The (dead) new skin

by Abhaya Rajani


Follow the rules, 

Wash your hands,

Maintain the distance,

follow the guidelines, 

you are allowed to go from here , 

Not from there,

one-way, one way, 

wear the mask, 

don’t talk, 

don’t touch,

don’t kiss,

don’t hold hands,

yes sir, yes sir. 



That’s how we look now, sometimes people who know us, don’t recognise us. They talk about the new hair cut, the new clothes, the new glasses. But the thing which is absurd is this piece which we wear to protect us, to protect others. This thing called “mask” has become the part of our face now, the part of our own skin, dead skin, it doesn’t grow further. It comes in between us, while eating, while talking, while kissing, we take that off, we eat, we talk and we kiss. We reattach it, cover our mouth and move on, just like that. It is truly unbelievable, we don’t see this only in the mirror, in each other’s reflection, but around us, on the street, in the supermarket, on the train and everywhere else. We judge those who don’t wear it, give a look and move on. Just like that. He said to me, “it will be really bizarre if people in the future will look back to this time and think, 2020 was easy. By looking at their present , they might think, we were the lucky ones. Just imagine how bizarre that would be.” We looked into each other eyes, wore our masks back , held each other’s hand more tightly and crossed the road after the Green signal, with other people, at a distance having their own masks to cover their own faces, maybe for others, maybe for them or maybe to protect themselves from the reality of our time. All I can see is this façade is becoming the part of our body, more and more.

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