Well, if it comes to proper definitions, they would come under ‘white lies’, meaning they’re supposed to be harmless, and the intent is to spare someone’s feelings or avoid inconvenience, but we’d be lying if we said they don’t habitually roll off our tongues in social interactions.
1.“Abhi nikla hoon” (I just left) This is complemented by “stuck in traffic”, used to appease someone you were supposed to meet twenty minutes ago. Truth of the matter is, you’re just going in for a shower and it’ll take you at least an hour to make it there.
2. “Khaana khaa liya” (I’ve just eaten). A kind lie to relieve your host of the anxiety to feed you something. A sweeter version of this is “Roza hai”, a statement you’re drilled to say since childhood when visiting someone during Ramzan. Mom’s eagle glare ensured you never dared to express hunger or thirst during these visits.
3. “Phone gumm gya”(Lost my phone). In Karachi, you can relate an imaginary phone-snatching incident to go with this. This gem comes in handy when you’re making excuses to someone who’s annoyed with you for not contacting them for ages. Of course, all the contact numbers etc. were lost with the phone. You may even get some sympathy here if the person doesn’t smell a rat (or doesn’t know about iCloud).
4. “Koi baat nahin” (It doesn’t matter). ‘Koi baat nahin’ you’ll say, to anyone who’s upset you, even though you’re seething on the inside and waiting for them to leave, so that you can call your friends, relatives, the whole world to let off steam about how mad you really are.
5. “Theek Hoon” (I’m OK). This is almost a reflex action in a society where showing a chink in your armour is as good as admitting defeat. It’s perhaps the saddest lie, because we’re often telling it to ourselves also. Instead of facing up, speaking up, and seeking help about things that bother us and lead us into depression, we sweep them under the carpet, lock them in secret closets of the mind and end up terribly twisted and bitter.