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Mask matters

Two years ago, when I went shopping at a jewellery in our town, the armed guard at its main entrance stopped a man, evidently a customer, from entering the shop. Both shouted at the top of their voices. My curiosity led me to ask a fellow customer the reason for the shouting match.

The guard stopped the customer for wearing a mask. The customer challenged the guard without revealing that he had severe dust allergy. An allergist strictly forbade him from removing the mask in crowded places. If he inhaled dust, he would be seriously ill.

The sullen-faced guard readily accepted the challenge. Actually, an ego problem arose.

Then the man toned down and mentioned his allergy. But the guard would not give up and the jewellery owner had to intervene. To the utter embarrassment of the guard who had so far been on the victory stand, the owner welcomed the man with the mask with a beaming face. The latter was an old customer of his. The owner somehow managed the situation by saying that they had to follow the rules to ensure the safety and security of the shop and the customers.

Last December, I happened to visit the jewellery. Though I wore a mask, I pulled it off and stacked it into my pocket. I remembered the old incident. But when I was about to enter the jewellery shop, the armed guard, the same person, stopped me and requested me to wear the mask. I took it out of the pocket and covered my face. I tried to remind the guard of the earlier incident. But he just beckoned me in and stood like a statue, of course, wearing a mask.

nandi.budha@gmail.com

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 8:37:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/mask-matters/article33948057.ece

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