I was a kid; playing with ball in my apartment.
I broke a vase, i lost my sense;
“The cat did it, Ma!” I lied, pointing to the compartment.
Unknowingly, I put on a mask of innocence.

In school days, I got good grades;
I was a hard-working studious boy.
I invited my friends to celebrate;
Hiding their jealousy, all had their masks of joy.

They were harassing her, it was very awkward.
My blood was boiling with rage.
I tried to fight though I was a coward,
My body was not strong as my mask of courage.

We both did the important presentation,
I corrected his errors which were nasty;
He took the credit, and got promotion,
My hard work lost to his fake mask of honesty.

She was my colleague, I, a manager to be;
I was honest and loyal to my duty.
Cunningly she stole the ideas from me,
I failed to see the evil beneath the mask of beauty.

My close friend met with an accident,
Luckily he escaped death.
Hoping that the damage was temporary, not permanent;
I put on the mask of faith.

So many masks we have used;
Nothing was genuine, we were careless.
Now thinking about it I am confused;
Do we have masks only? Have we become faceless?

Crushed beneath these masks,
The real you is faded,
Different masks for different tasks,
Your real face is degraded.

To these masks, we are addicted.
When was the last time we were original?
Embracing something which you once hated;
Has our true self become fictional?

Each day, each month, each year passes,
Only one thing my mind constantly asks;
It’s been so long, sands of time turned into ashes,
When will we all take off our masks?

-Shantanu Deshmukh

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