Manipulating emotions is the underlying philosophy for various lifestyle economic endeavors which rely on advertising to secure their market space and share. Inadvertently these marketing gimmicks intertwine with our cultural set-up and long before we know we become the products that we use – we start pretending and leading alternate lives – in our heads and in our behaviors – all pretensions and lies – trying to be cool, trying to fit in.
The culture which you surround yourself with bears the burnt of most of your attitudes, you can blame people around you for who are, most of the times. I used to think that life on screen was real.
I used to pretend. I used to lie. A lot.
I was a chronic liar. I was a consummate liar. I was a bloody good liar.
Why did I lie?
Because I could. Because I liked it. Because I could get away with it.
(I am all in for honest confessions but I suddenly do not like where this post is going).
My father would repeatedly tell me – one should be honest, one should always tell the truth. I would hear those words but I never really listened. Or actually cared. He would tell me – it is a very strenuous hobby – lying; one has to remember all the lies of the past and to maintain the charade one has to add more lies; it is a viscous cycle; feeding on itself; it never ends.
But then I never really bothered. I was so young.
How the mighty fall!
My lies caught up with me in good time. Not that I could not keep up with the complex concoctions but that I had simply grown weary of all the artificial worlds I had created. I started practicing honesty. It was very difficult initially. I had to belittle my past words. But I stuck through. I did not lie. I did not manipulate. I spoke the truth, however, harsh it was.
My father always says – an honest man has nothing to fear. And he is right. An honest man does not actually have anything to fear. And there is great calm in the arms of truth. But sometimes the truth can be unwanted.
Should one really-always-absolutely-without-fail always tell the truth? Is keeping silent another form of lies?
A year back one of my friends was getting married to her boyfriend of eight years. The marriage preparations were complete and in a few days she would lawfully be forever his. She was all over the moon and the stars and the even over the galaxies beyond those stars.
In the course of the preparations I had run into the groom many-a-times. Some of those many times were awkward. We were too close, too uncomfortably close. But I ignored it – Indian weddings ignore the concept of space and privacy – everyone is into everyone.
It was three days before the wedding. I was in the balcony speaking over the phone when he comes from the behind and whispers in my other ear. I turn around step back and ask him – ok , right, what is up?
He advances. I am flabbergasted. He tries to give me some logical poppycock as to why we should do it.
I laugh in his face. I ask him – are you drunk?
He says no.
So then I proceed to tell him the loop holes in his logical poppycock theory.
He is visibly hurt. But he retreats.
The following evening, I hear him proclaim his deep love for my friend, in front of hundreds of well dressed people. I see my friend – she has tears in her eyes. I see their parents. I see their friends and relatives. Everyone is so happy. And I do not know what to do – the marriage is in two days. Should I tell her? Should I not? My brain is doing ethical somersaults.
I decide to ignore it at first – it really is not any of my business. People don’t always marry for love and sometimes partners are okay with the infidelity of their partners. And she is a good friend and I do love her. I really do not want to break her heart. He does love. And maybe she knows. If she knows then I could tell her. But…
Then it happens again that night. He finds me in the kitchen and tells me to think about it. I tell him no.
The next day, as fate would have it, at brunch, my friend decides to entertain us girls with her entire love story – how they are made for each other, how it was meant to be, how did they first kiss, how he asked her to marry him, how he is the man of her dreams…..blah blah ….how loyal he is….wait…what?!
When she mentioned the loyalty part with pride apparent in her eyes, the dilemma in my head was resolved. She was indeed marrying him for love and she thought he was a nice honorable man.
Then I knew I had to tell her. Of what had happened. Of the lewd texts. Of the indecent proposal.
All this and much more I had to tell her, two days before the wedding.
I took her for a walk after the brunch. I told her what happened. I showed her the texts.
She was shocked. She was hurt. She did not speak for a very long time.
Then she cried.
And I guess I fell in love with her a little more after that. Because not once did she doubt me.
Once the matter was brought out in the open, a few other women came forward and presented proof of his lecherous habits. The following days were very ugly. The marriage was called off. And though my friend cried a lot over her broken heart and cracked idea of love, she was immensely glad that I did what I did – the right thing, that I told her the truth.
A little on the company – Kinley water comes with the assurance of safety from The Coca-Cola Company. That is why they introduced Kinley with reverse –osmosis along with the latest technology to ensure purity of our product. Because they believe that right to pure, safe drinking water is fundamental.
In their recent marketing effort, they have associated their brand with truth and honesty, as can be seen in the following commercial.
All the images used in this post have been taken from the very generous free-sharing-open-source-kind-of-market that we have on the world wide web. For my take on this kind of sharing, if you are interested please read – this.
Image Links – Image 1 – Link.