He is great in discovering new games. And there is always a prize for the winner. We are thrilled when Uncle suggests, "Let us have This game, today."
One day it was raining. The whole day the sky was overcast. Everywhere there was water. Everything was wet. We couldn't go out at all. We came back-from school dripping wet. It was then that Uncle came in. With his usual smile, and sparkling eyes, he announced, "Let us have this game, today" This brought new life into all of us. We shrieked and jumped with joy and agreed, "Yes, let us have the new game. Come, Uncle. Sit down. Tell us, what is the game?"
On a wooden cot Uncle sat with his bony legs folded under his wrinkled body, and just sat there smiling at us. We also sat looking at him. Some new game Uncle is planning, we all knew it.
After some time Uncle said, "Now! Everyone of you, listen carefully. All of us will keep quiet for two minutes. Each one will think of the biggest lie he can tell. The biggest lie! The Impossible. The one who gives the biggest lie will win the game. And he will get the prize! Okay?"
We were not very sure. For, our Mummy had told us not to tell lies. Here was our dear Uncle, teaching us to tell lies! And so we told Uncle, "But Mummy has told us not to tell lies. How can we?"
Uncle looked surprised. Hi said. "Why not? Did she explain to you why you should not tell lies?"
“No”, we said.
"Then, are you not ashamed to accept anything that you don't understand? Are we not human beings? And as such we have an intellect, Buddhi. Unless we understand a thing we should not accept it You don't know why you should not tell a lie, therefore, you must tell the biggest lie. Today our game is to give prizes for all those who can give us the biggest lies."
We were very happy. We were to do something which we normally were told not to do. The mischief in it added extra joy toil. We were really very happy. We were all spread on the carpet in the room around the cot where Uncle was sitting. He cleared his throat and said, "Now, I give you all two minutes to think out the biggest lie. I, too, will tell you one big lie. Then each one of you must give one of your own. It must be an impossible one! Most impossible. The biggest lie—mind you. The bigger the lie, the bigger the prize."
After this talk we all sat quiet. All of us felt that we did not know any big lie to tell. And two minutes is such a short time!
Uncle broke the silence. "Now I will tell you one. Once three friends were passing through a field when they saw a rabbit running across the field. One of them was blind, another was dumb, and the third was lame. It was the blind man who first saw the rabbit, and the dumb man cried out, "Catch it—catch it” and the lame one ran after the rabbit and caught it. When they brought it home they found that it was not a rabbit after all, it was only a frog, and so they put it safely into their box so that they could use it to learn riding."
We roared with laughter. Uncle remained serious and looked at us in surprise. "What? Is it not a big one? Then you tell me a better one, Gopu."
Gopu was the smartest among us. He smiled and said, "Once I saw, on my way back from school, two birds flying with their backs turned to the ground, looking at the moon, and when they sang, honey flowed out of their mouth. I collected it in my geography book and drank it up, all the way home." All of us clapped our hands, and Uncle said it was a good lie. '"Now, come, Chandra, you ~ give yours. Ictus hear." encouraged Uncle.
Chandra was generally a very shy boy. He hesitated. Uncle encouraged him. We all insisted. So he said. 'The other day our cow was missing and Mother was very much worried. Then there was a big thunderstorm and a flood of water stated coming down into our rooms through the ceiling. All of us were surprised. We did not know why the roof was leaking. So our grand-father went up and saw our cow, standing on the roof, eating away the tiles!! She had already finished all the tiles above our bedroom! Grand-father brought the cow through the drain pipe and we made the cow sleep in our bed, and we all slept comfortably in the cowshed that day." We were all surprised. We never knew Chandra could make up such a good lie. We gave him a thunderous applause.
Uncle now turned his sparkle eyes upon Gouri and said, "Now you tell us your story, please." Gouri giggled and said, "Nobody will believe it, but I tell you, it is true. If you can eat a live lizard, while sitting on a tortoise, which is flying over the house, and wipe your hands on the clouds, then standing upon your hands, if you can massage your hair with your feet, you will get as much hair as my Mummy has, but if the lizard you ate was a he-lizard, you will become as bald as our Uncle. Ask Uncle if it is not true." The entire room echoed with our laughter. We rolled on thec4rpet at this great, great joke.
Uncle's laughter could be heard three miles away!
Now Uncle said, "It is time to announce the prizes. First of all, you open all the windows. Let the lies fly away!" We got up and opened the windows and returned to our seats.
Uncle took a package out of his bag. He opened it slowly. We saw it was big pieces of candy. He said, "All of you, Gopu, Chandra, and Gouri—all of you have won the prize. Therefore I give you each a piece of this. I will give the biggest piece to Chandra because his was the biggest lie. Now I give all the others a piece also. That boy who keeps it longest in his mouth and slowly eats it, will get a beautiful toy as an extra present."
We were all very happy. We were each given a piece. Uncle took a watch in hand. We all held the piece of candy in our hand. Uncle said, "One—two—three," and we all put our candy pieces into our mouths. Uncle started looking at the watch seriously.
Oh! The pain! Oh! The horrible feeling! What is it? Our faces became ugly. We could no longer keep it in our mouth. We all spat the thing out. All of us—-together. We could not eat it. It had a funny taste. It was sour— no, bitter—-no, it had some funny taste. Uncle looked at us as if surprised. "Take it. Eat it. What is the matter with you all?" Uncle asked.
"This is not candy. It tastes funny. It is not candy," we complained.
"It is not candy," repeated Uncle. "Who said it is? It is Alum. It looks like candy, but it is not candy. True! It is not candy," repeated Uncle.
We were very miserable. Then Uncle said, "Now, children. You know why Mummy said not to tell a lie? When you tell lies, you will not get candy, but only Alum which looks like candy. Always tell the truth—never tell a lie. Whenever you try to tell a lie, remember—-It is not candy—it is Alum."