Saturday, 27 December 2014

The Birthday Party

Last night, I was watching TV and I came across the latest Kinley TVC. It is about a girl who can't sleep without telling her parents the truth about her whereabouts. Take a look:-

This reminded me of how cowardly I actually am. I have lied a hundred times, and blatantly in many occasions. However, I remember a few instances when I spoke the truth, and was proud of it. I will tell you one such story from last year.

It was sometime in early September when my friend (who was also my colleague) invited me to his birthday party. As was the norm, the party would start after 11:30pm and go on till the wee hours of the next day. I must tell you now that despite being in my early 20s, I stay with my parents and am bound by their rules and curfews. I was sure my parents would never allow me to stay at any party that late.

While I finished my dinner that night, I tried to come up with good excuses to leave the house. I felt guilty and uneasy all through the otherwise delicious meal. I finally put my fork down and asked my parents to mute the TV. I told them the truth in plain words, without lying about the time I would be back. I explained to them how all of my friends usually partied that way, and that there would be plenty of girls at the birthday boy's place. I waited with my heart in my mouth to hear what my parents would have to say to all of that.

All that my dad said was, "Take the keys when you leave. Don't wake us up in the middle of the night when you are back." And then he added, "Don't drink too much. You have office tomorrow morning!" My mom piped in, "Don't wear short clothes. It's cold outside." (I almost laughed at that. It's never cold in Mumbai, least of all in September. But I knew they'd never let me out in a skirt in the dead of the night.)

I smiled in delight. My parents were not so bad afterall. They really thought it was okay for me to leave after 11:30 and get home after 2am! True to my word, I wore chinos and a top. At 11:20, the birthday boy called me to say he was waiting in the car in front of my building. We drove to another friend's penthouse apartment and waited for the others to arrive. I was a little sad at that point as my truth was turning into a lie. I was the only girl in that flat full of 5 guys. I did not knowingly lie to my folks. The guys shared a couple of beer bottles among themselves as the man of the night poured me some some wine (he knew my taste ;-) ). A few minutes later, the girls arrived with the birthday cake. I was really happy to see them (for more reasons than one). And quite pleasantly, the women outnumbered the men in the flat. I had, after all, spoken the truth to my parents! I knew I would enjoy the rest of the night in peace.

After what was a lovely night of celebration and dancing, I finally decided to leave at about 3 in the morning (or night, depending on how to look at it). The birthday boy accompanied another girl and me to our residential complex. I was quite surprised to find an auto rickshaw at that unearthly hour (especially since most autos refuse to ply in broad daylight).

When I got home, it was past 3:15, and everyone was asleep. It didn't take me long to hit the bed as I was quite happily tired myself. Next morning, after oversleeping, when I finally got to the breakfast table, my mum asked me what time I had gotten back the previous night. I was honest again, and she did not mind. And this is how I started telling my parents the truth about late night parties. They have faith in me and know that I will take care of myself. And I, on my part, know I will do what is right, and deserve the trust they have in me. In my opinion, truth works best in the long run. Your parents may be worried or angry the first time, but they will come around and understand that social spheres work differently these days, and will respect your choices. Besides, honesty brings people closer.

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