Kitna chain hota hai na sachchai mein
It was an era of single screen cinema halls called talkies. Going to a movie entailed a lot of planning and plotting to cajole our parents into getting an answer in affirmative.
A movie called 'Quarbani' was released to packed cinema halls. It was also a golden period for black-marketeers. Seeing the chaos at the entrance of the cinema hall shrank our hopes of seeing the movie on big screen. We approached a black-marketeer Uncle , as we called him , to 'buy' tickets at a premium. He gave us 2 tickets but we were three of us. But he expressed his helplessness as those were the last of the tickets he had and the movie was scheduled to start after five minutes. It was a 'do or die' situation . We begged him to get another ticket as me , my best friend Anju and my brother could watch the movie. Seeing our desperation , the person agreed to let my brother into the cinema hall without a ticket as he had good contacts with the usher-er, but for a fee. My mind was full of guilt and the conscience raised its head to prick me but the desire to watch a 'hit' 'movie and boast it to my classmates the next day suppressed and blunted my conscience. My brother sat in the aisle to view the movie.
We came out of the cinema hall with mixed feelings, Elated at being able to watch THE movie and the burden of wrong-doing . We three of us made a pact not to let the secret out of the bag.
The next day my mother asked me to arrange my book-shelf into order. I set about keeping the books and chanced to see the torn and faded cover of the book , "My experiments with truth". The book belonged to my grandfather and I had read and hailed Mahatma Gandhi as the epitome of truth while in reality I had trodden on the path of lies. The tempest raging in my mind could not pour out the words of truth and I kept mum. But soon realised that I could not carry the load. I blurted out the truth to my mom with my heart-beats pounding. My mother was dumbstruck at the audacity of our boldness. But she quickly composed herself saying that we were lucky that the black-marketeer did not harm two young girls. Today as I open the pages of the morning newspaper to read abut young girls taken advantage of I shudder to think about the incident. We were fortunate that we did not become statistics in the register of juvenile crimes.
I was relieved of the baggage I was carrying but I had broken the promise.
Why did I reveal the truth to my mother? Was it selfishness on my part to jettison the guilt that threatened to rot my conscience and make my life miserable? Or what it Bapu's book that acted as a catalyst in my confession? Whatever were the reasons I feel I took the right decision and vowed not to trust strangers so easily. This is the message I dispense to my son.
My teenage son will today read this as I finish the post. I have to expose the weak side of me, a younger me then, to him so that he learns that it is better to get up and rise after every fall.
Written for : Kinley : happyhours purity-in-every-drop