Snooping and sleuthing come naturally to me — blame the desire to ferret on my journalistic acumen. (Perhaps I missed my calling as a private investigator.) Along with that, the secret desire to move around incognito has always wielded its own peculiar kind of charm. Now with masks becoming an integral face accessory, I am actually beginning to relish the quiet freedom that the face cover yields.

Honestly, I find the cover-up liberating in many ways. Fringe benefits abound, in fobbing off the grey fumes when you are walking down the road, full of squawking vehicles and BMC stations consistently drilling into the asphalt. Hugging your own breath to yourself in a crowded area. Protecting yourself against sneeze and saliva globules from all four-legged creatures. But the wonderful mainstream advantages that the face cover chugs in are simply matchless. I can count my blessings easily.

I find my mask increasingly emerging as an ingenious cloak to muffle my expletives too. Of course, there are many instances now when I mutter unsaintly oaths on losing my cool — I can easily expel these by reining in my decibel count beneath the priceless shield — even pry away an irritating morsel stuck between my molars in the privacy of the mask embrace. I can grimace at the sight of an undesirable person (I don’t like everyone, so how can everyone like me?), pout in mock concern, clear my throat a tad dramatically, stick teeth out in an ungracious manner as a reaction, wear an obnoxious expression when I feel like, exclaim in mock horror all as wonderful alternatives to rolling my eyes visibly in despair.

Shilpi Madan for DailyO

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