All of us are liars of sorts.

Who is an honest person? Would you like to define one?  Of all the descriptions I hear, the one I like most is – one who doesn’t lie !  My friend John violently disagrees.

“Wrong. Everyone is a liar of sorts in the world.”

“Are you sure, Everyone ?” I ask him.

“Without exception, pal?’

This was a jolt to me but John sticks to his stand. “Every woman and man would have lied some time or the other and that too deliberately and wantonly.”  And he went on to elaborate…

Often you really don’t say what you have in mind. Possibly you say exactly the opposite.  Let’s say you meet Mrs. Rozario in a party.  Mrs. Rozario is your boss’s wife. So, all the staff of the Company would surround her, try and  impress her in some way with lots of lies so that she puts in a good word about you to her husband, your boss. She is on the other side of fifty.  One liar says, “Mrs. Rozario, you look most charming today.  No one would put your age beyond 25….”  The lady at once floats in cloud 9.   Any fifty brand would,  for that matter..  instead of contradicting it, the lady would remark, “ Do I look that young?”  More gentlemen liars would echo back and cry out, “Of course, Mrs. Rozario.”

For the rest of the evening she would go to the dance floor for every number  and gyrate indeed  like a 25 year  old youngster.  See the magic of a green lie.

John says, “Always, praise a lady in some way;  usually about her looks and youth and you will witness miracles…..”

I forgot this little tip myself in a party one day.  I met an old friend after five long years. She didn’t look charming as all that; her make up was sub standard.  Now instead of lying about her looks, like a fool I said, “Age is catching up with you, Vandana…”    That’s all.  Her face shrunk visibly  and she turned her head the other way.   I immediately realised my folly, but the damage had  been done. The 45 year old friend, now ex friend, was sulking the whole evening avoiding my sight.  I should have  pronounced, “My, my, Vandana, you don’t look a day older than 19 . ..” which would have been an outright lie but that’s what you are expected to  do.

You attend a private dinner in a friend’s home. The food is awful, insipid and uneatable.  You have been struggling with each morsel and somehow managed to push down a small quantity. And so were  all the side dishes. [Later you came to know that it was your friend’s newly married wife who did the cooking that evening.  In the normal course, her  regular cook would have prepared the entire meal.]

In response to the usual query, my wife told a green lie that it was an excellent dinner and evening. What do I say?  Tell the truth or tell a lie. Even while I was weighing the  two, the word had escaped my lips unaware of myself. The  young lady of the house charged into her toilet to pour down her stock of tears and in the bargain I had invited my wife’s wrath for ruining  an otherwise good evening..  We had to take leave immediately.

If I had lied, the situation would have been saved.

Do you ever dare tell your boss that he makes too many spelling mistakes in his hand written drafts.  On the contrary you say, “Your drafts are excellently worded, Sir”.  Or, his tie  knot is like a lose orange? In all likelihood you compliment him on his turn out.  “Very smart, Sir.”

You still call yourself an honest guy, eh?

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