Small fibs lead to criminal acts . . !

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THIS happened a few years ago; I was catching a flight to Mumbai from Delhi and standing in line for my security check; the queues at airports are worse than the lines you see at railway stations and bus stops and this one in particular was moving at a snail pace, suddenly a family of eight walked down the line to the head of the queue and the father and another gentleman who I presumed was the uncle started pushing all the members into the line.

I protested and called the security personal at the Delhi airport who pretended not to have seen anything, meanwhile the man had pushed his whole family of sons and daughters and wives into the line. I watched in disbelief and yelled at them to go to the end of the line. “But I have been standing in this same line!” he lied with a grin. “Your children will be like you!” I told him quietly. “What did you say about my children?” asked the man and his companion walking towards me.

“That they will lie like you!” I said, “Because tomorrow your son will do worse than what you have just done. You are his tutor! Tomorrow!” I continued, “when that same son is arrested for something more heinous than jumping a queue and you ask the world where he picked up such criminal habit you will have no one else to blame but yourself. Sons and daughters,” I said, “learn from their fathers and mothers!”

There was no grin on their faces anymore. And here’s a true story: Once upon a time a journalist I knew well, got a call from an airhostess, “Help me!” she wept into the phone, “I am a kept woman! I’m not allowed to move out of this house. I’m being kept a prisoner by a minister who does what he wants with me when he has the time and he’s told me he’ll kill me if I try to escape!”

The journalist decided to write about it but the lady was too scared to come out into the open. The minister later died under tragic circumstances and within a month his son was found in the possession of drugs and it made newspaper headlines. “How did he become like this?” asked the mother of the boy, even as the journalist and the rest of the country knew who he had learned his tricks from.

How often we tell our children when the phone rings, “Tell him I’m not at home!” And the tutoring starts from there. Start learning to be a role model. It’s not their boyfriends, their girlfriends, or their so called bad company who are only to blame when something disastrous happens to them later; it’s you too, who have taught them wrong, by breaking queues, cutting signals and telling small fibs: Small fibs lead to criminal acts..!

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