Written in response to: Write a story about a pathological liar.... view prompt




Prakash was a little tense. He was awaiting the results of Inter-Science examination which was going to decide his entry into the field of medicines. He had always nurtured dreams of being a doctor. He needed a minimum of 60% marks to secure admission to a medical college.

And the results were declared. A few of his friends had got over 60% marks. But he could not locate his seat number in the entire result sheet. He checked the results repeatedly. But he could not find his number. It was confirmed that he had failed.

All his dreams to become a Doctor had been shattered. But he wanted to save himself from the disgrace of scolding by his parents. He was not ready to face ridicule from his friends staying in his society. He had taken care not to tell his seat number to his classmates. So, no one knew of his seat number missing from the result sheet. He declared that he had passed in first class. All his classmates congratulated him on his achievement.

He entered into his dream world and told himself and everyone concerned that he had got more than 60% marks and that he had to get ready for admission to medical college. That spared him all the ridicule from his friend circle. On the contrary, he was given appreciation by all. Prakash was enjoying all admiration showered on him.

While he was returning from college and going home, he was wondering how to disclose the reality to his parents. He thought otherwise and decided to continue being in the virtual world. He dragged one of his classmates to his house who would confirm to his parents about his success.

And to his parents, he gave the news from his unreal world. They were jubilant.

They started planning the expenses they would have to bear for his expensive education. Prakash was happy that he chose to remain in the virtual world. He informed his parents about getting admission to Mumbai's top medical college. Because of his friends, he could keep himself in contact with medical college life. Prakash was up-to-date about the schedule of examinations, annual days, etc.

To the entire world, he was attending medical college.

After one and a half years, which is an academic year for medical education, he virtually entered the second year of the medical course.

And he continued his medical course in a virtual world.

After the third year, Prakash passed out, and finally, he was a doctor of the virtual world.

His parents, unaware of the lies Prakash was telling them for the last five years, were extremely happy that their Son was now a full-fledged Doctor. When the topic of his joining some big hospital came up, he declared that he was joining the army as a major.

In reality, Prakash could not pass even B.Sc. He hunted for jobs as a mere clerk in some town in Madhya Pradesh away from any local contacts. His stay in the town of Mhow in Madhya Pradesh guaranteed his isolation from the common, known public. Dr. Prakash from the virtual world was now a doctor who had joined the virtual army as a major. He visited his parents as an army doctor on his annual leave.

Prakash was skilfully handling switching between a virtual medical officer in the army and the real ordinary clerk in a small factory drawing meager remuneration.

During his tenure of five years in the factory, Prakash got attracted to Sunita, also a clerk in the same factory. They got married. After marriage, Prakash took her to his parents in his hometown.

Prakash's parents were happy to see their daughter-in-law. Sunita was also happy to meet the cheerful old couple. But she was wondering over the whole atmosphere treating Prakash as a Doctor from the armed forces. She expressed her astonishment over this matter. Prakash, a pathological liar told her that his parents were suffering from symptoms of “paracosm” which made them think of the things of their dreams as reality. His father wanted him to join the army whereas his mother wanted him to become a doctor. They refused to come out of their imaginary world. And to not hurt them, he continued behaving like a doctor, who had joined the army.

" I had taken them to specialists and told them to treat my parents at any cost but bring them to the real world. But both parents did not respond to their treatment.’ Sunita convinced, felt sorry for Prakash.

Prakash was extremely satisfied with his skill in handling this very complicated situation. He was overwhelmed with his own expertise in telling a lie that would satisfy one and all.

As days passed, Sunita was getting attached to Prakash’s mother. Once the mother came closer to Sunita and confirmed that Prakash was not around, asked her, "Sunita, How does Prakash behave with you?  Does he show his army discipline in the house too? Do you have any complaints? Be frank with me. He will listen to me if I advise him on something. "

Sunita remembered Prakash telling her about paracosm symptoms.

Sunita took his mother's hand in her hand and said, "No Aai. He is perfect a husband in the house. He does not carry his army discipline nor his extra restrictions of the hospitals back to the house. We are leading a very happy life.”  

Mother was pleased with the assurance from Sunita.

Prakash’s father once found Sunita alone in her room.

He called her close to him.

“Sunbai (Daughter-in-law), how is Prakash with you? Does he get angry with you on small matters? Is he extra particular about cleanliness as in hospitals? Does he try to implement army discipline with you? “

“No, no Baba. I find him a perfect husband. We are enjoying our life to the fullest. He keeps extra cleanliness of the hospital and discipline of the army in his office only. We are enjoying our life to the fullest.” Sunita said.

“That is very good. But if you have any complaints, please let us know. He listens to us if we tell him to be  .” Father was happy over Sunita’s reply.

Sunita remembered about paracosm symptoms. She was happy that they were kept satisfied with her answers.

Sunita wondered if they knew that their son was an ordinary clerk in a small factory in Mhow. But she was happy that she had not hurt their feelings. They continued in their imaginary world. She was happy that Prakash had warned her right in time about paracosm.

When Prakash returned home, Sunita told Prakash about her separate dialogues with his mother and his father. Anxious Prakash wanted to know about their reaction. When he heard that they were happy to learn about our life in Mhow, he was relieved that Sunita did not tell the truth. He said, “Good, you did not hurt them in their imaginary world by telling them the facts.”

With extreme relaxation, Prakash whispered, "I love you, Sunita."

After a couple of weeks, they started for Mhow.

“After all, you are holding an important post and you have to be responsible. Otherwise, I would have insisted you to extend the leave. But no. Army man is disciplined.”

“Sunita, whenever you want to see us, you can come anytime.” Mother said.

Prakash & Sunita left. All the hearts were heavy.

After a few days, the mother had a cardiac arrest and suddenly she died. Prakash could not attend the funeral as her body was pledged and so, was given to a hospital.

A few weeks later, his father had a heart attack. Prakash and Sunita rushed.

Seeing him on the bed lying with tubes connected to various parts of the body, Prakash was moved. Tears could not be controlled. He went near to his father. He put his head on his father's chest and cried uncontrollably.

“Baba, I seek your pardon. I am ready for any punishment you give. I have committed a big mistake.” Prakash murmured.

“Prakash, don’t worry now. We always knew that you were telling us lies. You had failed in Inter science and you did not get admission in Medical College.”

Prakash was thunderstruck

“We knew this. But you told us a lie that you secured first class and got admission to medical college. We were sad as much as you were. But you told us the lie. We were more grieved that you lied to us. We did not want you to know that we were aware of it. You continued with the lies over and over again.

When your friends in medical college, got their degrees, you told us that you were a full-fledged doctor then. You secured a job in a small unknown place, for you to act like an army man on the border. You left our town to take up the job in the small town under the pretext of going to the border front. You were working as a clerk in Mhow but told us that you were a doctor in the army to the level of being a Major in the army. Your wife Sunita joined you in your lies and told us about your behaving well as a doctor in the army. That is enough! I can not digest any more lies from you. “

He removed all the attachments on his body and sat upright. Prakash was stunned.

Sunita was shocked that Prakash had lied even to her about his parents suffering from paracosm.

July 29, 2022 23:54

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