I have masks from all over the world strung up on my wall. It took a kid to walk in and ask me “Do you wear any of the masks?” to get me thinking.
I try hard to be honest – especially to myself… but...
There’s my Jack Nicholson Joker mask : The smile frozen in ice, when I want desperately to be somewhere else but am trying to look interested. “Yes, really, that is sooooooo interesting, tell me more.” (I wonder what’s for dinner?!!). “Yes, what you do is soooo interesting.” (Where is the loo in this place?)
My Raavana mask : (oooh boy, here comes Mama, with her 10 heads – all looking equally fierce.. we musta done something really bad today !) Followed by 2-year-old Niks who quickly said yesterday, “Ok, Mama, I’m going to stand in the corner.”
And then sometimes, it all slips !
To the Rain-goddess mask : I have had enough of everyone and everything… I’m underpaid and over-worked ! Watch out, the showers are gonna start ! hooooowl !
If I have a mask I pull out for every occasion - I’m wondering what the real me looks like?
I know people – a vary rare few actually – who are so comfortable in their own skins, that they actually are the same with everyone…. either utterly rude, or politically incorrect, or preachy, or whatever.. but it’s the same (take me as I am)…
But the majority of us, we’re multiple-masked bandits, aren’t we? The Kick-ass-Boss mask, the Lone Ranger (“no one better come into my corner”) mask, the Nobody-can-hurt-me mask, the yahoo-always-smiley mask…. No one really sees the real us… not even the mirror ?
And this is the part I hate : We teach our kids to mask themselves early in life. (Atleast Michael Jackson is open about it). I saw Neel come home from school today with swollen eyes.. but when he saw me, he tried to smile. That’s the Big-Boys-Don’t-Cry Mask. And I’ve been teaching him to wear it.