A ray of warm. She wears a mask of Gratitude to hide her fear. Of having to live the last few days of her life all by herself.
The young, beautiful housewife pampering herself at the beauty parlor? She hopes her sinful past never catches up to her. Worried that her beauty and glamour would fade away one day and her husband would be faced with the ugly reality that she dreads. She wears a mask of Confidence.
The horrible teacher who loves to bully her students? Making them feel depreciated and worthless? She tries to force her opinion on those who are powerless because at home, no one could care less about what she thinks. She wears a mask of a Disciplinarian.
The pregnant woman holding the hand of her two year old daughter waiting in the hospital? She hopes another child would change the mind of her cheating husband. It sure had done the first time. Even if it was for a few months, she was craved for affection. Desperately. She wears a mask of the Perfect mother.
The workaholic husband who spends long hours at the office, earning overtime just so that he could finally build his dream home? What he doesn't realize that his wife waits for him each night, falling asleep in front of the cold dinner that she had served. The distance rifts them further apart. He wears a mask of Accomplishment.
The fake couple who can't seem to keep their hands off each other all night at the dinner party? Little do you know that they are trying to hide the growing resentment with each other. So much that they are determined not to let the cracks show. But like a broken chinaware, it refuses to mend. They wear a mask of Happiness.
Next time you see someone, look twice. You may see a lot of stories. A lot of pain behind that smile. Some so filled with anguish that you wish you hadn't. That reminds us to be thankful for the tiny blessings in our lives.
P.S. On a completely unrelated note, have you watched the movie 'The Words'? If you haven't, I say go watch it right now. It's the story of a writer and yes, all of us writers must watch this one. I had seen it long time back and loved it so much that I have already seen it quite a few times.
P.P.S. Come to think of it, it is related to Masks. Where the hero is forced to wear a mask of Deception. Watch it. Watch it. Watch it!