Friday, November 26, 2010

Truth and Lies

This has been running on my mind for quite some time now, don’t know why this incident from my childhood keeps flashing! This incident is etched in my memory in such unerasable ink that I still feel like a VII std girl caught red-handed by my father! This goes out to my parents, whose upbringing, I am extremely proud of. Thank you dad and mom for bringing me up the way you have brought me up – with honesty and integrity that I never need be ashamed of.

It was my VI std annual exam holidays and my result (that I had passed VI) and the list of books, notebooks to be bought for VII std had already reached our house through post. We were going out that day to get school uniforms. There was a small discussion if we have to take the book/notebook list also or not. Parents felt it was not needed because even if we bought the books/notebooks, getting them back home would be a problem (Already 4 of us on a 100 CC INDSuzuki was quite an effort). But I was a little too excited to buy books the very same day, I wanted to finish off my English Text Book and Non-Detailed Book ASAP. I did try arguing, but then I gave up because even I knew that bringing the books/notebooks would not be possible. So all the four of us got ready and we were about to leave. Just before going out of the house, my eyes fell on the paper that contained the list of books. My temptation got the better of me and I grabbed the list in my palm and ran out to my waiting parents. Just in case my father changes his mind after going to the cloth merchants'.

I was sandwiched in between my father, who was riding and my mother who was on pillion, still clutching the paper tight in my palms lest it flies away. We went to the Binny showroom, got uniforms for both my brother and myself. I was engrossed in the uniform material, excited about the new clothes and generally very interested in the big Binny showroom! I realised after a while that there was no paper in my hand and I had lost it. I could neither tell my parents nor search for it myself without attracting their attention! I was terrified because I had lost the only list that I had, I could not tell my parents about it because I had brought it along without their knowledge. I became a little quiet, scanning with my eyes all the places that I had been to, but no paper.

My father got the uniforms billed, and all the four of us left. Me with a heavy heart for what I had done. Half way through the journey back home, my father suddenly asked, “Do you have the list of books to be bought? I will be passing by the book shop in a few minutes, so perhaps we can get at least a few books!” I hesitated, I said, “No daddy, since you had said that we would not be going to the bookstores today, I have not brought the list!” My father asked me again, “Are you sure you did not bring the list? We could still make it to the bookstore.” This time without a second’s hesitation I said, “Sure, I did not bring the list, let us go home”. I could have confessed at least then, I had got a chance and still I did not use it!

The next thing father did would remain forever in my memory! He stopped the bike on the side of the road, made me get down and gave me the list. He said, “ I saw this list at the billing counter right next to the place where you had been standing, I realized that you have brought it and misplaced it there. But why should you lie to me? Is this how I have brought my children up that they are afraid of telling me the truth? Is this how good my parenting is?”. He saw my mother and said, “I have failed today. I am disappointed with what my daughter has done.”

Without another word, he told me get onto the bike again and we rode back in silence. Back home, supper was in silence – at least for me! The guilt of having let down my father, the guilt of not having trusted the power of truth hung over me largely!

Well, nothing cinematic happened after that – that night or the next day or the day after that. My parents would have probably forgotten this incident. But from then on, I have never lied to my parents to hide my mistakes. I have been incapable of lying to them esp if a confession was in the wings!

Thanks dad, thanks mom! Thanks for the way you have made me what I am!