This blog entry is about me, my dad, my school, the CBSE and this Big issue in my life- my sex education.
Well, as I punch this Dad is watching TV, actually a chat show on the need for sex education. Mom is cooking in the kitchen.The usual stuff.
Dad’s legs are crossed, straight up on the centre table. Like always his right leg is shaking, and so, the left leg under the right leg is shaking, and so, the table is shaking, the ashtray is shaking and now not shaking and now shaking again, in all, everything is shaking as if a human, geographically verifiable earthquake is visiting the room.
Don’t ask me how, but wherever Dad sits he kind of expands, his expanding presence is falling carelessly on the right arm of the sofa. The arm is opening out into the otherwise empty air space showing the valley in the middle. Between the arm and the cushion is a secret world unknown to Dad. Dad can’t see the titanic life -a lost pencil, the tortoise key ring, the purple sharpener, the glowy otherwise useless gel pen etc.
Dad watches TV like he reads the newspaper. His newspaper face is motionless, blank and unblinking. The other expression he has is when he is sleeping, always after reading the newspaper, and then his expression is motionless, blank and unblinking.
At the moment his eyes are focused on the TV. All oval, only jumpy when egged, pretending to be angry faces on the TV screen are making dad really angry. You know, I know when he gets really angry, as then his face is motionless, blank and unblinking but his legs are shaking like they have electricity passing through them. So the shaking legs prove that someone is in real trouble, as Dad is plain angry.
The Pretending to be Angry TV person 1 is saying, “Teach them morals, Indian morals….’this’! (and he makes a face like mom’s face when she sees a man entering the 43-yr-old single neighbor auntie’s house).” He repeats with verbal force, “Teaching ‘this’. …Indian culture does not need ‘this’, ‘this’ is not education.”
Don’t know the meaning of ‘shuttermookh’ or ‘Promise kity’…promise to do a google after this blog session.
In the meanwhile it seems……
Pretending to be Angry Television Person 3 cannot wait when in anger so we see him on screen,“We need to sit and discuss…the future of India should not be a political football. Remember we are talking sex….Here (Angry TV person 1 winces in pain like mom winces hanging on the grill of the kitchen window when man number 2 enters 43- yr- old single neighbor auntie’s house the same day)
Not pretending to be angry Dad was angrier. I think he only liked pretending to be Angry TV person 1.
Pretending to be Angry TV person 1 said (angrily): This is it, you teach
Did you notice that he just said,” lying down”…. lying down 😉
Dad: ”Egxactly”. “Wants to be like West and spoil our children”. “Egxactly”. Teach them physics, chemistry not Sex Vex”.
SEX, ok, I just heard Dad say sex, I am pretty perplexed. I need a break.
O.K, I am back.
I think if there was an award for the most holy tongue saying the most unholy word then at the moment it would go to Dad for saying SEX.
But then last week’s events have been nothing but unpunctuated excitement. With ‘this’ and ‘that’ all around me. It all began when CBSE decided to add sex education to the school curriculum, as a subject. In no time a national debate started and the bad word became both common and bad. Be it in school, in the classroom, in the break period, in our drawing room, on the TV, in the morning papers. Here and there and basically everywhere.
Coded as this and that, misquoted as this and that and decoded as this and that.
At times I heard ‘this’ and at times my friends told me ‘that’. And at times this I mean the situation not the other ‘this’ got so confusing, for e.g last week in the moral science class I ran from the classroom, through the corridor and sat on the toilet seat, simply to breathe with my I pod playing in my ears. One day as I ran again to the toilet with my I pod even my I Pod got stuck and kept playing, “Lets talk about sex”, imagine! And finally when I managed to delete it, like some obsessively stubborn human being it played, “Papa don’t preach.”
Now, that I am writing on this burning issue, I should tell you that many schools have called in emergency PTAs and S does not stand for students it means Parent teacher Meeting(s).
Dad came back from our PTA meeting quite happy, the way he is when he gets deliciously oily food made by Mom. Dad said that in the PTA meeting at school 17 teachers refused to teach sex. Mrs. Arora, the most vocal and leader of the (ASETB) i.e. The Anti Sex Education Teaching body said,” We are not equipped or willing to undertake sex education.”
Also Dad told me that six biology teachers from ASEBTB i.e. The Anti Sex Education biology Teachers Body said that teaching animal reproduction to students was tough enough. They added that students created havoc and most of the six teachers often had to disallow all questions and smiles while teaching. They made their final point by saying, “If animal reproduction can’t be taught healthily by teachers due to indisciplined students then imagine what would happen in human reproduction lectures. ASEBTB cleared their stand in the PTA,” Have sex education lecture but biology teachers will have nothing to do with it, maybe the moral science teacher should take it up”. No one represented the Moral science teachers as they have no association.
Basically lots of discussions, surveys, debates and fights happened the whole day in the PTA. Also in the meeting many parents threatened the school authorities with withdrawal if the school implements the decision.
Also now that I am writing on this burning issue let me tell you the history of sex education at my school. Our school does organize such sessions, although they are never called sex education and they are never announced or put up on the common High School Board. But the day the girls and the boys are swiftly separated for sessions we know that this is ‘that’ session.
In one such session we were shown an animation film with a mother hen and egg. You know the hen and the egg were metaphors.It explained ovulation, getting pregnant and all that. It was funny because when the egg moved from one part of the body to another a click clack sound came which can never happen in human beings. It was a very funny film. Anyways as we had this lecture the guys got a lecture on condoms. They also got a condom packet each to take home. We girls never had that session.
Now, that I am writing on this burning issue, I can share this with you. I actually took the condom packet from my friend Rudra, nothing much just to know what their session was about and all.
Following that I went home and obviously told Dad and Mom nothing about the session. The next day when I took my bus to school I did not get a seat so I sat on the bonnet. As I was getting comfortable the driver slammed the brakes ruthlessly and my bag flew out from my lap and there flew the condom packet too in slow-motion, followed by 30 bulging eyes of different sizes.
Flying it landed in Juneja aunty’s lap. Juneja aunty lived in our colony and got down with me at Pusa Road everyday. She kind of kept an eye on me. Juneja aunty sat still with her purse in mid air and the packet in the middle of her sari pleats. She did not move. Her eyes were still bulging out like an enlarged pregnant uterus.The packet was still lying on her printed sari. She just kept staring at me. She never looked down at the packet. All the other uncles and aunties just kept staring at the packet and at times some followed that by a look at me, you know to make the connection. There was silence and hindi music at the same time in the bus. They just kept staring at me.
Just then the driver stopped staring and looked at me, just this nervous short glance as if pleading me to handle my sins for the day. I leapt and picked up the packet from her stony lap and shoved it in my bag. I looked out of the window,somewhere in the distant sky for the rest of the way. My neck ached for about
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