A white lie!
Do you ever lie? ‘Never’ would be your first reaction. Now let’s turn it the other way round. Do you always tell the truth? After a brief pause, you will confess to yourself that you always don’t speak the truth! Let’s give ourselves a little of leeway, because we aren’t robots programmed to speak the truth. Well, next time when you lie, you just need to remember what you have told and have to be consistent, that’s it.
We live more in dreams, less in reality. It’s a human tendency to ‘project’ facts. Talking about how things should be is so ingrained in us that how things are may not strike us at all. Everywhere; at homes, colleges, workplaces and even at eateries, we have the colourful narrations full of excitements, fun, humour or outbursts, sometimes blown out of proportion, sometimes skirting the details and at times, just to entertain…
Once, one of my acquaintances was describing his neighbourhood businessman’s lifestyle. Needless to say he was enchanted by the rich man’s carefree life, of enjoying most of the time on golf course, swimming and having a drink in the evening. The most interesting part of the narration was that entrepreneur’s instruction to his employees about daily targets. The narrator was very forceful and for a moment, listeners also felt this is how the life should be. One of us suddenly asked the name of that ‘lucky person’ and my friend was totally taken aback. Fumbling, he took some funny name and cat was out of the bag! However, we didn’t bother to convey we had understood the reality. Everybody must have been in doubt if such person ever existed or it was the narrator’s idea of ‘good life’. Nevertheless, it wasn’t a lie but just his way of projecting ‘good life’. By the way, the person anymore doesn’t fumble talking about the fortunate businessman and during every meeting we have our share of interesting stories.
Why talk about others when I was myself considered a good narrator in the childhood. Even those who were present at the incident would like to hear its ‘first-hand account’ from me apparently because I often ‘saw’ more than ‘what met their eyes. And I always got caught when I would describe something adding spice to it.
Once when a conversation among cousins was at its peak, I chipped in. That time, I was the youngest of them all studying in fifth standard and didn’t understand English (both alphabets and numbers!). I always felt deprived when I couldn’t contribute anything while my cousins had interesting tales to tell. When I learnt a little vocabulary, I grabbed the chance with both hands. “Today, my madam scolded my friend for pronouncing nature as Natoore,’’ I said.” Immediately, my sister asked if it was true or a just or a fraction of my infinite imagination. I could hardly cover up…Ever since Natoore is a famous phrase in the Gogate household for playing to the galleries.
Presetting things in our own manner has its fun and certainly, there is a lot of innocence that goes with as long as the motive is pure. It’s also an art. Orators and speakers know how to address which type of audiences. There could be a simple incident in mythology, but the way of conveying to the corporate audience and religious devotees would be different. A corporate person can barely listen to anything that starts with, “It happened in the Vedas or the Mahabharata…Buddha says… There was a saint… and so on. Similarly, devotees would lose interest the moment someone uses corporate terminologies or takes names as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Warren Buffet.
It’s difficult to differentiate a lie from another, as it could be anything ranging from reflecting your true self through something to telling people in their own language. The very definition of a lie is subjective. Defenders of truth are not required to throw light, as truth is self-illuminated. Just only advantage of talking the truth is you don’t have to remember anything else…