Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Liar liar, pants on fire! No, Mr. Liar’s pants are not on fire. In fact most liars are making fortunes by selling alternate reality. Times have changed and we no longer have the face to tell children, “It’s bad to tell lies.” The truth about lying is that it has become pandemic.

The biggest liars are the advertisers who promise the earth and the sky. Their claims never cease to amaze me. When a nondescript university screams that their placements are better than IIMs, is it not a lie? When a deodorant claims that dousing Axe will have women all over you, is it not a lie? Then, my cynical mind looks for *, the little stars printed in small fonts which reveal that the map not to scale, sale on selected items,or conditions apply!

But the advertisers will not accept that they are molesting the Truth. They simply indulge in smart deceptions imperative to attract attention. Fine!
Even smarter are the pollies who guise their lies in the wizardry of words. In the parliament the honest head of the most corrupt government admitted to the CVC appointment as an ‘Error of Judgment’. Dr Singh, I am sure you know that ‘Truth’ is not violated by lies, but outraged by silence. When Barkha Dutt was caught on Radia tapes she lied by clinging on to the same phrase – ‘Error of Judgment’. I am not sure how far this jugglery justifies a lie. It erodes faith for sure. Bill Clinton lied under oath about his romp with Monica, Nixon lied but was not impeached, but the cake along with the cherry on top goes to President Bush who initiated a war citing large stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq!

A survey declares that ordinary people lie three times a day. And ordinary people do not include politicians, scribes, lawyers or movie stars. According to a book, “Born Liars’ penned by Ian Leslie, most of us are born liars. As we grow up so do our lies. From harmless white lies to necessary social lies, to the dangerous dishonest lies.

I am not above board when it comes to fibbing. But mine are social lies, intended to please and compliment. The conscience is clear and intentions sincere. No offence meant, none taken. I do say, “Ready in five minutes”, knowing well that I will take another twenty minutes.

When my host asks, “Hope you enjoyed the party?” After a jaded evening and oily food, I do oscillate a bit and blurt “Oh…absolutely. Thank you for a wonderful evening.” 

A harmless social lie! 
However, I never lie in print, unless I am attempting fiction. Readers are unforgiving when it comes to fibbing in print.  The social lies, however can be taken to another level when one artfully drops names or conceals ones age.

My initial lies were perhaps in school. Once we returned late after attending a cousin’s marriage. Consequently, the following day I missed school. My father, a doctor, refused to sign on the medical application, “Go, and tell the truth.” As a result, I had to stand for forty minutes with my ‘hands-up’ by a merciless teacher. “Where is the medical certificate? Disciple is discipline,” she roared. So next time I missed school, I made sure that dad signed a medical certificate saying that the child is suffering from ‘low grade pyrexia’. Fever was too lame an excuse. The teacher couldn’t comprehend the term ‘pyrexia’ and gave me a sympathetic look… “Tsk, tsk..Hope you are fine, my child?” she cooed. Needless to say, my day was made.

More forgivingly put, social lies are necessary for our existence. However one falsehood can spoil several truths.
How about you? Are you above board? Honestly, haven’t you ever faked illness while remaining glued to the telly, watching that final. Or faked a smile and said that your mother-in-law is a wonderful cook! But then these are not lies, are they? What would you call them? Innocent misrepresentations of facts, harmless half truths, errors of judgment, little white whoppers, necessary fibs or plain and simple lies?

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  1. hii

    nice one again!

    as Sree Bhagwat Gita preaches, "lies aimed for betterment and saving lives are considered truths" so praising one's mom in law's culinary skills may not be a proper lie! hahaha!

    and actors and politicians are ISO certifies liars! unki to baat hi alag hai :D

  2. Very true! Each and every one of us lies -- whether in the guise of harmless lies or whatever.

  3. The big question is "Where do you draw the line?"

    For a marketer selling deo showing that women will drool over you if u use this deo, it is a business lie almost as important as you saying the party was good..For if you lie you only risk bein not invited to another party or may be called rude but if the marketer does not lie he risk losing his livelihood and remaining unemployed..So if you ask me he is well within his rights to lie..

    Almost everyone are, the trick lies with the listener..Can he decipher or detect it and thats where the experience kicks in..and to be not taken for a ride, you must use your judgement rather well

  4. Well written. :) It would become difficult to live if we were to speak the truth all the time. I don't find anything wrong with social harmless lies. But like you said, one falsehood can spoil several truths. We should rely on our conscience and wisdom to draw the line.

  5. Hi,

    Nice one , Yes lies has come apart of life in this very Kalyug ..whether its it in Business , the salesperson everyone ..has become a perfect lair.

    Nice post.

    Take care
    Ks :)

  6. @AS...You have put it better than I could.

    @Rachna... some are necessary or we would be social outcasts.

    @perception...Thats the million dollar question.

  7. @ajay...true.:)

    @Vivek...Thanks for reading.

    @geets...Thank u dear.

  8. So many liars in this world. Even Maggi's ad is a pure dishonest lie. How the hell can Maggi get ready in 5 minutes?
    Something similar goes with Axe deo - They lured me. :(

  9. @Prateek...Kitne Deo khali kar diye?
    A guy called Vaibhav Bedi 26, has sought 26000 pounds from the Axe maker Unilever in Nov 2009 for the psychological damage that the lack of any such effect on him.He says I used Axe for several years but no girl came to me.
    Dont give up, keep dousing Axe...kabhie to effect hoga!

  10. its human to lie.. As i have written in my articles and what i wish is I want to be a good lier, its an art to lie and i want to learn it..

    Liars cheaters live a better life.. no doubts about it

  11. Alka,

    It is an excellent, superb, fantastic and wonderful post. AND THAT IS NOT A LIE :))))

    I never ever lie..haha...what a lie..

  12. My problem is people figure it out very quickly if I lie. Tell me how to lie effectively :)))

  13. Hi Alks,
    The social lies sometimes become very I mentioned in my post..there are a whole lot of people who come n comment on our blogs...they may even say nice things, but in your heart you know what is genuine n what is not.

    as such the lies become a great put off...also the lies people show on the surface:a minute ago they'd be criticizing someone and a minute later talking animatedly with them...wish I could learn that!

    Lying is embedded in our nature..the extent varies from person to person. in our ordiary lives, we do not bother about it so much coz we are doing good or bad, just to us...however from a post of responsibility, whereby the people look upto becomes a different ball game altogether.

    i hate the Axe ads, not just because of their buffonery, but also for how they've corrupted pretty much all perfume n deo ads by their stupid example:/

  14. Bwahaha! You too fell for it. This fake news was written by India’s leading satire-sarcasm fake news website called fakingnews(dot)com. Half of the globe took this fake news for real. Even TOI printed this scoop on their front page.
    Have a read at this article written by the owner of this site; Rahul Roshan way back on Oct 19th, 2009 and here is a Press Release by him.

  15. social lies are necessary for our existence...
    Absolutely true..
    Sometimes I wonder life will be so tough without them :D

  16. Of course I lie, because they tell me, that truth, should not come in between a wonderful story. :)

    But some, are a class apart, like politicians, most of them.

    Nice post.

    Blasphemous Aesthete

  17. Police may encounter someone and will say error of judgement ..:P Nice read :)

  18. I am a great social liar, but I try to find something to praise about the subject when I do. For instance, if I didn't like the food at a party, I might say, 'How wonderful the arrangements are!' and genuinely mean it.

    @Prateek: MAggi claims it cooks in 2 minutes, not five!

  19. How could you leave out " I misspoke the truth"!

    Franky we lie to please. Why hurt someone for the sake of conscienceis the commonest excuse we fall back on.

    Lying is convenient, so why bother with truth?

  20. well..i don't mind someone telling "social lies", bcoz after all its not going to harm some one and as long as a lie does not harm rather it makes someone happy at that point of time, there is nothing wrong in being a liar.....butttt other than that is a sin i suppose, but again who cares in this materialistic age....

    btw as usual a well written post by you again...and this is not a "social lie"..its true by all means....:))

  21. Lying gives me an uncomfortable feeling. But yes, i do lie to save the situation many times. But nothing like the solid feeling of goodness when you speak the truth :)

  22. Alka,

    I do not think anyone can claim never resorting to lie. If someone does, it is either a case of being hypocrite or biggest lie or being next to God. But as you said if a lie does not harm someone or peps up someone's happiness, it should be acceptable.

    Take care

  23. ..liar ,,pants on
    I truely believe by hiding truth there will many other excuses I have to come out try avoiding A lie and speak out the "Truth"
    But social lies is something one can judge..
    like a lousy dressed women ...people will say"hey you look nice..or dress is pretty.."for no reason it not required to speak or give your opinion..
    nice post.

  24. arent we made to go thru all those unrealistc situations tht we are made to lie

  25. am not lying when i compliment you on your perceptive, incisive, eminently readable posts. cross my heart :)

  26. I loved the 'low grade pyrexia' part. But yes, things have in general degenerated to a level where blatant lies are the least of the evils you have to contend with.

  27. Lies come in varied colors.. White,Black,Grey ... And we all indulge in the sinfulness of them :)