Leaning back into the chair once again, I continued scribbling notes on my lovingly fingered blue notepad as the awards drawled on. Organizations of great merit, people of great actions, communities of great spirit…on and on.
I had managed to break the monotony of the announcements with some enthusiastic conversation with my neighbor in the chair to my right. She was a middle age woman, of Christian background, with perfectly peppered grey and white hair and pair of dark brown spectacles perched at the edge of her nose. We talked of books and travel, schooling and languages, diversity and tolerance, and of course how she wound about coming to this event celebrating Muslim achievement in the nation. She asked me about my background, and studies and everything in between; and I the same. And oh, how we became fast friends in that hour of conversation!
And round about the time I had turned my attention back to my notes and her, contemplatively back to the stage, I sensed her turning her head towards me. Then very gently she said, almost tentatively, “And one more thing, you seem like a very friendly person so may I ask, why do you wear that on your face?”.
And under that, I smiled, because it’s sincere curiosity like hers that makes the world go round. I really do appreciate, that instead of shy glances and awkward conversations, when people just genuinely ask. Because, I really would love to tell you why. And that’s exactly what I said❤️