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War Photographer

To the liars and cheats: karma is real

By Khushvita Singh

Image courtesy of Alexa LaSpisa via Flickr


Every seven minutes or so, he lies. Are you alright? Do you have any idea what you're doing? What did you have for lunch today? What are your plans for the weekend? All answers are manifestations of his delusions. Are you certain that the plants have received adequate watering? (He’s a serial killer of plants. That's why plants are nearly entirely absent from our office and the lilies in our front garden have wilted.)


I take snippets and collect them. They remind of the who I used to be. Gullible and naïve. In my war against him, I lost. He tainted me blue and black with his snide hostility and sweet lies. To be honest, he had no intention of doing so. Frequently, the untruth wasn’t even a lie. It always started with a misunderstanding, which he never bothered to correct. That's the way it should be, he says. Safer. He is not comfortable being his actual, authentic self in front of them, so he tries to fit in and hopes no one notices his disguise.


Sporadically, he has embroiled in larger falsehoods: his dead twin brother, estranged family and the spot of bother below his right cheek (which he later claimed to be a tumour). Lying is so second nature to him that even years of therapy haven’t managed to break him of the habit. He is barely touching on that compulsion, and guys, he’s been in and out of the counsellor’s office for the last six years. He lies about how good he feels about his job. He lies about the progress of his upcoming book. He lies about his health and his blossoming relationship (which in all honesty is no brighter than a stormy winter day).


Guys, the issue wasn’t necessarily his behaviour. It got to the point where I was so used to believing what he said that my own reality became muddled. I was the solitary cause of the approaching implosion as his intricately woven narratives grew muddled, falsehoods and reality interspersed together in a repentant collage of ruthless deceit and yearnful confession.


I guess a fact of the matter is that his authentic self is not fit for mass consumption. It’s not fit for any consumption, frankly. He’s ugly, pessimistic, rude, impatient, and more than a little prejudiced. He doesn’t watch his mouth. He doesn’t put other people’s feelings first. If he had his way, he’d climb to the top, not caring who or what he crushed on the way there.


But it's finished now. I advise that the easiest way to go through life is to march to your own drumbeat whilst staying considerate of others. If you embrace who you are and what you desire, you'll discover that life becomes a lot easier.


This one is for all the cheaters and liars out there. Because you're so good, you frequently believe your own lies. You don't know the difference between good and terrible. Every day, you cross the border from one side to the other. You live in a fantasy world where it is possible to be a good person by lying while causing harm to others around you.


Making them feel better about themselves is the goal. To persuade themselves that they aren't bad people. They have a wonderful personality. Sweeter than candy. They can be wonderful people until you discover their true nature. They refuse to accept responsibility. There was a reason they lied in the first place. There was a motive behind their deception. There will always be a cause for their actions. It is never going to be their fault. They will continue to deceive you. And it does work on occasion. Liars and cheats are experts at what they do. It didn't learn it in a flash. They're everywhere. And we don't often recognise it until it's too late.


To the cheaters and liars: Grow a pair. Consider your actions. How do you sleep at night knowing how many lives you have damaged and how many people you have harmed? That is the question I am posing to you. I'm curious how you look at yourself in the mirror when you're about to tell a lie. When you're about to talk your way out of yet another predicament. How can you not feel bad about destroying countless lives?


That, I suppose, is the distinction between someone who is normal and frauds. You sympathise when you have a heart. You have a strong emotional response. Liars and cheaters are merely pretending to be honest. Even if there is some remorse, it will never be enough. Because cheaters and liars will keep doing what they're doing. It has served them well for a long time.


While the liars and cheaters may go on living their lives, the suffering they cause remains. I am convinced that karma will always strike with full force. There are many liars and cheaters in the world, but they all have something coming to them. The world functions in a variety of ways. I am a war photographer unable to digest the trauma I witnessed. I will have to forgive without an apology.


The frauds are free to continue with their ways. But they will pay one day, perhaps a long time from now. They will be made aware of all the suffering they have inflicted. It is impossible to live in such a harmful manner for an extended period without experiencing some sort of repercussion. Their mirages will crumble and fall hard into the abyss. All the memories that pepper the war photographers trapped in the labyrinth of falsehoods spun by handsome tricksters, stand as proud reminders of chalkboard memoirs and eternal agonies. We will get them next time.


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