Truth has many facets. At different times, we use a different side of it totally depending on the situation.
Sometimes, the truth prevails over everything else and simply has to be told or you cannot rest in peace.
The time when my Sadhana Maasi (name changed) told her husband that she simply couldn't carry on the facade of their marriage just for the sake of their kids. They have been married to different people since then and both are extremely happy and content with their lives now.
Or even the time when I had to tell my parents that even though I had cleared the MBA entrance exam, I simply could not do the course because I wanted to be a writer.
The truth which is better untold
But then there are times when it is best to keep the truth hidden. That doesn't mean it is a lie. It simply avoids a lot of heartbreak. This type of truth doesn’t harm anyone whether revealed or not.
Like, when one of my turtles died, I told Kiara, my young daughter that we had to return her to the well close to my mother's house. Which was not untrue as we floated his little shell down the river as his final resting place. Till date, once in a while, she peeps into the well to see how much he's grown. If I tell her that he had died, she would be heartbroken, so I let her keep the faith.
The live ticking bomb truth
There are some truths which are like landmines. You can’t keep them within you and you cannot even tell them. These are the ones which are likely to explode in your face so you have to work your way deftly around them.
One time, an old family member wrote a rather demeaning letter about her new daughter-in-law to her sister who lived in another city. She complained about how she was lazy and wore pants in the presence of outsiders and lots more stuff with an added dose of masala and garnish. No one knows till date, how her son got hold of the letter. Needless to say, it created a permanent rift in the family with the mother on one side and her son and daughter-in-law on another, which stays to this day.
It is a double edged sword...this thing called truth. Best used with discretion, sensibility and after thinking it through.