How many masks do you wear?
Have you ever really stopped to care?

From beginning to end
They are put on one at a time.

Baby, boy, girl, student, adult,
Profession, married, single,
Successful and on and on…

The funny thing is,
At each juncture the identity
Of the mask
Supersedes the wearer.

Do you remember who you really are?

What do you do for a living?
Where’s your better half?
What is your net worth?
This line of questioning
Has become so second nature
That it really needs revisiting.

The most unique individual
Trying to fit into an arbitrary world
Of someone else’s imagining.

It is symptomatic of a condition
Implanted so long ago.

There are hints that stop you,
If only for a moment.
Gaze into a baby’s eyes
And be captivated,

There is a glimmer of a recognition.
The baby sees your mask-less self.

How much fear and trepidation
Do you encounter to look
Deep into your own mirror?

We have identified for so long
With all the goods and bads
Accumulated over a lifetime
Of experience..

It is true we can fake others
Into believing our supposedly
Impeccable exterior.

But we know too well,
Just like Dorian,
The Rotting interior.

Beyond that point
Of understanding depending
On the level of vulnerability
And what openness you can sustain,

Is the answer awaiting…
Awaiting your presence.

Just to be able to set aside
Your masks for even an hour,
And gaze with your own eyes
Upon that innermost power.

That feeling of home
Which you will encounter,
Can give you so much power.

Not to conquer,
But admire!

Atul Ranchod


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