‘My mind it beams, colors
A myriad of emotions, it feels
Who shall I be today?
Wearing the invisible veil of inhibition
My thoughts, stand diverged
Perpetually living in the dichotomy of what to conceal and what to show’
We are all great actors, aren't we? ‘An Oscar nomination?’, Of course we deserve that. But seriously, we are so caught up , switching personalities that we fail to realize this swift transformation that takes place every day. We all have it rolled in us. A mask for family, a mask for friends, a mask for the harsh world outside and then a different set of masks that we consciously or not place on our eyes, our hearts and on our ability to think and question.
Going through self- help books and hearing people, across generations give out the so called life mantra, which is so ambiguous, of ‘BEING YOURSELF’.
‘Being yourself’, I have never completely understood this concept, quite honestly. Who are we, 'where do I find me?'. Our life stringed together by this sequence of masks, that stay in front us. Our life is never a clean slate. Aren't we at some level conditioned to behave a certain way, invisibly tied to ‘our world’, ‘our society’? We make amends, and adapt to what’s given to us, destroy and re-build over already existing norms and practices. It’s startling to realize as to how it all works. How we ignore those little interactions of our heart and mind, those moments of friction that take place within us. That train of ‘what-if’s’ that run on the station of our minds. ‘Absurd’, isn't it?
But, why does masking always have a negative connotation? What if we can use it to our advantage? Thinking about it, I’m reminded of a great writer and poet, Oscar Wilde, who once said ‘MAN IS LEAST HIMSELF WHEN HE TALKS IN HIS OWN PERSON. GIVE HIM A MASK, AND HE WILL TELL YOU THE TRUTH'. Yes!, the power being anonymous. If only we could detach our self from this world of pretense and be crude and unaltered without having to bother about the judgments of the society we are constantly trying to fit in. It is ironical that we could become a truer version of our self by masking. The mask could give us the opportunity to express our deepest, darkest emotions, which we are otherwise hesitant to talk about or even acknowledge for that matter. A chance of expression for that side of us which is marked by cynicism, dishonesty, pessimism and all our other inner demons that we challenge and fight with, on a regular basis. That, most certainly is a great way to channelize those negative energies.
Camouflaging, does seem like an inextricable part of our social conduct. Driven by the motive to conceal, whatever we wish to, we create our own story. But can we really come to a point of breaking away with this string of personalities or ,are we so intertwined to them that it is illusory to think so . Are we audacious enough to be so vulnerable?. Or should we just embrace them as the many different shades of ourselves. Let’s think about it!