Truth in small doses

– a short story.

Mount Kailas, the abode of Lord Shiva and family was aflutter. The young God Ganesha was having an argument with his father regarding the vagaries of human nature. He was forcefully putting forward an argument.

“Father I have found the formula to make humans happy.”

Shiva could see the young God was visibly excited.

“And what is that my son?”

“If humans have the power to know the true nature of people around them they will be happy.”

“I doubt it very much. But you can try out your theory.”

The young Ganesha impatiently looked down on earth in search of a guinea pig. Finally his eyes fell on Raja Thakur, self made billionaire who had been orphaned at a young age. Raja a handsome youth of thirty years had just got married to Sushama his beautiful love and was getting ready for the wedding reception. He had just applied shaving cream to his face when his room was lit by a brilliant luminescence. He rubbed his eyes to see clearly and was dumbstruck to see Lord Ganesha smiling at him. Instantly he prostrated himself and said “O Ganesha, have mercy on me and forgive me my sins”

“Get up son. I have not come to discuss your sins but to grant you a boon that will make you happy forever”

Raja could not believe his fortune but stood speechless.

“Come learn this mantra that I am giving now. You will know the true nature of people around you whenever you wish by chanting it.” Before a bemused Raja could say anything Ganesha vanished. He pinched himself to see if he was awake. His cell phone rang.

“Hey Prince, are you ready? We are getting late.” That was his buddy Dilip. Hurriedly he got dressed and sat in the waiting Mercedes. Dilip was asking him something but Raja’s face had a look of wonderment and he wasn’t paying attention. “Looks like you are already on your honey moon” said Dilip.

They reached the Hyatt just in time. Some guests had already arrived and sipping on their drinks. Sushama his bride looked resplendent in her brocade sari and diamond encrusted gold jewelry.

“Where have you been darling?” she asked a little impatiently.

“I was umm, oh well I had to shave again”

Raja was accepting the greetings and gifts absentmindedly. Had the Lord really visited him or was it a hallucination? He went over the whole episode again. The Mantra came to his mind and inadvertently he chanted it.

“Hello Raja, congratulations” It was the voice of his best friend Amit.

“Thank you” Raja said as he extended his hand in greeting, only to take it back in surprise and horror. It was a paw and not a human hand and a fox was speaking in Amit’s voice. Terrified, Raja looked around him and screamed silently. He was surrounded by a variety of animals who were behaving like humans. Most of them were ruminants and were milling around and mooing in typical fashion.

“Raja I am so happy for you,” his cousin Avatar said or hissed. He looked like a Cobra poised to strike. Besides him was a female cobra who was smiling her greetings.

“Avatar and his wife Reema are cobras? But they are always so loving” Raja muttered.

“A drink Sir?” It was a monkey. Most waiters looked like sly monkeys or rather it was the monkeys who were acting as waiters, grabbing things and putting them in their pockets. Raja looked over to the place where his relatives had ganged only to see a group of wolves tearing at the tandoori chicken.

Most of his friends were gathered at the bar. He went to them and saw bunch of sly foxes guzzling at the free drinks. “The Scotch whisky is genuine O Prince. May God give you more and more wealth to keep the scotch flowing.” One of them said in an oily tone. ‘How strange’ he thought, ‘No loyal dogs here.’ His uncle Ramcharan the peacock was in full bloom.

Raja walked to the table near the fountain where he had last seen his father in law and Sushama. Instead he saw a huge pig gorging on the food. “Come along son in law the fried fish is wonderful.  This is why I had insisted on the Hyatt” he said while licking his fingers.

“Have you seen Sushama?”

“She was here with her mother and sister. They had something important to discuss.”

“Sushama! Sushama!” Raja called.

“I am here darling,” he heard her say and looked above.

“My God! Sushama, the sweet pure girl who loves me is a vulture?”

In fact there were three vultures, perched on the decorative tree. The well fed one was all bejeweled like his mother in law.

Raja finally broke down. “Oh Ganesha I do not want to know the truth.” He cried in torment. “This is a punishment not a boon. Make me normal again. Please Lord Ganesh.”

Ganesh was sitting pensively. Lord Shiva smiled at him lovingly and said, “Having a problem son?”

“I can’t understand father. Why does Raja not want the truth? As it is he will know the reality in due course”

“You are right. He will know the truth eventually, but in small doses so he can digest it. This sudden infusion of truth is rather unpalatable for any human”

“What shall I do now? Even if I take back his powers he knows about his wife and is already thinking about leaving her”

“I can help you out if you want an old man to interfere in your affairs”

“Father, please do.”

Lord Shiva picked up his trident. A golden beam shot from it and touched a frowning and sorrowful Raja just as he had cleared his throat and said to Sushama,

“I have something to tell you”

“What is that my darling?”

“Just that I love you very much and am so lucky to have you as my wife” He said beamingly.

16 thoughts on “Truth in small doses

    1. Vivek Post author

      Thanks for coming and commenting Usha. I am indebted to Shaila for goading me to post and then ensuring I have readers too.

      1. Mysoul

        And I will live up to that name 😛 This story of yours reminded me of the lines from T S Eliot’s Burnt Norton, the first poem in T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets. “Go, go, go, said the bird: humankind cannot bear very much reality. Time past and time future what might have been and what has been point to one end which is always present”

  1. Vivek Post author

    This is a comment posted by Crusader regarding some other blog.
    Hey, I have been compelled to write here in reply to your comment

    You may remove it or shift it elsewhere but do give it a thorough read.

    Loving the mother is absolutely great, but not loving the wife just because the mother does not approve of her is an unpardonable crime.”


    However, isn’t it important for a guy to get to the crux of the matter and understand her mother’s lack of approval. Well, if it isn’t backed by any rationale, then obviously he can go ahead with his support to his wife.

    If he realises that it is because of the strong sense of animosity (irrational) that the wife harbours for his mother regardless of his mother’s love & respect his spouse, then also he should keep on loving her. That’s certainly sounds selfish to me.

    He has no right to stand up for his mother even if she is innocent and the wife is clearly very wrong.

    isn’t he a selfish human being if he feels ‘Hey wife! Go ahead and abuse my innocent parents/bro/sis but don’t do that to me because I am least bothered about their well-being. I will love you as long as don’t do that (abuse) to me’.

    Maybe such a man doesn’t realise if the wife is abusing his family, she is indirectly abusing him too and has little respect for him since takes him for granted and she knows she can get away with such ruthless behaviour.

    This insensitivity does irk me and you also didn’t reflect on it.

    We have spoken time & again about DILs and their predicament but what about the abuse that a MIL/FIL/DIL/SIL suffer? No one’s ready to acknowledge it that it exist.

    And, FYI, if you think the no. of MILs/SILs abused by DILs who are far less than the no. of abused DILs, yes they may be less but far less, no, you are mistaken.

    The outright abuse of the in-laws (or rather very heinous crimes like murders) might not be evident on the surface/exist but it happens on a regular basis within the close confines of the house but often, such abuse isn’t brought to light because many abused elders of the family are too concerned about the loss of face in the society.

    And, what makes this abuse really shocking & extremely painful is that their son/brother too gets blindly involved with the DIL (his wife) ie. it could be a mere passing glance that he delivers when he sees his brother/sister being humiliated by his wife and fails to respond to it.

    Had the scenario been reversed, we would be quick to label such a husband using colourful adjectives like mama’s boy/the family’s boy (this is one adjective I have never understood), insensitive, cruel, wicked, spineless squid. Fine, go ahead with it for sure but use the same logic and dye to colour your language for the DIL too if she is at fault and she is one who initiates it (& reciprocates her in-laws’ love with her hatred),

    How can you allow her to escape with all that?

    Please do offer your unbiased opinion on the following:

    Loving the WIFE is absolutely great, but not loving the MOTHER just because the WIFE does not approve of her is an unpardonable crime.

    (yes, you should certainly find out the reasons in this case too)

    I do know about these statistics; it is really shocking & sad and steps have been/are being taken in the right direction with utmost sense of urgency.

    Talking about statistics, I would like you and the rest of the INDIAN society to open up and acknowledge another harsh reality (something that is hush-hush and brushed aside either due to insensitivity or concept of ‘boys don’t cry’ firmly rooted in the society)

    As per the National Crime Records Bureau, in INDIA: (domestic violence by wives & their families)

    11,882 married men committed suicide in 1996 due to domestic violence;
    16,635 married men committed suicide in 2006 due to domestic violence;
    14258 married men (on average) commit suicide due to domestic violence every year, and
    156, 843 married men have ended their lives due to domestic violence between the years 1996 – 2007.

    And, do read about section 498A and how heavily it has been MISUSED by the DILs & their families to harass the innocent husbands & their families.

    How many of them have lost their lives by the use of this wonderful law by the DILs and there is enough data on the net to prove that in maximum no. of cases, it turned out that false allegations were levied against the hubby/in-laws by these innocent DILS

    Using a law is good but misusing isn’t.

    1. Vivek Post author

      To Crusader
      I have moved your comment here. As per your instructions I have gone through your comment in a thorough manner. It would have been better if you had posted this comment as a blog of your own for it would have attracted more readership and enlightened people on your topic. Your words tell me that either you or someone very close to you have suffered at the hands of another woman. I deliberately refuse to use any relational label here because it is ultimately an injustice perpetrated by one woman on another. My sympathies are with the victim.
      You have pointed out yourself that analysis should be done about behavior of one person towards another. Unfortunately in India analysis of relationships and behavior is not done professionally and so it is left in the hands of quack theorists. I still maintain that the man involved in the manipulative relationship needs medical help.
      If a woman acts in an evil manner as a mother in law she is an evil MIL. The same applies to a daughter in law or for that matter the man who is also the third corner of this triangle. No DIL can mistreat her in laws if the husband is just in his dealings.
      In my personal experience I have seen that certain people are good individually but they cannot tolerate each other. I do not know if such is the case with you because I don’t know either party and I hate to generalise.
      As for the law, it has been introduced and implemented due to a genuine demand for justice from every section of society. The fact that is is misused is unfortunate and points out to a structural defect. But then our legal system is not moribund and is open to amendment. I am sure the legislature will look for correction in this section to reduce exploitation of the groom’s family. Of course the rider is ‘when they find time from politicking’.
      On a closing note I personally feel that you could have used all this material instead of your ‘rant’ on the concerned blog.


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