In the last few days, in numerous different situtions, I’ve heard a similar question asked repeatedly — at what age does it become okay to tell your parents that though you aren’t married or anywhere close to being so you are sexually active?
Is there any age in particular when talks about sex becomes acceptable between children and parents? I specifically ask about women because with I have noticed with guys I know..whether they are in their early 20s or late 30s; single or taken .. it’s always assumed that they are active and who are these phantom women they supposedly bed..will always remain a mystery. And then those famous men (my friends and colleagues in there too) who want virgin brides after shrugging off a bevy of beauties ravished in their wake.
But yes.. am not in 20s anymore and think its unfair to expect that I to remain ‘coy and untouched’ for the eventuality of marriage one day. And why should I have waited till I turned 30 anyway.
The conversations led me to believe that though my parents are liberal, a conversation about me being pregnant aka Juno would just not be possible.Unthinkable more like it.. Of course I don’t expect them to take things like babies with such equanimity but I am reasonably sure they would not be okay to discuss sex with me.
I hear fathers frown on the premise of Grey’s Anatomy. I see McDreamy and he sees he dad in question sex outside a marriage and frowns on us liking it. Leading me to wonder if being modern is only something we’ve achieved in government statistical handouts.
Should my parents just assume that ‘am doing it’ and hope they never have to discuss it with me ? Or they genuinely feel it can’t be possible because I won’t until I get married.
I have guy friends in their mid-30s who are sure about not getting married and get as much sex as they need.. without the pay-by-the-hour kinds. But mothers refuse to understand. ‘He has needs and he should get married..’ is a common refrain but maybe just maybe the two aren’t related.
Women discussing are termed ‘bold’ which is just another way of saying ‘Oh god, she is saying things we don’t let out even’. It’s not like our parents didn’t have sex and had friends who has boyfriends and girlfriends then and even the stray instance of getting pregnant before marriage.
Maybe we are more callous with feelings, needs and our bodies but isn’t it a better bet that marrying just for ‘the famous need’? But more than that.. it should be necessary that I am able to tell my parents how things exactly are..considering the need for sex education that this country desperately needs.
I am so kicked today. For the first time I stared someone down today..
At the signal, in the car in front of me, the person driving it starts smiling, winking and leering at me through the rearview mirror and for a moment I look away. And then realised that how dare he make uncomfortable in my own space. I turned my head and looked straight at him, glaring at him even, full of malevolence. He couldn’t believe it. He looked away and looked back at me and couldn’t believe that I wasn’t looking away. Eventually he stopped looking at the mirror altogether, at least till I overtook him.
I sped past with such elation. I now was ready to take on the world..
But only till the next signal.
A beggar child was going around asking for alms. She must have been about 10. She was dressed in a salwar kameez and had tied her dupatta around her budding bosom. She touched the feet of a man in an autorickshaw… and instead of just (impolitely) ignoring her or give her something.. he pulled her towards him into the autorickshaw. She was startled but still continued to ask and second time time around she almost disappeared into the rickshaw.
I battled the urge and get down and thrash this guy. But the signal turned green and the autorickshaw sped away.
And my happiness dimmed knowing that there are so many women and children who cannot get the courage to fight for themselves.. irrespective of whether they can or cannot.
A friend asked me some days ago “Did it (Mumbai) accept u back the way u were before?” and my first thought, and reply, was “It’s trying hard to spit me out.”
Though it was a reflex I realised it was exactly how I felt. It’s city that is bursting .. and not open to accepting people.. even those brought up here. I left the city for a brief while and now that I am back.. it feels like a stranger who is masquerading as an old friend. One who looks familiar but has no lingering warmth of familiar bonds.
The entire skyline has changed thanks to revisiting development..the lovely, leafy, shady bylanes full of trees and dappled roads are now ricochet with concrete mixers and rubble trucks. Roads have widened but surfaces disappeared under the increasing multitude of cars. The little patch of sky is completely blocked by billboards — big, tall, fat, thin, shiny, with lights and so on and as it turns out most of them illegal.
But then am determined to not let this claustrophobia drive me out the city..for now
The last few months.. the weather has been kind to Mumbai. I chew my nails as I say this as it’s becoming unnervingly hot even as I type this. But I plod on nevertheless.
We have a huge tree of thus far unknown origin in the office premise (that only means that I can’t identify it) and a few days ago.. while standing in its sun-dappled shade and puffing away and trying to keep chai from spilling and hair from becoming a total mess, I discovered one lone hair on my chin.
I have a beard was my immediate thought! That was it! Destiny (and to a degree, hormones) were deciding my next career. Cigarette promptly abandoned, I ran to look for a mirror.
There it was. Not a stray hair. One very definitely attached to my chin. Ohdeargod was all I could think of.
I had visions of shaving daily…my chin ie and a stubble and all kinds of names and freak shows that would call me.
My worry was very evident on my face. A colleague asked me what the matter was. As I reluctantly told her my problem, she laughed… loudly… attracting nosy ears and mouth from adjacent bays..
“C’mon yaar! Every one has them and that’s what threading and waxing is for.” I felt like a school girl being introduced to various feminine rituals.
As days passed I got used to the stray hair on my chin and as it turns out .. every woman has a few stray ones on her chin.. mostly ruthlessly plucked or just as painfully yanked out.. So for now no tufted chin!