The Secret Desire
by Upagupt Mohanty
â€œHave you guys lost it? How can your minds be so polluted? Canâ€™t you people think beyond nudity, sex and erotica?? Thoughts like these are responsible for the growing crime rate against womenâ€ quipped my hostel senior in his heavy husky voice. To our surprise, the moment the senior left the scene, one of us murmured â€œHell with his â€˜pravachanâ€™ (moral lecture). Do you know? He is the same bloke whoâ€™d been pulled up by the hostel superintendent for stacking up scores of adult magazines.â€ This incident took place soon after we had come back from a short trip to Konark, where weâ€™d stumbled upon erotic sculptures that adorned the walls of the Sun Temple. Well letâ€™s face itâ€¦ Even in the 21st century talking about sex is still a taboo even at a time when teens have access to pornography through the touch of a button on their smart phones. Now, should mobile phones be banned altogether for adolescents? The predicament that most parents or regulating bodies face is, where to draw the line? To add to the confusion we have the self-proclaimed moral policing groups which come down heavily on young couples, accusing them of Public Display of Affection(PDA). We talk of disparity of income, disparity of moral yardsticks should equally be a concern. While it is acceptable to watch movies with scantily clad actors dancing suggestively or enacting a bed room scene (since the script demands it, apparently!), it is awkward to walk up to the chemist store to ask for a flavoured condom or sanitary pads. Have we turned into hypocrites? Are movies a reflection of the society or vice versa?? Parryâ€™s Coffee Bite!! The argument continues… Why such reactions? Well, weâ€™ll get to that. Letâ€™s first take a look at some reactions of youngsters from a well known college in town. The names obviously have been changed keeping in mind the reluctance to speak about this topic. My very first question, â€œWhat comes to your mind when you hear about sex?â€ Most of the dozen odd students in the group immediately dispersed like sharpnel from an explosive and I was left with only 4-5 of them, some of whom appeared shell shocked, since they barely spoke even after my prodding. Sarah Mahapatra, aged nineteen replied sheepishly â€œTwo people making loveâ€. Raghav Panda, aged 21 was asked â€œHow do you react to a steamy scene, when you are watching a movie with family?â€ He replied â€œI walk out of the room to avoid the embarrassing situation.â€ Chaturbhuj Patnaik, a 23 year old student, was asked â€œI got to know from your friend that you are bisexual, are your parents aware of your sexual preference?â€ â€œNo way! WTF, why should I speak about it to my parents, itâ€™s a personal thing. I doubt if my parents are even aware of the existence of the LGBT communityâ€, he exclaimed. 22 year old Rita Raul was asked â€œHave you ever felt that your friends who are boys, perceive you as the weaker sex, an object of desire?â€ Rita answered with caution â€œLook, itâ€™s difficult to be certain about this, as one can never read whatâ€™s cooking in the other personâ€™s mind (giggles). We girls usually possess a strong instinct to judge a boyâ€™s intentions from his body language, but yes, one can go horribly wrong at timesâ€¦ hahahaâ€¦ I must say Iâ€™ve never felt it with my friends, though I have witnessed incidents of eve-teasing, groping etc. by boys who are usually the unemployed tapori types, who hang around at panshops outside the campus. While Iâ€™ve learnt martial arts for my selfdefence, Iâ€™m still always conscious of my surroundings especially when Iâ€™m setting out alone.â€ â€œIt is high time boys realized that girls are not to be objectified but respected as equals, look at the way women have taken the world by storm in every sphere. Parents and schooling play a defining role in grounding that maturityâ€, adds a sensible looking Pranay. Finally, a common question to all â€œDo you watch porn?â€ No surprises, that there were a lot of giggles and gasps of astonishment and no one owned up, but no one also agreed to allow their mobiles being checked. Hehe. I had the final laugh. Well its evident that sex is a sensitive topic even in todayâ€™s society but why such reactions? Perhaps because, parents do not discuss about sex at home since they fear it will encourage their kids to indulge in it earlier than they should. Fair concern, but, one needs to move with the times. This approach of behaving saintly about sex was okay for earlier generations where there was not much exposure to sex till the big night. Itâ€™s a basic need for Godâ€™s sake! But thereâ€™s an age for it. Today, with easy access to internet it is imperative to educate our children about sex so that they do not build a wrong image about it in their minds. Children need to be comfortable enough with their parents to confide in them about their inner fears to avoid teenage pregnancies, sexual abuse, AIDS, STDs etc. Switching back to the Black Pagoda a.k.a The Sun Temple at Konark. This 13th Century monument suggests that they may have been more candid about it back then. It would only be wise to move with the times and be pragmatic about something which is essential to sustaining any race. Call it procreation if you like, but donâ€™t be ignorant about it since it is every personâ€™s secret desire. Stay safe! Quoting Swami Vivekananda â€œUnless you are spiritually mature enough, donâ€™t read â€˜Raslilaâ€™, because you are going to misinterpret itâ€.
Raising Gender felons at home!
by Mrs.Mala Mishra
The rising tide of crimes against women has focused a harsh spotlight on deeply entrenched patriarchal mind-sets and gender inequalities, in the Indian society. Gender stereotyping begins subtly at home and is reinforced in schools through poorly conceived text books that encourage gender biases. For example: Why do we gift kitchen set toys to little girls and science kits to little boys only? Subconsciously, arenâ€™t we seeding our own hackneyed thoughts and beliefs into the unadulterated minds of the children? Such early stereotyping affects future career decisions. Equal treatment of male and female children, mutual respect between parents, inclusion of the lady of the house in the decision making process at home etc. are all prerequisites of gender egalitarianism. Therefore, it is imperative for parents to inculcate gender sensitivity and respect for the girl child at home from the nascent stages. This would go a long way in combating the exploitation and crimes against women.