The Mask

He was breathing rapidly, his warm and hurried breath was hitting me. He was sweating profusely and the sweat beads from his face were constantly getting absorbed in my texture. But this was not the first time that I was experiencing this. I had been handling this for years, but today my master was not feeling ok, I could sense from the way he was breathing. He was a brave man and I was pretty sure that he would come out of that situation as well. I guess the horse had also understood the situation and therefore was galloping faster than ever, because of which The Master was barely managing to sit straight. After a lot of struggle, the sound of gun-shots started to diminish gradually, and his breathing pattern slowly started returning to normal. I could sense that he had returned to his haven.

I was his favourite companion. He would never miss taking me along on his missions. Apart from the other regular safety stuff that he would always carry along, I was the most important and off-course the most preferred accessory. I was his “Mask”.

Although I had been saving not only him but his ancestors also and that too for ages, still I was always looked down upon by one and all. People believed that I was nothing more than an accomplice to dacoits and thugs and I would really feel wretched about it. Though I was loyal to my master in true terms, I could not earn a good name. I was always taken as a disguise to the real personality of my master. My cousins and friends also shared the same agony.

Some of my distant cousins still had an opportunity of becoming a part of the lives of common people. I got to know that women from some of the communities had the custom of using the veil as a part of their culture. Though it was a good news, I was still not very pleased as that was limited only to one gender and that too one community.

It came as a respite when I got to know that doctors across the world had embraced us for conducting their sensitive procedures. The best part was that this adoption was not at a particular location, rather it was implemented worldwide by all the medics. We as a family relished the fact that although it was a small section of the society, however, adopted by those professionals who used to be treated like Gods by humans. The journey was certainly long, but finally, we thought that our family aspirations were starting to get fulfilled, as people behind the masks were treated with the highest of respect. It was a long journey from an accessory of “life-takers” to “life-savers”. People eventually started looking at people behind masks with great hope and optimism.

As the earth kept rotating and kept moving around the sun, lots of things changed and thoughts evolved. Humans flourished and great inventions happened, which led to a lot of developments and hence modernization. But, all this came at a cost to the environment and the air which used to be the life for humans, got polluted. My usage was at an all-time high as the people living in urban areas started using masks to protect them from inhaling contaminated air. Pollution kept increasing and more and more people started using masks. I was ecstatic that the day is finally going to arrive when I will become a part of every human’s daily lives. The elderly in my house were not happy with the fact that our adoption had increased at the cost of the environment, but I would disagree with them as my only aspiration was worldwide acceptance. Another thing that added to my bliss was the trend of using me at the parties, where people would get me made in different styles and colours and take me to pubs and discs.

2019 was the year that made me reconsider my ambitions of worldwide acceptance. It was the year that came as a turning point in my life. Within a few months, my usage skyrocketed and it didn’t remain a matter of choice for people, my usage was made mandatory by human authorities. I had got what I had always desired for, “Global Acceptance”, but I was not happy. My wishes got fulfilled however, it had come at a very high cost. I could see so much devastation everywhere. While I am being seen as the saviour, I am hating it.

Now I understand, why my grandparents didn’t like it when my usage got amplified because of increasing pollution. Now, I get the message. This is not what I had wanted, I wanted to be popular like anybody else, but not at this cost. If God is listening to me, I would like to go back to the times where only surgeons would use me and that’s it.

***

20 thoughts on “The Mask

  1. Very nice write up !! Loved the way you have started and included all the age old traditional ways of masking and have put it up in a completely unique way in this mandatory requirement of today’s date !! 👏👍

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well the title made me nostalgic, reminding me Jim Carrie’s mask. But as you keep unfolding the story a whole life “PRE MASK” time started running in my mind. The environment angle doesn’t only makes sense but indeed a need of hours!
    Finally hoping soon we will able to discuss this in detail, sitting across a coffee table and nevertheless to say without “THE MASK”

    Liked by 1 person

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