Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Hyderabad Diaries

These days I see a number of masked policemen, the traffic variety, standing at busy cross roads. Most have a walkie talkie in one hand and a cell phone in the other and are generally busy with both. One such who never fails to amuse me is the tall and rather reluctant traffic cop who mans the newly crowded cross roads at JJ Hospital, Madhura Nagar. Every single act and posture indicates that this cop was never meant to be a traffic cop. He stands with utmost reluctance, hides in all the corners that the road offers, masks himself well so no one can see his face and is constantly cootchie-cooing into his cell phone, perhaps to his masked girlfriend somewhere. Rarely does he let the mad traffic affect him. His mask prevents me from identifying him in an id parade and the only thing I have to pin him down is his reluctant posture.

In past times all cartoons of robbers and dacoits had them wearing masks and striped t shirts and lungis. Now the cops wear masks. I see many of them coolly avoiding the over crowded autos as they zip by under their nose and even if I got a picture of them ignoring the lawbreakers, one would never be able to identify them. Today I saw a news item that said that some cops issued stickers to identify trucks that paid 'sticker' money so they could travel unhindered in the city during prohibited times. Perhaps the cops also have stickers to identify them behind the masks.

Talking of masks I see many young people going around with masks. Almost all girls walk around with masks on their pretty faces making it to appreciate their beauty. I see boys going around with masks on their faces too, most likely to hide their faces. Since they all dress in a unisex dress code we'd never know who is what under the mask. It will all turn out into a scene like he burqua scene in Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron where no one knows who is the real one and who the fake one is.

Sometimes I see the boys and girls, masked, entwined on bikes and I think that it is very convenient because they seem to use the masks provide some anonymity for their amorous adventures. But what if they land up with the wrong masked person and head off for a date? But then perhaps it is the journey that matters and not the one who appears under the mask. And why does one need to take off the mask? Maybe we'll all slide into a phase where, just as we have fake ids on the net, we can go around with masks that hide our real identities and get into and out of relationships. What's in a face anyway? All we need to do is go about with our facebook page printed on our fronts and the opposite sex can like us and we can get into a masked relationship with a profile pic of some film star.


Rajendra said...

Somebody once famously called Atal Behari Vajpayee a mukhauta (mask), not knowing that we all are, at some level.

Harimohan said...

Raja, Atalji did it without any props and stuff. I believe even Jinnah was similar, never giving an iota of his emotions away with his impassive face.