Pants on fire

I never lie. I don’t have to resort to lying. I live a life with so much integrity that lying as an option is unnecessary for me.

There I just did it again. Once again, I had to lie, just to make myself look good in front of the world.

I am more than sure that all of you reading this blog had been taught as infants or at least in kindergarten school that lying was bad. We were all taught via various stories, anecdotes and fables that honesty was the best policy and lying was something that should not be resorted to under any circumstances.

But then I am sure that in the process of ‘growing up’, both physically and mentally, we all kind of figured out that there were lies and then there were ‘white lies’, the type that didn’t quite harm anybody and could be used to save our skins whenever we got ourselves into some mischief and into a tight spot. I know that I have used more than my fair share of white lies as a kid given that I was quite boisterous and used to get myself into trouble almost every time I went out to play with my friends.

And then as we grew older, we began to rely on lying (or at least some of us did, I am sure) as a mechanism which used to help us avoid unnecessary situations, arguments, people or discussions with people we knew. As teenagers we must all have lied about bunking classes, studying late into the night, petty quarrels we had with our friends, and more, and I am sure that as you read this sentence, you are taken back in your memories to those small little lies uttered back then.

And while I don’t necessarily condemn or condone lying of any sort, the fact remains that looking back at those days, at those harmless little white lies we told as teenagers, I feel kind of stupid and immature. While the inconsequential lies don’t matter, the ones we told our friends about liking a particular movie, a particular book, a particular dress that he/she had worn, just to be part of the group, just to ensure that we weren’t sidelined by the rest of the group, they just don’t make any sense anymore. Among many of the unpleasant things that we all did to belong to a group, this form of lying was probably the most harmless.

'Oh, just crafting lies I never even have to tell...'

While I don’t resort to too much lying anymore, the fact remains that for a lot of us, especially those who have lofty professional ambitions and want to scale the corporate hierarchy in a hurry, we don’t have an option but to resort to lying. After all, no supervisor would like it if his subordinate went ahead and actually told the truth about the unmatched shirt, trouser and tie combination, he wouldn’t appreciate the truth being told about how badly the presentation with the client went simply because he didn’t quite understand the client’s question. I mean, after all, he is the boss, and as good subordinates, we are all expected to listen, nod in agreement, clap in appreciation, and praise in moderation. Whoever told us that ‘honesty is the best policy’ forgot to add the small * at the end of the sentence and add the caption “conditions apply”.

And this is not just in corporate offices or professional situations; I personally know a lot of people who resort to lying as a way of living even at home just to ensure that their marriage is not affected by unnecessary tiffs every day. And therefore, a true blue SRK fan grins and bears a three hour marathon session of Sallu Bhai’s ‘Kick’ just because he had lied about the same during the courtship period with his newly wed bride. Husbands who end up throwing the dal prepared by their wives into the dustbins and make do with a club sandwich from the office vendor have to go home and lie about how tasty the dal was if they intend to be fed at home ever again. Some lies, such as the ones above, are not only necessary but also compulsory to ensure that divorce rates and marital violence statistics stay well within acceptable limits in India.


So, what’s your story? How often do you resort to lying, and what are the kind of lies you tell? Go on, don’t feel shy, use the Comments section below and tell us. Just remember, you don’t have to lie here J


This post has been written for Project 365 : A post a day where the intention is to publish at least one post a day based on the prompts provided. And today’s prompt was “What was the last lie you told? Why did you tell it?”

12 thoughts on “Pants on fire

  1. Really enjoyed reading this post… As far as lying goes I would be lying if I told you I have never told a white lie before…mostly it ranges from making me look good to making others feel good…everybody is happy and life goes on 🙂

  2. I really try not to lie. It makes me itchy because I can make out if another person is lying to me and it also pisses me off when people tell unnecessary lies.

    I do tell white lies – mainly in order to avoid direct confrontations with people I don’t want to even talk to.
    Like for example – I may lie saying that I wont be home to avoid a pesky neighbor 😀

    • @pixie, by itchy, I hope you mean figuratively and not literally coz I can picture you scratching yourself all over when standing around people who lie a lot 😀

      As for white lies, yes, I use them quite a lot as I hate confrontations even more than I hate lies, so am with you on that one all the way 🙂

  3. “Whoever told us that ‘honesty is the best policy’ forgot to add the small * at the end of the sentence and add the caption “conditions apply”.” – So true. And thus becomes subjective the absolute idea of ‘true’ and ‘false’ too.
    I like the examples of lying that you give form our school/college days. I guess we both told the same lies. 😀
    Thank you for being my solid back-up for this prompt, Jai. Neither could I have been so honest nor so quick in compiling this post!

    • @Sakshi, so true, the conditions that apply make a lie a subjective one, don’t they 😀

      And thanks for giving up this particular prompt to me as it enable me to take a small walk down memory lane when I was writing it 🙂

  4. I think white lies are okay no? As long as they dont hurt anyone eh? I confess *see the things you make me do man!* I often use white lies…at least when I am absolutely sure it doesnt hurt anyone..

    As a parent, I also confess *again making me confess* I often use my brat as an excuse to get out of situations I dont want to be in *Like go to an office party*

    and I just call it one of the advantages of giving birth to a baby eh?

    • @R’s Mom, OMG two confessions in one single comment 🙂 Here’s hoping that none of your office colleagues are my regular readers and read this comment of yours 😀

      But, yes, even I have used my little girl as an excuse to get out of attending office team outings and all that 🙂 So you have company there 😉

Let me know what you think about this post...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s