We Can Keep Some Secrets…

By the time we got to watch “Kahaani”, most of our immediate world had already seen the film. It is a devious movie that uses a lie to fool us into believing a certain truth that turns out to be untrue in the end. Despite the number of people who had seen the film before us, no one revealed even by accident the final twist and denouement. The film remained a “surprise” to us, and that made the viewing so much more fun.

It’s amazing how we can keep movie endings a secret from those around us. It is a rare sadistic individual who will go out of his/her way to reveal the twists and turns of a thriller plot…such people should be slaughtered. Some film reviewers also sometimes get carried away and land up revealing important parts of the plot that should ideally have been kept away from the readers and though many of them do use the phrase “spoilers ahead”, such people should be immediately banned from reviewing films again.

I still remember one idiot boy in school at the time Sholay was released who came and told everyone in great detail the whole story, including Veeru’s death. In those days, going out for movies, 2-3 times a year was a major treat and I could have killed that boy on the spot for marring the impact of the film…though in the end it didn’t matter to such an extent, simply because the film was just so outstanding.

It’s funny that while we are able to keep movie endings secret from those nearest and dearest to us, when it comes to personal secrets, things go for a complete toss.

“A secret is a secret only when it is never told”. This is just so true!

Typically, a friend will reveal some deep, dark issue in confidence. You will keep it to yourself, but you may perhaps talk about it to one confidante…perhaps your spouse…who in turn may talk about it to one another confidante…and so on and so forth. Such a situation is an inadvertent one, but a good number of people also take vicarious pleasure in passing on secrets told to them in confidence, especially when they are told not to tell anyone.

Secrets spread in other ways as well. You are told something in confidence, but the story is interesting. When you are with another group of friends or relatives who you believe have nothing in common with that friend, you bring up that issue, because of its interest value. Even though you don’t reveal the name of the person, etc., somehow someone in that group lands up having some connection with your friend that you don’t know about and is able to put two and two together. And things get messed up.

It’s the same with doctors and lawyers as well. Many of them have celebrity patients or clients. While doctors and lawyers are bound to protect patient/client identities and their ailments/problems, often, like all human beings, many land up boasting about the various “high-profile” people who have been coming to them. And what was supposed to be perhaps a well-kept secret suddenly becomes common knowledge. Doctors, lawyers and other consultants ethically should not only not talk about their patients/clients and their problems/illnesses but more importantly should not even mention the fact these people are coming to them.

This is just one of those many contradictions in our lives. We love to talk about personal secrets, but are easily able to keep from others common-knowledge secrets like movie endings. Go figure!

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