While stepping out of my flat to get the weekly vegetable supply, I met my neighbor. She looked all dressed up for some party. Party? While the life itself is in a lock-down mode? Unbelievable. I hate such irresponsible people with little social sense. Nevertheless offered a wide smile to her, hiding the bitterness inside. City life has taught me many such skills. To my surprise, she just continued to walk towards the lift, hitting a bicycle kick to my innocent smile! rude!
Well, this shouldn’t bother me. Apartment folks are much better than most of my colleagues who just mechanically murmurs ‘How are you’ and moves on without waiting to listen how I really am! Some of them seemed in a trance most of the time chanting good morning to whoever they meet irrespective it is morning, afternoon, evening or NIGHT. Can’t blame them, they must be doing it every time they wake up from a trance and it is morning! Sure it is. I used to get caught initially with these ‘how are you’s and genuinely stopped by to respond. Put an end to it when someone touched my shoulder once and said “don’t bother” even before I could open my mouth and just walked away. Ah, so it’s just part of corporate junk.
Right, I am not bothered anymore. I shook my head and moved towards the parking. Still, what will someone lose if they return a smile…..
There were few other residents near the security desk adjacent to the parking and discussing something. Should be about a ‘new Shakespeare in town’. There is this guy who moved into our apartment and posts tendentious and high vocabulary spill outs in the WhatsApp platform. Many a time I thought I should also post a soft copy dictionary soon after he posts something. On humanitarian grounds, but I never did. Once somebody corrected him on a stupid grammar mistake he made. The person who corrected Mr. Shakespeare claimed she is an English professor and understands grammar better. What more interesting was, she expressed her opinion in totally broken grammar! That day no resident needed to switch on Netflix. There was a live show on WhatsApp! Hero and Herion just took the centre stage. Good, I did not post a dictionary, narrow escape.
If he is the discussion topic, I don’t want to get pulled into it. Still, I smiled at the group while increasing my speed to walk past them. Damn! No one is even looking at me. Not sure when onwards I’ve become an alien to these people. Never mind, got into the car and headed towards the main gate.
Pulled in near an ATM and withdrew some cash. A security guard was sitting there with a heavy responsibility of guarding three ATMs available in that kiosk. Seriousness was oozing from his gnome figure. Wanted to tell him, “bro, smile… it’s okay. It’s not that a robber will get frightened of your looks had he really wishes to rob”. But as usual, hidden what I wanted to say and just offered him a smile. He just stared back at me. Seemed like he will shoot me down if I stand there for one more minute. No smile. I must move on. There may be other hidden gnomes, and unity is strength. Never underestimate. There is some sort of alien attack in the air today that is freezing peoples face.
Picked up some vegetables from a regular vendor. I have this habit of talking to him whenever I visit the shop and have already built a rappo. Intention purely is not to add him in my FB friends list. It was just to ensure I get the best and fresh vegetables. Corporate guy that I am. When I started talking, the poor man turned in surprise and said, ‘oh its you, I couldn’t recognize’. Really? You couldn’t? Alien got into you as well. But I didn’t say that.
Before getting back into the car, looked at the reflection in the windshield. There standing a weird-looking fellow in a pair of jeans, a full sleeve jacket, a cap that is almost covering his head and face, and with a face mask. Overgrown hair peeping through the cap and mask allover. A total stranger. Is this ugly creature really me? Revealing only the eyes that are not playing any more “Me” role on face? I am the alien invaded the earth! All my smiles got the bicycle kicks because of me. The gnome security guard at the ATM was scared for his life. Goodness gracious, he did not shoot me down.
Another smile took birth on my face. This time, very aware that I am smiling inside a mask and grooming has become an unwanted routine of life. My new look ever since Covid picked up phase. The Alien look, yo…. Baby 😉.