It happened again as I was on my morning walk today, passing through the familiar lanes. I have become habitual to communicate mutely, through smiles, with the folks I have acquainted with over such daily walks.

That uncle who ambles but never forgets to straighten up somewhat every time he sees me. That guy jogging with his headphones on yet makes a point to slow down to acknowledge my presence.

And I connect with many such folks (who I know I don't "know") daily for months and years now. Or at least I try to.

You see, it was easy to do that when we weren't living our life through this dreaded pandemic. When masking the major part of our face wasn't necessary. When we could spread our lips in a smile at someone, and say so much unsaid.

I am struggling to do that these days. I do smile, but I am not confident that the feeling touches the person. Or he or she reciprocates it.

I have heard our eyes convey our feelings. Convey if we are smiling a happy smile. Or are discomfited. Or are pained. For that matter, they unveil even if we are unaffected, disinterested.

But how am I to know for sure if mine did? Or even if the eyes did, my "friend" could sense it? The whole situation is unfortunate. We were thrown blind into this pit without being armed with the proper knowledge to live through such limiting lives.

With our masks always on, we now have put our eyes under undue expectations.