Thursday, September 26, 2013

Why grow up?

***All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts**

We attend meetings, we hangout with friends, we shop at supermarkets, we bargain on the streets -- we assume different shades everyday; play many parts, as Shakespeare rightly said. And all through, we have several layers to our personality, that masks the real us from the rest of the world. Reality is, within us, within each one of us, is a child, that probably comes out only in the company of certain special people. For others, we are the ‘strict’ bosses, we are ‘meek’ employees, we are the ‘tough’ negotiators and we are the ‘strong’ personalities. But for some, the ‘special’ some, we are children --uninhibited, carefree, none of whose moves are calculated.

The other day, lost in the thoughts of my handsome hubby, I squeezed my little finger as I was shutting the door to the balcony. I looked at him, tears pooling inside my eyes, lips quivering and I rushed to him, kneading my eyes with my fist, rubbing my runny nose with the back of my hand and mumbling, “it hurts,” as he tried to pacify me. Now, had there been someone else too at home, I would’ve probably let the tears roll down my cheeks, just like any soap actress would’ve done, wiped them off gently with my fingers, and would’ve walked across the hall gracefully to treat the injury. But no, it was only my husband who was there, and I didn’t feel the need to hold back that child in me.

These are the special people for whom we are special, no matter how demented we seem to be. When I go out, I make sure I am prim and proper, that my dresses and shoes match, that every strand of my hair gives the ‘livon’ models a run for their money. But at home, be it with my parents or with my husband, I am mostly at my shabbiest best. I roam around in my shorts and tees, roll up my hair in a bun and give a damn to the way I look. As established by the K soaps, women spend hours in front of the mirror to get the look that would floor their better halves, but reality is, we are more comfortable being the children we are deep inside, than wearing masks to impress them.

I pick up just-dropped morsels of food from the floor and eat them (don’t judge me), I scratch my head, I bite my nails, I forget to apply lotion, I do weird dance steps, I talk (A LOT), I make faces, I burp, I do all the things that I’m not supposed to do, otherwise. We all do, don’t we? But, these are things that we wouldn’t imagine doing in public...not in the wildest of our dreams. However, in the company of some ‘special’ people -- parents, siblings, husband/wife, friends-- we allow that child that’s hiding within us, within each one of us, to tear off all the masks. We become what we are, shedding the other different shades of our personality, becoming a child and taking comfort in the presence of these people. It is in their company, that we discover the delight of being maskless, of not having to live up to standards and not having to ‘act’.

And although, Shakespeare’s lines are oh-so-true, yet, we don’t have to be yet another character when we are in the company of our loved ones. That’s probably what God made family and friends for!