My Dad has always told me that the person who needs to tell a lie to defend themselves have a weak soul. The person with a strong soul never takes the escape of a lie. She never fears to tell the truth because telling the truth keeps the soul strong, pure and beautiful whereas a lie can weaken the soul to a huge extent.
Dad’s teachings have been inscribed so deeply in my mind that I couldn’t even cheat in my exams. I was a horrible cheater. Even if I tried to cheat, I couldn’t copy more than two words. I remember during my MBA exams, my friends made micro Xerox of notes and were cheating from there so smartly. Despite having bad preparation and the fear of getting low marks, I couldn’t do that as I felt doing such an act would make my soul burdensome.
Although telling a lie seems a great temporary solution, it weighs heavily on our conscience. As I talk about truth today, I remember an incident when telling the truth was the right thing to do.
That time, I was in class 12 and I had a best friend who was in class 10. We were neighbors and were very close to each other. She shared with me every little secret of hers and I always guided her and listened to her. Her family was extremely authoritarian and disciplined. She used to feel suffocated by her overly disciplined parents and felt peaceful in my house as my family is very amicable.
One day, she told me that she has a phone friend who claims to love her very much. He stays in Mumbai. Talking to him ebbs down her anguish and she feels calm. She used my phone to talk to that guy every day after emotionally cajoling me. I explained her many times that she is on the wrong track but she would never listen to me. I warned her that the guy can be a fraud, a kidnapper or a terrorist but she would laugh it out. She used to show me the marks on her hand which were due to the beating she got from her mother, for not following the discipline of her house. I was taken aback and did not know what I should do. I was quite young that time and so distinguishing between right and wrong was quite tricky for me.
One day, she showed me the several gifts that the guy had sent her. She kept all the gifts in my room as her parents would kill her if they find it out. I was hesitant but kept quiet. Then she told me something that startled me to the core. She said that she was meeting that guy at Howrah Station after two days and that she would run away with him so that she don’t have to bear her parent’s torture anymore. I was unable to talk when she blurted out these inconceivable words. I tried hard to make her understand that what she was doing would ruin her life completely but she was adamant. No amount of persuasion could change her mind. She took promise from me to not tell anyone about her plan.
Sleep totally eluded me for the next two days. I knew that what she was doing was wrong and I also knew that by supporting her, I was doing an even greater mistake. I couldn’t eat properly and felt debilitated. My father was checking my cell phone that day and he saw a number of Mumbai in my calling list. He asked me immediately that which friend of mine stays in Mumbai.
It was the moment when I was at the crossroads. On one hand, it was my loyalty to my friend which I wanted to preserve. On the other hand, not telling the truth was paralyzing me emotionally especially because I knew that the consequence of hiding this truth won’t be good.
My father kept asking me the same question with a stern tone and I was still figuring out which path I should take.
Should I be a good loyal friend and prevent her secret to come out into the world?
Can I forgive myself if she would be in a great danger tomorrow, just because I am hiding the truth from everyone? Won’t I be responsible somehow for the harmful consequences of her life?
I heaved a long sigh as I finally chose which path to take. I told my father the entire truth. He was shocked and he promised me that he would save my friend from the danger without letting her family scold or torture her. My father called her parents to the nearest cafeteria and told them how their authoritarian nature was compelling their daughter to take such a dangerous step. They understood their mistake and thanked my father. My friend’s mother also called me to say thanks. The next day, I heard that my friend’s family flew to Vizag, where they had some relatives.
So, yes telling this truth definitely saved my friend from the danger but unfortunately, our friendship weakened with this incident. She might have guessed that it was me who had spoiled her plan but I had no regrets. I saw that her mother used to give her so much time after that incident. She was no more that strict authoritarian lady and she would always tell me “ Purba, you are a wonderful friend. You saved your friend from a grave danger.”
My friend’s family shifted to another place after few years and I am no longer in contact with her. However, I am sure that if I would have lied to my father that day and something dangerous would have happened to my friend, I would have to live my entire life with that burden on my conscience.
I know that she is doing very well in her life now and that is more than enough for me. Telling the truth saved her life from a possible danger and my soul from a huge burden.
Truth is the best medicine for a soul.
Kitna Chain Hota Hai na Sachchai Mein!
Kitna Chain Hota Hai na Sachchai Mein!
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