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Art of deceit

'Liars need to have creativity and a damn good memory'


Delhi-based theatreperson Christopher Daruwalla's new act, 'Lying, But Honestly' has him playing a 'lying motivator and communication trainer'. The solo performance mixes elements of theatre with stand-up comedy. TOI-Crest catches up with the 47-year-old for an honest take on the art of deceit.

Lying is necessary. True or false?

It is a false truth. It depends on the context of the lie and where it is said.

Is it the easy way out?

No. As I say in my play, 'If you want to be a liar you must be a good storyteller. You have to have creativity, fantasy and a damn good memory!' Lying is difficult because you need to remember all your lies - What you told whom, and when. . .

Is truth dangerous?

Yes. Because people can't handle it. Just like people can't handle lies, people can't handle the truth. The dangers of a lie and the dangers of truth are similar in many ways.

What is the smartest lie you've heard?

It's got to be, 'Tu nahin jaanta mera baap kaun hai!'

Can you tell when someone is lying?

Yes. Memory only goes so far! Liars can't follow through with their lies. If you keep probing, at some point things won't add up - they will contradict themselves. . . Maybe not immediately, but sooner or later they will trip up!

How does one lie without getting caught?

They always get caught. The world may not catch a liar but one day, the lie will backfire. There's a line in my play that asks, 'To what extent does a lie become a new reality if you firmly believe in it?' The danger is when you believe in your own lies. . . and one day, when reality hits you, you may find yourself entrapped in your own web.

Do people who live in different regions lie differently?

Yes and no. You always lie about things that are important in the public eye since those are the things that matter. And different factors are important in different regions, so lies can vary. But we are all human, and so there are some universal lies as well - just like there are universal truths!

Are men better liars than women?

A good liar is a good liar, irrespective of sex. But I think that men and women are good at lying about different things.

Who are the most imaginative liars?

In my experience, people who have the least going for them are the most imaginative liars. Because they have to fill up content - real life content - with lies.

Do stand-up comedians lie?

Stand up comics don't lie, but don't tell the truth either. I think the really good stand-up comics are just good observers of life. They observe and comment. Yes, there's always a little exaggeration to make it funny.

What according to you is the one universal truth?

That God exists. The one universal truth is that God exists, and the other is that man has distorted a lot of the truth about God and his word.

Are you lying?

No. This is a very philosophical question. It is not something one should lie about.

Daruwalla will perform at Lodi, the Garden restaurant, Delhi, on January 11

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