The jalebi incident

I was then a young boy. I picked (I don't want to say I stole) a few jalebis from a mithai shop near our house. I was happy that I was not caught. But late in the night when I heard Baba telling Ma about the incident, I realized that I was caught. When Baba was narrating to Ma my misadventure, I was half-asleep. The story was over in two minutes but I could not sleep the whole night.

Next morning I was expecting them to be very angry but nothing of the sort happened. Their normal behaviour surprised me. When I was getting ready to go to school, Baba called me, took me to the mithai shop and got me a few jalebis. He did not say much. His silence was eloquent. It conveyed many things.

This incident imprinted on my mind two things: (1) Want something, ask for it from your parents, and (2) Avoid cheating or lying even if you know that you won't get caught.

We lie and cheat and think that nobody is watching us. We forget that the world is made of glass. Moreover, we are under constant surveillance by the self, if not by an outsider. As lie often succeed, it is difficult to overcome the temptation to lie. But it is the truth that sets us free.

We need to chisel and polish the self from time to time. How do we do it? Polish one side of the glass. It becomes a mirror. Look through the mirror. It will reflect your real self. It will question you. Many a times you will be afraid to face yourself; it might open a Pandora’s Box that might contain a few not-so palatable truths.

Not-so-palatable truths are also truths. They tell how much chiselling one needs to cleanse the self.