1993: I am Eight; we all are glued to the idiot box. Suddenly, an advertisement of sanitary napkin pops up. I inquisitively ask mother, “Mother, what is this?” Mother sheepishly looks at father and snaps at me. I again ask her and she tells me I will know at the right age.
1995: I am Ten: My elder cousin gets married, everyone is excited at home. We have a new addition in the family. We all went to watch some Bollywood movie. In the movie the protagonists kiss each other and soon they have a kid. I assume that when a man kisses a woman a kid is born.
1996: I am Eleven: My nephew is born, I am elated. I ask mother, “Mother, How did it happen?” She replies, by God’s grace. She adds to it, God put the baby in her tummy and then doctor took out the baby. I recollect the movie and try to correct her. She asks me to shut up!
1998: I am in Class VIII: There is a chapter in my science book that has a small section which talks about the human reproductive system. I am impatiently waiting for our ma’am (this is how we used to address our teachers) to cover the topic. Well, Why not!? As I thought this is the right platform where I will get answers to all my stupid questions. Finally, the day comes and our ma’am starts teaching that lesson. As she is turning the pages of that chapter while explaining the other stuff I look around the classroom. I look at the faces of my classmates and it seems they were as eager as I was. Finally ma’am moves to THE page, she glances at the class and declares in a loud voice that everything after this page is out of syllabus.
Though we all wanted to ask but nobody had the audacity to question her. The bell rang and she left the class in a usual manner. This was my first acquaintance with the sex education class, but not the last one as I was a biology student and had a detailed chapter on Human reproductive system.
Among many things that India has given to the world, Kama sutra has always been the most talked about.(The Kama Sutra is the oldest and most notable of a group of texts known generically as Kama Shastra, source wikipedia). People in India are not devoid of sex (India being the second largest populated country in the world is a clear indication of the sex desire among Indians) but they are very reluctant to talk about sex. In India parents struggle to educate their kids about sex, they consider it as a taboo. I remember when I ask my parents about the reason behind menstruation, mother asked me to refer my biology books. Most of the parents like my parents are embarrassed or are uncomfortable to talk about sex with their kids. Sex education is not a part of curriculum and the conversation about sex is considered against our culture. There are only two mediums to learn about sex either the sex education class or the porn class (which also is banned, thanks to the Modi government). There should be something to bridge this gap, to make the kids aware and alert.
2015: My niece is 11 years old. We all are glued to the idiot box and suddenly Sunny Leone’s chocolate condom ad pops up. My niece asks me, “Attu, What is a condom?”