Nobody knows that I…
She didn’t even want to complete the sentence. After all the best way to keep a secret is to keep it even from your own self. But the truth was she was a nonperson, a shadow, a ghost. She was not really sure that she was a whole person ever… she realized it now, and she was not sure where the damage began.
It struck her only when she toying with the mask, she turned round and asked Vittal,
“Do you think you wear a mask?”
“I’m wearing on right now” Vittal smiled softly. “We both are.”
“It’s a sad thought.”
“Yes” he said, “But sometimes I wonder about the alternative. Imagine if we had no secrets, no respite from the truth. What if everything was laid bear the moment we introduced ourselves?
“Secrets and lies, Vittal aren’t they like the cancer of the soul? They eat away what is good and leave and leave only destruction behind.”
“Don’t you when strangers and friends come to call straighten the cushions, kick the books under the bed and put away the laptop that you were pounding on? How many of us want any of us to see us as we really are? Isn’t the mirror hostile enough?”
She looked, at him again; he had the look of a person who was just going to hand in the punch line…
“And when at last you find someone to who whom you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter – they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you for so long.”
She looked at him as he walked away, yes; secrets were of two kinds, one that you want to keep and the other that you dare not let out. It was transformation time, to dress up, wear the mask and go to the party. Somewhere she took pleasure in her transformations, she looked quiet and consistent, but few knew how many women were trapped in her.
The perfume she realized was first created to keep people from knowing the stench of foul and offensive odors.. Species and bold flavourings were created to keep people from recognizing the taste of putrid and rotting meat.. What about music she wondered what was it created? May be to drown the voices of others, or the voices within ourselves…she didn’t want to know.
She knew she had two lives, one, open seen and known by all who cared to know, full of relative truth and of relative false hood exactly like the lives of her friends and acquaintances, and another life running its course in secret. And through some strange perhaps accidental conjunction of circumstances everything that was essential, of interest and of value to her, everything in which she was sincere and did not deceive herself, everything that made the kernel of her life was hidden from other people.
Nobody knew she had secrets, some guessed that there were spaces, gaps where answers should be, where someone should have sat, where someone used to be. A name that is never uttered, or maybe uttered once and never again…