Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sex and the Schoolboy

I looked up from my textbook. Harpreet, a gangly boy with a conspicuous red turban, was the only other student in the classroom. And he was talking to me.

"Do you know where babies come from?"
"What?"
"How babies come into the world?"
"From the stomachs of women"
"Yes, but before that"
"God puts them there"
"You are just a child," Harpreet sneered.

He looked around and then whispered in my ear.
"You have to put your pee-pee in a woman's pee-pee"
"Are you crazy?"
"Sex, they call it sex"

Pee-pees were usually an uncomfortable topic but I sat there transfixed by this revelation.

I had never felt the need to explore the origins of tiny little things that bawled at odd hours.

Someone (the nanny? a playmate? I don't remember) once told me that God put his finger in women's belly buttons and made babies grow. I had believed it. It never struck me why men didn't have babies -- after all, they too had belly buttons.

Suddenly, now it all made sense.

Harpreet looked triumphant. He had imparted forbidden knowledge to another human being.

"Today, you are all grown-up," he said, scratching the front of his red turban. "Now you know the secret."

I don't remember much about that day in the classroom. But this first conversation about sex seems to be imprinted in my mind.

It was years later that we had our first formal sex-education class. We had learned much more by then and the sex therapist who was invited to school had little new to tell us.

At the end of the session, he picked up chits from a bowl in which students had been invited to pose anonymous questions. And there was one question which stumped even the instructor.

"The hair on my head is growing like my pubic hair. Please help."

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Dear 'Bigg Boss 3' Video Editor

We have a bone to pick with you over censorship of live footage from the Bigg Boss house each night.

We are seasoned 'Big Brother' voyeurs and claim the right to watch what really happens in the house at midnight.

We want to see every tear that rolls down Rohit Verma's cheek, every gesture Tanaaz Irani makes asking irritants to disappear, each side-splitting antic by Raju Shrivastav and every clich├ęd one-liner Kamaal R. Khan uses to woo Claudia Ciesla.

What we get instead in the live feed are close-ups of the fish pool, the garden seats, the jail, the gym treadmills and the futuristic furniture.

The Bigg Boss inmates are speaking, crying, laughing, sleeping nearby and yet you never reveal their faces or allow us to eavesdrop.

Are you falling asleep at your work station and missing the correct camera feed? Do drink a cup of coffee and pay more attention.

Mom is livid. She wants to catch hold of you and grind you into a million pieces to be mixed with tomorrow's breakfast chutney.

"Let me get my hands on the camera guy," she says, her hands gesturing in the air for that invisible neck -- your precious neck, Mr. 'Bigg Boss' Video Editor. So please be more careful.

Yours sincerely,

Disgruntled 'Bigg Boss 3' voyeur

Thursday, October 08, 2009

To fast or not to fast

Mom doesn't like the concept of Indian women fasting on Karva Chauth for the long life of their husbands.

It's not that she's a feminist but after cooking and cleaning up after husband and two messy kids for thirty years, who isn't?

It isn't really cool for women to sit and starve at home while hubby dearest stuffs himself with samosas from the office canteen.

That's what Mom tried to tell her more traditional friends while helping them shop for silver bracelets on the eve of Karva Chauth.

"Okay, I get it. You want to fast. Fine. But at least get him to fast with you. Tell him to prove his love for you."

But to no avail.

The young mommies pretend to listen to Mom. And go back to their houses to watch 'The Perfect Bride' on television, eager to dress up in their Karva Chauth finery and swoon in their husband's arms.

Mom is irritated. Her FarmVille plot isn't doing too well. A certain someone is not following her on Twitter. And the neighbourhood mommies have all ignored her request.

I ask Dad if he ever wanted his wife to fast on Karva Chauth.

Before he could reply, Mom piped up from the kitchen.

"If he says yes, there wouldn't be any food on the table."

Dad didn't dare reply.

Monday, October 05, 2009

India Blog Mela - September 2009

After a week of battling the common cold and keeping my laptop at bay, I am back in the blogging business. Without further ado, here are the top 10 Indian (or India-related) blog posts for September 2009.

Surkhi is one in one thousand.

Great Bong gets nostalgic when it's that time of the year.

Silverine goes through the final diagnosis.

Rituparna is testing pink ka dumm.

Thomas is burger-crazy.

Suchitra is having a Q and A.

Krish Ashok does his take on the making of Mile Sur Mera.

Annie is rambling on self-indulgently.

Banno is fashionista Banno or an old horse with red reins.

Mudra has something for you while travelling on the Harbour Line.

And here's a bonus post by Jamshed. If you like ear hair.

That's all for now. The October 2009 Blog Mela returns early next month. But before leaving, do please vote for the best post in the September 2009 Blog Mela.



Did you just come across a quirky, interesting or something-that-tugs-at-your-heartstrings blog? If yes, feel free to nominate it for the October 2009 Blog Mela being hosted here on November 2.

HOW TO NOMINATE
- Leave a comment on this post OR better still - Mail me at toeknee (at) gmail (dot) com

RULES
- Posts must have been written by Indians or have an Indian angle
- Only posts published between 1-31 October 2009 would be accepted
- If possible, please nominate individual posts, not the whole blog
- Feel free to nominate something you have written. Immodesty appreciated
- You can nominate as many blog posts as you like - provided you really like them
- Only nominations received before midnight on November 2 stand a chance to be featured in the Top 10 list
- No, you don't get any moolah for nominating or getting featured in the Blog Mela. That could change once I am a millionaire but for now you'll just have to bear with me
- Yours truly reserves the right to nominate good posts which you ignore

PREVIOUS BLOG MELAS
2007
March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2008
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2009
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August

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