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Thursday 6 September 2018

Get Smart or Not

"Interesting times we live in. Everyday is a learning experience; don't you agree, Nik?" Nik of course had his nose buried deep inside the sports column. 
Nina continued reading the article that had caught her attention. 

Children who lie turn out smarter
'Hmm, I wonder if I should try this technique with the kids. All the fat fibbers at work are after all sitting cozily at the HQ while cracking the whip on us, poor slaves. Maybe their moms already knew about this stuff and started training them early can't become a sleaze-ball overnight, can you?'
Yes, Nina was convinced. This fact of life had been staring her in the face since ages...if only she'd been smart enough to fathom it or her mother had been. 
Little Johnny who lied to his Papa had it right, that's how you got the sugar! 
'The path to sugar or success is not sweet', she thought grimly and wondered how to go about smartening her two boys with her new-found wisdom.
"Neel, Varun, come here," she called, adding, "look what I got for you." 'That should bring them out of their room in no time,' smiling at her own little deviousness.
The boys skipped upto her in a jiffy. "Look guys, you know how I've been forever telling you never to lie, how you'd be committing a sin every time you lied and getting closer to hell? Well, forget that...I was lying. I want you to feel free to lie, in fact it would be good if you can make a habit of it. I read an article in paper today. Apparently, lying makes you smarter and I seriously think you guys need some help in that department. You get me?" she paused as she saw the clueless look on their faces.
"Mummy you want us to play April fool?" Varun asked doubtfully.
"No Varun that's not what I meant. You see, whenever you're caught in a tight spot, think of the best lie you can come up with and use it to set yourself free. 
Hmm, let's see, imagine if you played a prank at school and the teacher caught you, what would you do Neel?"
"I never play pranks, well no one in our class does, you wouldn't either if you had someone like Sheela miss as your class teacher," Neel replied feelingly.
"Oh, I just asked you to imagine the situation and tell me what you would do, that's all." Throwing a disappointed look at her elder offspring she continued, "Okay, you tell me Varun, what would you do if you played a prank like throwing chalk at say Anju miss while her back was turned and she caught you?" Nina asked encouragingly.
"But ma, our teachers use board marker pens only, where would I get chalk from?" Varun wisely enquired.
"Say you threw an eraser at her and got caught, then what?" she waited hopefully.
"I doubt if an eraser would bother Anju miss too much. In fact I don't think even an earthquake would make her pause while she is talking about,'What Books and Burials tell us'," Varun groaned.
'Aarghh!! What is it with these idiots? Am I too late?' Nina wondered worriedly.
Nik saw the serious meeting in session and tried to sidle past unnoticed...unsuccessfully. 
"Ah, can I get some help here Daddy?" Nina called.
"What have they done now? Varun you lost your compass box again? Neel how many times have I told you turn in your homework in time?" Nik said with as much indignation as he could muster.
"No, no, no! It's nothing they've done. It's something new I am trying to teach them. A new way of tackling sticky situations. Here, read this article and tell me if I am not onto something. We've been going about it all wrong."
"Hmm, interesting...," Nik said as he looked up after reading the piece.
"Okay, I think I have an idea how to go about this," Nina snapped her fingers excitedly.
"Nik, I have to confess something first," Nina announced with a sidelong conspiratorial wink at him. "I got a large tear in the saree I borrowed from Renuka for last week's party. That saree is a designer one and I think it costs a bomb. What should I do? What do I tell her?" she waited eagerly for Nik to cue in on her plan.
"Didn't you wear a gown for that party, the red one that makes you look fat?" Nik remarked and wondered why Nina was winking at him with the kids around.
"Oh, maybe I wore the saree last month, but tell me what should I do?" again winking at him.
"Last month we were away on our holiday, don't you remember?" Nik was having these rather accurate memory recaps while Nina glared at him.
"No, I got it wrong," Nina said as she attempted to salvage her plan. "I wore it six months back for the wedding at Pondicherry and the saree tore while I was ironing it, I am sure now, tell me Nik, what should I tell Renuka," Nina cried exasperatedly.
"Mummy wore Lina aunty's lehenga for that wedding, didn't she?" Neel piped.
"Yes, but Lina aunty looked prettier in Mummy's saree, didn't she? Varun chipped in.
"Boys, boys, come now, I agree Mummy wore that purple lehenga but she looked so beautiful in that, look...I even took our selfie with her wearing that one," and Nik proceeded to scroll down six months worth pictures in his phone gallery. 
"Okay I give up!" Nina fumed as she marched away to the kitchen.
'Pah! Me trying to teach this family to lie and make them smarter...they can't lie to save their lives! Raja Harishchandra would have been proud to know them. Pack of losers, I am stuck trying to save!' 
"Mummy you said you got something for us when you called us?"
"I lied!" 
"Nina, how much do you think that saree costs?"
"My sanity!"


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Disclaimer: All the characters in the Nina's World series are fictional, any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental and unintentional.

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