Saturday, July 26, 2014

Of Faces and Of Masks

It’s so easy to assume that you know someone. Know, as in not where they live or what they do or who are their family members. But what they believe in, what their reactions to certain  things could be or whom they would approve or disapprove of. But if that person suddenly changes in such a fashion that they seem to be a stranger to you, then what do you make of it? Did you make a mistake in understanding them? Are they actually so good in camouflaging their real self? Are they confused as to who they really are? Or are they so easily manipulated?

At 26, I don’t claim to be a very good judge of characters, for I am susceptible to “first impressions” and “benefits of doubt”. I may get the hunch that a person is not trustworthy, but I scold myself on being disbelieving at the first glance. However, more often than not, I am cheated by the person or witness them cheating someone. And then I wonder, who is right? The ‘me’ trusting the intrinsic goodness in people, or the ‘me’ detecting the ‘out-of-place’-ness in that person.

For my whole life, or for the last 14years, I have been ridiculed at for being meticulous about my nails, or my hair or my appearance by a certain someone. And now, after being in company with a new person for the last few months, I am rather confused seeing the person completely changed, with stylish nail-art, straightened hair, and makeup that they had always jeered at. So, what should I make of it?

An experienced friend of mine opined that some people are rather brilliant at pretensions, and they make it so believable that they themselves confuse the thin line between appearance and reality. So is this it? All those clever lectures, all those books, all those philosophies – coming to this? Confused pretensions? And should I be proud that at least I have the courage to look into the mirror and differentiate between the mask and the face that I carry? But today I don’t quite feel happy being proud, because today I realize that I have basically failed in understanding the basic nature of one of the people I assumed closest to me.

I still would like to believe that whoever they are, they may be happy in whatever world they have built for themselves. After all, it was my mistake that I couldn’t understand who they are, and I don’t blame anybody for pretending anything. After all, we all pretend. Some of us can identify the face and the mask, and some get trapped in their own web. The latter are the sadder kind, I believe.

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