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The Cost of telling Truth.

Its funny- and tragic sometimes- how the incidents from your past come back to memory and haunt you.

I was having a discussion with one of my younger cousins and while talking to him, i realized what could be the cost of truth really?

He had recently told a lie and was being punished for the same. I was telling him why is it important to say the truth and be honest.

As i was talking to him, an example from my own life came to mind. When i was in 10th standard, i had a friend names Atul and another names Harish. Both were from a middle class family, and we used to get along very well. Harish used to live with his uncle and was good in his studies. It was almost exam time, and our science practical exam was near.

On the day of the practical exam, something unexpected happened.

We were going back home from school when Harish put his hand inside his school bag, and pulled out a Glass slab. The Glass slab used for the refraction experiment in the lab. That glass slab belonged to the school- it was merely a few bucks worth, nothing more. Harish had stole the glass slab from the lab.

We laughed about it, went home and forgot about it. Until the next week -monday.

Lab incharge knew the glass slab was missing. No one else entered the lab after our class. The slab was there when the exam was going on. So, it had to be one of us.
The only way our lab incharge could find to get the truth out was to frighten us. “You will not get your board exam roll number if you don’t tell me who stole the glass slab”.

We were in a dilemma. One side, our friend. Other side, our roll number – Atleast at that time there was no third side as “what is right” or “truth prevails”. We were probably too young to think of all that.

So, Atul and I decided that we have to tell the teacher what we knew. Otherwise, we won’t get the roll number. And so we did. Thats the truth.

Now, the cost of the truth?
Teacher and Principal called Harish to their office – probably reprimanded him to bring his parents to school.  Harish was not as “Brave” as us to tell the truth. The next we know is Harish ran away. His uncle was not able to find him anywhere. No one knew where he went. Even police could not trace him as far as i remember.

Atul and I were scolded badly by his uncle – “You should have come and told me first, instead of telling the teacher”.

What were we supposed to do? How did we end up being the culprit? What went wrong, where? Its just a bad thing that happened, and our intention was never to do this – but to get our roll number; Which i realized after few years that our teacher would’ve anyways given to us whether we told the truth or not. For us it doesn’t matter – for poor Harish, it does.

Sometimes i wonder, but i don’t have the answer – or may be the “Right” answer. After all, who decides whats wrong and whats right?

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