By Suja Pisharody

The Art of Manipulation

  • Human beings are born with an inherent capability to lie. Now, before you go all moralistic on me and say,” What nonsense, I never lie” I can show you a zillion instances where we lie….we don’t call it lying, we call it being diplomatic or politically correct.

    Your best friend gives you a top which is horrendous and she talks of how after a lot of searching she found that top and felt it was the perfect gift for you. What do you do ? The poor woman has obviously taken a lot of efforts !!! So, yes you muster your best fake smile and say it’s gorgeous 😊.

    You are called for dinner and the main course is horribly salty; apparently no one else seems to notice, yet you thank your hostess for a wonderful meal, perhaps even praising the wonderful main course!😊

    People with ASD find it very difficult to lie. For them, things are either Black or White. However, in everyday life we seldom deal with Black or White situationslife’s challenges come more often than not in various shades of grey!!

    I remember taking Dhruv to meet this well known Psychiatrist who apart from being a brilliant Doctor is also a well-known singer with a band of his own. After seeing Dhruv’s musicality, he shared a music video of his own and asked if Dhruv liked it and to my horror the kid goes No!!! The Doctor thankfully did not take any offence as he understood Autism well and with his experience had seen a whole lot of people on the spectrum.

    Now we come to the subject matter of this post. It happened sometime in January this year, much before the pandemic struck; when we could still go out without fear. We had gone for one of his favourite outings, the Drum Circle at the Community Drumjam. He loves going there, listening to all the drumming and absorbing the music and the rhythm around. On the way back home, he told me in a very matter of fact manner, “Tomorrow Dhruv not well, not going to school.” A bit concerned I checked him for fever but did not find any.

    That nightafter dinner he was most insistent that I send a message to his class teacher that he would be absent. I put him to bed, but not before he happily watched one of his music reality shows. 😊

    I had a restless night as I kept waking up to check if he were sick; and waiting for that dreaded sentence of his, “I want to throw up” which typically happened if he was indeed sick. Thankfully, he slept peacefully through the night !!


    In the morning when I woke him up, he said, “No school, Dhruvy not going.” I realised he probably was ok, but like typical kids he was also trying to bunk school. Unlike other neurotypical parents his desire to bunk school did not upset me but gladdened my heart.

    My son was learning to manipulate! I saw it as a huge milestone wherein he was slowly learning the ways of the world and trying to manipulate me.

    It reminded me of the last scene in the Hindi movie “PK” where Anushka Sharma says ,”PK chala gaya lekin jhoot bholna seekh gaya” or some such words to that effect.😊

    Disclaimer:- This is a personal blog and the views expressed are my personal thoughts and are not meant to offend anyone’s beliefs and sensibilities.


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