Fifty Shades of Facades

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“Face is the mirror of the mind,/ and eyes without speaking/ confess the secrets of the heart.”  St Jerome

“The features of our face are/hardly more than gestures/ which force of habit made permanent.” Marcel Proust

“A man’s face is his autobiography,/ A woman’s face is her work of fiction.” Oscar Wilde

“Was this the face that launched a thousand ships/ and burnt the topless towers of Ileum” Christopher Marlowe

An enigmatic feature of the humans that has continued to inspire philosophers, writers and thinkers alike is the face. Wherever I go I find myself in the midst of a sea of countenances; each one bearing no semblance to the other, each one as intriguing as the other. Among the multitude of visages one encounters on a daily basis only a few leave an everlasting impression on our minds. Pensive faces streaked with intelligence never cease to arrest my attention. While fun-kissed pleasant faces twinkling with mischief are usually a feast for the eyes, pretty or handsome countenances that compel us to cast a second look in their direction add a glamorous touch to the otherwise mundane world burdened with sorrow filled faces or faces drowned in boredom. 

However, the faces that I choose to study closely are the two faced Januses who wear an expression of cheerfulness on the outside while hiding their envious facades from the public eye.  If one is vigilant one would notice that the two faced Januses hate Robert Brownings who believe that all is right with the world and the optimists. They seem to have developed an intolerance for bliss or happiness for some unknown reason. The moment they notice that their acquaintances wearing an expression of contentment they have to smudge it with negative or pessimistic remarks. It gives them soul satisfaction to be successful in their efforts to dampen the spirits of others. I have often pondered about the reason for such a response to glee and cannot describe it as anything other than a life characterized by bitterness.    

Although it is not always practical for one to show ones true emotions on ones face, very few audacious people have the courage to wear individuality on their faces as they are untouched by hypocrisy, pretentiousness and vanity. They stand up for themselves and don’t feel compelled to hide behind masks.


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