In the 1970s they didn't know about "pathological liars" in Rural India, but looking back Subraya the tobacco merchant was surely one.
Subraya would lie without profit.
After eating puris in the morning, if someone in bazar asked him what he ate
for breakfast, he'll say Masala Dosa. He would say he bought his footwear in
Kumta, although he actually brought them in Sirsi. After paying twelve bucks for
a Bangade fish, he'll say he bought two for twenty-five. Nobody believed in what
Subraya said, but townspeople made a habit of asking him trivial questions and
inducing him to lie.
Subraya's wife Meera finally had it. On their pilgrimage to Kashi, she
made her husband take vow at the Vishveswar temple that he would not knowingly
lie anymore. Overcome by lifelong guilt, Subraya sincerely took the vow.
But science was against him!
Lying was deeply ingrained in Subraya's DNA, and he became miserable. He couldn't eat or conduct his business. He was like Jim Carrey in the movie "Liar, Liar".
Again, Meera came to rescue. She came up with a clever way for her husband to
end the sentence with "I guess" or "I think". Subraya now could say, "It was Masala Dosa, I
guess" or "I bought these shoes in Sirsi I guess".
Subraya is long gone now. But his shop is known as "Guessing Subraya's Beedi