The Edifice

On December 11, 2015 by admin



Ranajit Das



Journal Entry I


I still recall quite vividly that horrendous moment when my little one realized, for the first time, what a lie is. I remember, face to face with untruth for the first time in her life, those bewildered, derelict eyes of hers.

Unfortunately, it was I who had told her that lie. The thing was one among numerous stupid and jocular adult lies: if kids do not sleep at their appointed time, then the police would visit and take them away. My baby, perhaps she used to believe that each material thing in this world is truthful, that every word uttered is authentic. This, my cautioning too she had come to believe. That she used to believe this in all sincerity was a fact because every time this precept was told to her at night, her countenance paled. Unable to leash her natural energetic self, she would look at us—helpless, resigned. May be the little one would be suffering greatly within, for failing truth? Then one day from one of our exchanges, she suddenly realized that this threat was not true at all.  With stunned eyes, as she tried tracing the contours of our canny,guilty faces, she discovered untruth.  I could see that somewhere behind her dumbfounded visage a whole edifice was crumbling. Perhaps her first universe, her world of verity was abandoning her.  Since then, whenever I recall that moment, I begin to turn wood-stiff, queasy. I can feel that in my brain those down-and out, destitute eyes are pierced like a knife.  I want to run, like a madman, from that look. But the earth and the soil, light, that sky seeking to converse with the horizon—all seem like an ashen extension of that look. I am unable to evade it and slink away.

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Journal Entry II

We hardly know what truth is. But untruth we do know, unerring, like our shadows.  In this lifetime of confusion about truth, the lie is our most manifest realization. In that sense, the lie is our most trusted truth.  Our refuge. Our comrade.

With a twinkle in his eyes, the one who says that knowing untruth also means knowing the truth, he is Nachiketa. Pig-ignorant we are.  Inside our brains meteorites batter constantly.  All around us heaps of acorns and saplings. And we—scuttlebutts and scandalmongers of the ancient rocks.

It is likely that right from our mother’s wombs we have known untruth.  Perhaps in the deepest twilight codes of our genes, the definition and usage manual of the lie is carefully inscribed. Still, for once, in that nerve-wracking moment of our childhood, we are startled by our first encounter with the lie. Only once in our whole life such piercing, woebegone stupefaction. Our first and last celestial moment.


Ranajit Das is a poet from Bengal. He is writing since 1966. He loves football, cinema and travelling all alone.

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