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Are You Ready To Unmask?

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by meenasankaran, Jan 1, 2022.

  1. meenasankaran

    meenasankaran Platinum IL'ite

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    As we are on the brink of ringing in year 3 of the pandemic, I am proud to say that I am fully vaccinated and boosted against Covid-19. But on the day of my booster shot last month, I did wake up feeling anxious about getting back to a post-pandemic normal life. After a few days of pondering over my strange reaction, here are some reasons why I think the idea of unmasking is not making me jump with joy.
    1. First, as a rule of thumb, I don’t jump or twirl. I literally can’t. I don’t have the balance for it. Plus, I am on an injury-free streak this year and have no wish to jeopardize that.
    2. Why am I not ready to set aside my masks yet? Because my husband has invested heavily in it and sacrificed a lot for the safety of our family. In March 2020, you may remember that all the world went crazy and hoarded up masks. It was hard to get our hands on any, but did I lose heart and wring my hands? No sir, not me. I immediately went online and ordered a shiny, new sewing machine and before it was even delivered, I got ready by cutting my husband’s many excellent cotton dhotis into small pieces. When the sewing machine arrived at our door the next day, it struck me that I had overlooked a small detail. I didn't know how to sew. Not a single button worth my spit. Still, all was not lost. I stored the machine inside a closet, placed an order for masks with a manufacturer in China for a small fortune and used up all the cut pieces of dhotis around the house as rag cloths. I figured the money I saved buying rag clothes would offset the cost of the masks from China. I love how these things work out in the end. And I am fairly positive that my husband has forgiven me for making koththu parotta of his dhotis. Every time I see the sewing machine in the closet now, I remember my husband’s sacrifice of his dhotis and consider wearing a mask a tribute to his generosity.
    3. After many months of meeting friends and family only on Zoom, I don’t know how I feel about seeing everyone back in full human form with bodies, arms and legs instead of just neck and up.I worry about not recognizing them. With good reason, I must say. A lot of my new young students have only seen me on Zoom. One such little boy knocked on my door with his father a couple of months ago wanting to get my blessings for Vijayadasami. He looked dazed and disturbed the entire 5 minutes he was here. He wouldn’t believe that I was the same aunty that he saw each week on Zoom. I had to finally glare at him with squinted eyes like I would in classes before he would give me a nod of acknowledgement.
    4. Do you know how much money I have saved from not going to beauty salons these past 2 years? I can probably invest in a small condo in Alaska in another 6 months if I keep up with this lifestyle. Why bother buffing and polishing when no one was going to see me? Yes, I scare myself a bit at times seeing my own reflection but hey, I throw a towel on the mirror and take care of that problem.
    5. I am afraid my rusty social skills need super heavy polishing before I can be pronounced fit to enter society again. In pre-covid era, I have a vague memory of curving my lips while meeting people. I think it was called smiling. The only expression that my face can remember to make any more seems to be a scowl. Know of a place where I can sign up to relearn basic social skills?
    The road ahead may yet be paved with uncertainty but today, let’s give thanks to the power above for keeping us safe from Covid these past two years and march ahead together in goodwill looking forward to a better and just world. May we all come out of this pandemic and live long, happy, and healthy lives. Happy New Year 2022 everyone.
     
    Rihana, SunPa, sajini3 and 8 others like this.
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  2. satchitananda

    satchitananda IL Hall of Fame

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    Hey Meena,

    so good to see you back here. Each time I see your snippet in the index, I feel like a kid that has just spotted the newest version of its favourite chocolate in the shop window and I come rushing here to read.

    It is amazing how you have managed to put the last couple of years in perspective with your trademark humour. Meena without humour? Am sure no matter how many masks (homemade or Chinese) mask that curve on the face, it will make its way up to the eyes and spread out from there to brighten the days of all around.

    Thanks a lot for the wonderful piece, Meena.

    Loads of love and best wishes for 2022,

    Love,
    Satchi
     
  3. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Meena,

    A Very Happy New Year to you too! You have so beautifully captured all that we are going through in your own funny way. Haven't we all gone through that "where can I buy a mask?" panic stage to, well, let's throw the towel on that mirror and don't look at ourselves :) You are right - we have all managed to somehow get through these past two years and even though we may not see what we knew as normal, soon all we can do is 'do our best'! Glad to read you Meena!
     
  4. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    @meenasankaran,

    Wishing you a wonderful year 2022 and let all your dreams come true including writing more snippets.

    1) Buy a skipping rope and try it and you will be able to get back the memories of your young age even if you don't succeed in jumping. It is no different than buying a sewing machine and then figuring out that you don't know how to sew. Welcome to my club. All I can do is to buy skipping ropes and donate to the girls in my sub-division and watch them skip like the hero in Javar Seetharaman's story, "Minnal, Mazhai, Mohini" feeding the poor with sumptuous meal as he couldn't eat much due to his diabetic health.

    2) I remember the days when we were not getting enough masks and sanitizing solutions in 2020. I am still laughing about missing the minor detail about you not knowing how to sew after buying the sewing machine and cutting your husband's dhotis into pieces to make masks.

    3) It is interesting that your student recognized you finally because you had a trademark of squinting eyes in the class and all you need to do is to repeat that for him to recognize you.

    4) Beauty Parlors here have gone out of business within 6 months after the pandemic started. Slowly, they are beginning to breath now. A condo in Alaska? Why would you attempt to freeze yourself when you have a normal life where you are?

    5) Yes. You can download a smiley face in your phone and show it to someone you are conversing with if you like to demonstrate a smile to someone. Alternatively, you can tell everyone around you, if you blink once, you didn't get a joke and if you blink twice, you got the joke and smiling inside your mask. If you like to greet someone with a smile, you can show a hand-gesture that would indicate you are smiling inside your mask. (I wish there was one hand-gesture opposite to showing the middle finger).

    That is it for now. :)
     
  5. joylokhi

    joylokhi Platinum IL'ite

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    Just saw Viswa's nomination and immediately came down to reading this. What a delightful read on the covid situation of the last 2 years! Heres hoping the new year would bring a lot more cheer and happiness for everyone around.
     
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  6. meenasankaran

    meenasankaran Platinum IL'ite

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    @satchitananda - Thank you Satchi. It is so good to see you after a long time. Hope all is well at your end. Loads of good wishes to you as well and a very happy New Year. :beer-toast1:

    @Srama - Do you know that I now possess masks in a multitude of colors and designs? Some of the new salwars I recently bought came with their own matching masks. In raw silk, mind you. The problem is I don't seem to have many places to go to show off these beautiful masks.

    Also, I forgot to mention in my post that I did make masks with the new sewing machine I got before I shelved it. I don't want you to think that I gave up without even trying. In fact, I made 2 masks. They were both very mask-like except one turned out to be big enough for Shrek, the ogre and the other ended up with holes near the nose area making the whole point of masking a moot point.:tongue: As I only spent half a day watching YouTube videos on how to thread the bobbin, I don't consider it a real waste of my time. :thumbup:

    Happy New Year Sabitha. :beer-toast1:
     
    Viswamitra and satchitananda like this.
  7. meenasankaran

    meenasankaran Platinum IL'ite

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    @Viswamitra

    //Alternatively, you can tell everyone around you, if you blink once, you didn't get a joke and if you blink twice, you got the joke and smiling inside your mask.//

    You are brilliant Viswa sir.:thumbsup: Since we can't mask our eyes, let's put it to good use indeed. :clap2: From now on, I resolve to spend 10 minutes every day to practice blinking. Why? Because, like actor Vivek says in the Anniyan movie, one must learn to blink cutely to avoid the Kumarimuthu look. On second thought, I might need to set aside 30 minutes but it will be time well spent. :biggrin:

    //Wishing you a wonderful year 2022 and let all your dreams come true including writing more snippets.//

    Thank you so much and I truly hope your blessings will help me to write more this year. Happy New Year to you and your family too Viswa sir. :beer-toast1:

    :worship2: for nominating this post too. I am always touched by your encouragement.
     
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  8. meenasankaran

    meenasankaran Platinum IL'ite

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    Thank you @joylokhi. Wishing you a wonderful New Year too. :beer-toast1:
     
    joylokhi likes this.
  9. Amica

    Amica IL Hall of Fame

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    My deepest sympathies to you and your family. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
    .
     

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