15 June, 2007

Telling Lies - No Papa

It had been quite hectic. During my train journeys I have started meeting nice people. For the last few weekends London was very busy. A week before while returning to London, a huge crowd was rushing to Wembley park to watch a friendly football match between England and Brazil. Last Sunday while I was returning from London, there was a huge crowd rushing to the same venue but for a concert by George Michael. I found few law breaking women smoking in the Tube stations. These kind of little things do upset me. Smoking is going to be banned in England from July 1st. It has been already done in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland.

I was wondering at certain qualities of human being during my journeys. However we all tend to forget the one which we do have – telling lies. I do not believe that there will be someone in this world who had not told a lie in their life. From childhood we are taught not to lie, both at home and at school. I keep telling the same to my kids. It really hurts when we hear someone telling a lie. The kids get confused when parents tell them not to lie, and when they lie. The kids get it indirectly into their mind that they can tell lies.

I think every human being would have told a lie, at some stage. But some keep telling lies as a habit and mess up many things in their life. I read somewhere that you do not need a great memory power to speak truth always. But if you are a liar, you need to have a good memory.

Sometimes it is embarrassing to hear lies, when you know the truth. I think fear is the root cause of lie. Fear of losing something, committing mistake, status, image, prestige, ego, pride, losing money, wealth, leads to telling a lie. The technology today is against those who tell a lie. We cannot tell lie while chatting and with the webcam. For example, few years before a colleague came to visit me. He got a call from another colleague of us. While answering the phone he told in a cool manner that he was shopping. I asked him why he answered so. He said that he may mistake him for being in my house. I could not understand it. I was also working along with them. Within minutes the guy who was on the phone visited my house and the one who told a lie was trapped. You can imagine his face.

I think even today, people are telling lies to get their children married. I knew someone who got married recently. Within few days after his marriage he has found that the girl had some serious sickness which was blatantly hidden. On questioning, the parents and relatives are now coming with the truth. They never bothered to understand how much it would have hurt the boy and his family. It looks like they thought a marriage will solve her health mysteries. The girl is innocent and could not even realise what is happening to her. The boy is now finding legal remedies.

Some tell lies, for simple things. I like to be plain in many cases. In my younger days, when I did not have money for Petrol, and cycle to work, people used to ask me whether the motorcycle had gone for service. On telling the truth, that I did not have money for the Petrol they laughed and said “ Sir... Romba Tamash..pa...”. (meaning he is a very funny man).

Recently we were discussing about finances. I told one of my friends that I am not having that much of money to buy a house. A couple who were present could not believe this and thought it was a lie. I told them that it is the truth. At the same time, requested me not to reveal the actual cost price of their house to others. They even told me that they had not told their parents and relatives about their recent purchase of a property in England. The reason given was that it will cause problem. I could not understand but was wondering why they should tell a lie about it.

In this country, the Government grants benefit for those who are single and separated. Few parents who come to pick up their kids in my daughter’s school, suggested my wife to declare that she is living alone and claim benefit. My wife was very upset and we discussed the cheap mentality of such people. Again, when it is real, and when we do such claims genuinely, we are being scrutinised to such a great extent, we really get irritated to claim such reliefs. But the system does allow for those liars to go free.

I still remember those times in India, when local government staff visited home to supply ration card and wanted to know the income. Most of the house hold commodities are supplied according to the income. But when I declared the true income, which was on the higher group, they wanted to assure whether it was true, since I may not get any benefits. We could only laugh on that day.

My mom often used to say “Poi sonnal Bhojanam Kidaikathu” (meaning if you tell lies you will not get food) and I used to reply “Bhojanathukey Poi solrangaley ma”. (Just for the food people are telling lies mom).

I remember a lady near my house that fooled everyone by telling she was a bank employee. Later one day we found that she was doing a job of cleaning the telephones at offices, since she visited my friend’s office too. We never understood why she had to lie about her job.

Certain lies go without reason. We never know why it was told. But it hurts when we know the truth. Many of those, whom I have come across, have told that they have told a lie, and it hurts them as well for being a liar, since their partner believes them. Some feel guilty. In that case, why should we lie?

I love children because they are innocent and always tend to speak the truth. Once when my son was a kid, he screamed from the bath, that there was a bird in the toilet. None of us showed interest due to the morning tension. He kept screaming and my wife rushed hurriedly and called me too. There was a bird trapped in the toilet flush. We could not believe it. Luckily we saved and took outside the house and let him fly. The bird’s entry into the shower room is a mystery till today. But we realised how true the kids are!

Once I met a kid in a friend’s house and felt that he should eat well since he had not grown for his age. He got the doubt in his mind and said “Uncle, do you think I am not grown up for my age. It is because of this...” and removed his shirt to show the operation scare across his chest. He continued “ I had a heart surgery... since my heart was small I did not grow. Now the heart has been repaired, I will grow..”. I could not control my emotions.

Kids are so true and innocent. Probably that is the reason they are being told as early as when they are in nursery “Telling lies, no Papa”. Let us be like kids in being true.


Suji said...

I suppose ppl sometimes find it more convenient to tell a lie than the truth. But the truth is that even simple lies can go horribily wrong sometimes...so its always better to stick to the truth.

Marutham said...

Hello Balaji sir :)
How are you? Hope you are doing well. Had been a while ... :)

And ahem- a very senstive post on a super sensitive topic ;)
//Sometimes it is embarrassing to hear lies, when you know the truth//
Yeah - so true . :D
I have this record for not being able to lie to my teachers :P
Once when i was asked about an assignment the entire class had forgotten- even before i completed my answer my professor went like "Yeah! That will do maruthu- i got the answer. And one more thing :P You cannot lie- so dnt try the next time! You make me laugh...Your eyes/ they are so not co-operative" And with a loud laugh - he let us all off the hook! :)

Marutham said...

//They never bothered to understand how much it would have hurt the boy and his family. //
Oh dear! And not to forget the girl her self would be in great pain!
One having the health issue & 2- the feeling of being guilty for the mistake of the elders!

Marutham said...

//I could not understand but was wondering why they should tell a lie about it.//
Many a times when people give lame reason & ask to keep secrets i would wonder WHY?? and they would not have a good answer!
And what i hate the most is- when they ask you to keep it secret-Secret's that are absolutely not even worthid to be called secret! ;)

Marutham said...

//Few parents who come to pick up their kids in my daughter’s school, suggested my wife to declare that she is living alone and claim benefit.//

Ada kodumaye...Am very sorry!
Ur wife must have felt terrible!

Marutham said...

//“Bhojanathukey Poi solrangaley ma”.//


Kittu said...

//that you do not need a great memory power to speak truth always. But if you are a liar, you need to have a good memory. //

a perfect one. lies are there in everyone's blood cells...to avoid it takes immense pressure..i remember those days of hiding the report card from my parents and my mother used to find it somehow. semma treatment kidaikkum adhukku appuram..lies come out of fear mostly. adhu dhaan main probs for everybody.

when we can approach someone without any fear, the purpose to tell lies would definitely come down. kids would also tend to be more open.

i dont remember of telling any major lies these days but it is really tough for anyone to get past it in the stages of life. even silly lies are thrown to avoid some nuanaces.

வேதா said...

எப்ப கமெண்ட் மாடரேஷன் வச்சீங்க?:)

ரொம்ப அருமையான பதிவு. பொய்கள் சொல்ல ஆரம்பித்தால் அதை தொடர்வதற்காக மேலே மேலே சொல்லிக்கொண்டே போக வேண்டியது தான். என் நண்பர்கள் பல பேர் இப்டி என்னிடம் மாட்டிக்கொண்டதுண்டு:) சில நேரங்களில் நாம் பொய் சொல்ல வேண்டிய கட்டாயமும் ஏற்படுவதுண்டு. அந்த பொய் மற்றவர்களை பாதிக்காதவரை தவறில்லை தான் :)

Kavi said...

You have lived through the post ! And wonderful title too.

The lie is so convenient and truth extremely otherwise ! In the modern times, taking the easier route is the norm. Isnt it..?

Lies themselves are getting classified as white lies etc. A lie is a lie ! Period !

Yes, the opportunity to influence the mind of a kid is immense. By speaking the truth and advocating it. Advocating truth and speaking lies can only leave the kids confused and prone to lie.

What are we creating for our future..?

Rama Iyer said...

A superb post.
Most people used to say Lawyers are liars and it used to hurt in the beginning. But I am really proud to say that in our firm we believe in living and advocating the truth, come what may.

"Kids are so true and innocent"..Well said..

It is also very true that it needs a great deal of memory if one lies and it can be so easy and smooth when one sticks on to truth.

backpakker said...

Maybe silence is better sometimes...you dont need to lie if you cant say the truth

Balaji S Rajan said...


You are correct. It is always better to stick to truth. There are people who tell lies for their convenience as well. It is so irritating. They get trapped by their own lies.

Balaji S Rajan said...


Nice to know about your experience with your teacher. Everyone would have told a lie during their school days. As long as it did not affect others it is OK. Meeting eyes while telling a lie, is another problem. Even today, if my kids try to fool me, I ask them to look at me and tell and they laugh immediately. Many of us do get embarassed when we are told not to tell the truth, just because the others have told some lie, and would want us to save them. I never try to hide things if asked to. Anyhow, lies are one of the major cause for many problems around us.

Balaji S Rajan said...


Well we tend to change a lot as we grow. Isn't it? There are still people who keep telling lies having grown! what to do! The most embarassing situation is when they are caught red handed while telling a lie. I cannot understand how people could live telling lies. Hmmmm...

Balaji S Rajan said...


I know about you and have guessed having been a reader of your blogs all these years. Yes... certain small lies... as long as it does not affect anyone is OK. Sometimes just not to hurt other's feeling, we may have to tell a lie. For example I knew someone who was about to die. We were told that he may live only for few hours. The doctor who was a friend of mine, was close by. The patient who was dying asked " I may not live long. Oh.. god it is paining". The Doctor said " Do not worry. You will be alright". The patient immediately said " Doctor, I know you are telling lies. How will things become alright. Neenga poi solreenga..." What to do? We knew he is dying, but can we say "You will die in few hours...?"

Balaji S Rajan said...


You are right. Some parents tell lies in front of the kids. For example, when they are at home, they make others say that they are not available. I have seen a relative's kid watching this and asked back her dad " Why are you telling lies? You tell us to speak truth and you are now telling lies to Uncle".

A wrong example shown by the parents.

Balaji S Rajan said...


Thanks for your comments. Oh! no! I know what you mean. It is really embarassing to take up a false case. It is a difficult profession. The client may still lie with you. You may believe he is true and you are prone to argue in favour of him. If he had been a liar, in no way you could be blamed, because you believed your client. So you should not feel for this.

But on the lighter side there is a joke about lawyers. A wall between Heaven and hell broke and people started migrating between both the places. God came to know about this and he announced that whoever changed should go back to their original places and gave some time. They then took account of people from both sides and found that there was one more in the heaven. So he started asking everyone's profession and how they died. Suddenly one man when he started " I was a lawyer.." God said "Stop it.. how could you be in heaven. Go to the other side." Just a joke.

Balaji S Rajan said...


Well said. Yes I do keep silent at such situations. That is the best thing we could do than to agree with someone who is telling a lie.

Dan said...

i have lied a lot infact my childhood was full of lies :(

Balaji S Rajan said...


Is it? But never mind. Atleast you are accepting it now when you are grown and matured which is a great quality.