White lies

There is a euphemism for fibbing. Called white lies, no one feels any pang of regret at uttering them.

They are not even considered lies.

For most part, they are simply uttered as a face saving exercise to get out of an embarrassing situation.

All and sundry exploit its usage to the maximum.

Be it innocent two year olds or insinuating eighty year old fogies; poverty-stricken blue collared workers or power-hungry politicians, white lies are a way of life for all.

My two-year-old niece is a classic example. In the normal course of a day, her amusements include ravaging her older sibling’s precious belongings.

Story books, dolls, glitter pens, crayons, jig-saw puzzles and sundry other tit-bits face the most gruelling of fates.

Like a lamb slaughtered for a banquet the six-year-old’s priceless possessions are met with the saddest of ends.

As she sits in the middle of the strewn mess and with a guilty face, she is quick to claim innocence, blaming the unsuspecting babysitter for their destruction.

My eighty-year-old aunt is another case in point. A chronic diabetic with a casual attitude towards her disorder, she often gets herself into a rather unpleasant situation with her sweet tooth.

When admonished for her stubborn habit of finishing the half eaten bars of chocolate left by her granddaughter, she not only denies having anything to do with it but openly voices her suspicion on the daughter-in-law.

Office boys, maids, security guards, drivers and tens of other blue collared workers under the constant snare of their authoritative bosses indulge in white lies as their biggest and perhaps the only weapon of self-defence.

A cleverly spun and innocuously articulated white lie will certainly get the bosses to let their workers off the hook, though the bosses are well aware that the explanation to a lapse is a complete lie.

Yet, being a white lie, it is allowed to percolate through the mind as a good justification both to the person saying it and the person to whom it is intended.

Last but by no means the least, the biggest patrons of white lies are our nethas.

Promises made during polls are easily broken and craftily rationalised by a neatly strung chain of white lies!

Needless to say, the human race thrives on white lies. They are construed as handy and harmless.

Perhaps the only drawback is that one has to keep a conscious tab on them to avoid contradictions.

No wonder Mark Twain wisely advised, “Be sure to speak the truth, then you don’t have to remember anything!”

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