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The Masks We Wear

Published : Saturday, 9 March, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 1085
Shaibal Ahmed Mridul

A shady town this is
Polluted, deserted, filled with smog
And in a factory, I work
With other laborers, for meager fees,
There had been a fire here
When all exits were blocked but one
And everyone deluged the exit
Holding only their life dear.
Those men became savages; punching, clawing,
Running, stomping, kicking whatever came in their way
Less like mankind, more like quadrupeds,
This I must say.
There was nothing left they did
To move forward, and to live
Fighting like savages; men, women alike
Fortunate I am, to survive that night.
After that day, I had an invitation
An invitation to a masquerade ball!
Ever been to one?
Oh! What a splendor!
All wore masks; black, white, brown,
Some with jewels, velvet and satin
Recognize them? Not a chance,
Men in tuxedos, women in evening gowns.
And oh! What manners they had
Polite in attitude, polished in speech.
Suddenly a beautiful lady came by my side
We talked, we laughed and oh! we danced
All of my mind was screaming
Let us not end this amazing night.
After dancing, thought I'd rest a bit
Bid adieu to my lady and took a seat.
Stretched out my legs, took a sip
Only to find that a butler had just slipped.
A candelabra in one hand, wine bottle in the other
Setting ablaze the long window covers
There was no hope at stopping the fire
The windows were open, the wind blew higher.
The crackle of the fire returned my senses
Hell was unleashed in this little heaven
With hazy eyes, I struggled to find
As the only staircase, came into my sight.
The scene took me back, long back
Back when I was trapped in the factory
The Noble had just turned into those savages
Fighting to take their life back.
Manners? Humbleness? Politeness? Where were they?
All left was just pure primal instinct
Torn Fabric, thrown shoes, stumbled legs
And what more? I better not say.
To breathe and live, there was no choice
But to dive, dive into the madding crowd
The crowd and I became one, fighting for a way out
Even though I heard a shrill voice.
The same one that talked, laughed and danced with me
The same one that I admired so much
Even that could not hinder me from
Fighting my way out, from trying to flee.
At last! I breathed fresh air
And watched as the fire burn itself out
Looked around and among all the others
It was my lady towards whom I stared.
Not so beautiful now, bruised and battered,
Bleeding from nose, emotionally shattered
Tried speaking to her, but no luck
Her derisive eyes were that of a stranger.
Just as selfish as I was, saving my dear life
She had forgotten all about that beautiful time.
What an eye-opener that evening was!
From that day I took an oath and I swear
To find the real humans; behind the masks we wear.
The Masks We Wear

The Masks We Wear

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