Friday, February 25, 2011

Idle chatter

“Hey, Mister, can I offer you a lift? I know…’re Geoff.
I met you at the reception last night. Of course you won’t remember me, I’m part of the large family you were introduced to………….but I know you are staying with my sister in law. You do? I’m surprised, yes, I looked very different, but this is how I look when I go to work.
You’re going to Esplanade to check out the old buildings? That’s nice, but it’s a long walk……Yes, hop in, I’m on my way to Court and you can always walk back if you feel you have the constitution for it. Make yourself comfortable, put on the seat belt…….would you like to adjust the ac settings? Please feel free to do so.
This is not a very big road, but its quite busy. Ah. You wonder why all the cars are slowing down, there’s a temple here, and a lot of people say ‘good morning’ before going on their way….there, see? That’s Kali, do you know anything about her? Uh, what, opposite? Oh that’s a new religious place they’ve made, it’s a little intimidating isn’t it, with all those saffron flags. No, no, Hinduism is a very tolerant religion; it’s only that like in every religion, we too have a bunch of fanatics running about creating the wrong impressions. Don’t worry about it, at least not here in Calcutta.
Traffic, well traffic is a bit crazy here, as you will see. It’s just that the number of cars have quadrupled over the years, every family today has two or three cars, and the variety, makes and models available today just encourage further vehicular traffic on the road. The roads themselves seem to have shrunk with the load of steadily increasing traffic and constructions for ‘tomorrows gain’. You’re lucky the route I take will not pass any construction sites, its just that now, ahead of the elections, everyone is suddenly very concerned with ambitious construction projects which seem to promise that to get from anywhere to anywhere there will be so many flyovers, that we shall never have to touch terra firma! But until then we have the pleasure of endless traffic jams, potholes and road diversions. Ah, those big yellow cars, they are taxis. Oh, you know? They are a nuisance, either way …. When they have passengers, they drive rashly only veering left or right (without a signal of course) at the mere whim of the passenger…or worse, stop suddenly without any warning. There, see what I mean? That’s only because the passenger told him to stop and the passenger obviously, is God! And see that other cab? It’s empty ……..when they have no passenger, they cruise, speeding up now and then without any warning. If they spot what they think is a prospective passenger they again slow down just as abruptly….you can mutter and curse all you want, they are unperturbed. Oh, how I love it when there is a taxi strike…it means the traffic is one third of what it is on any other day. I realize a lot of people are inconvenienced but I happily choose to ignore them!!!!! No, no, I don’t feel sorry for the common people, I’ll never make a politician! And just because we live in West Bengal does not mean we are all leftists!
Then see there, a lot of people have chauffeurs, only here we call them drivers, often they have a cell phone attached to the ear as they try to weave in from the left to take a right turn. You see? Of course in that car ahead of us has decided to disgorge some passengers in the middle of the road while this motorcycle is going to squeeze past hopefully only scratching my rear view mirror and not making a dent…..would you stick your hand out and fold it in, shit, too late ……HEY, what the hell. Well, damn you too! It’s quite a mess, isn’t it?
What is what? Ah those, yes, I see, I guess they do look a bit like cages on a cart…those are ferrying school children to and from school. Yes. I agree it’s pathetic and dangerous, it’s not that we don’t care, it’s just that not everyone can afford better and at least the children do go to school. Well, accidents do happen, everyone raises a hue and cry but then they forget and life goes on. Don’t tell me you are shocked, in a poor country like ours there are worse things that happen…at least these kids are getting an education and off the streets!!! And don’t forget, these are not street children, they come from homes where possibly both parents are struggling to make ends meet and keep up with the payments……..
Yes, yes, you’re right, this is a hospital zone, yes, well it’s supposed to be a silent area, no honking. But then here people seem to think honking is their birthright. They’d be lost without a horn, stop laughing, it’s not funny. They honk all the time… the din is unbearable. They honk to get ahead, they honk when they are angry, they honk while picking their noses, they honk when they have nothing to do, they honk because its something to do! But let it not un nerve you…’ll get used to the noise. Now we also have the buses that think they own the road and the lone cyclist who thinks he has the right to go the other way in one-way traffic! Yes, that’s the Victoria memorial, pretty, isn’t it? Yes, it’s open. Damn! Did you see that? That bloody matador (pardon my French!) stopped for the horse carriage….yes, we have those here too, it’s very touristy. See that guy trying to cross the road with a mere wave of the hand? Ridiculous, I tell you; it’s crazy and see that cop? Desperately trying to control the traffic with hand movements that look vaguely similar to a classical Indian dance form! Can’t blame him, in rush hour this place goes berserk!
And that’s the Race Course. It’s better you see that and not gape at that guy who slowed down, opened his door and spit a wad of paan juice on the street! If you ask me, spitting is a national pastime…….. do you feel sick? There’s water in the back somewhere. No? And of course everyone wants to go first. No one is willing to wait even a second! And they weave in an out of lanes sometimes straddling two and turn at random, one would think the lane markers on the road are only to break the monotony of the dull gray road surface!!!!
And in case this is not enough, weaving in and out we have, yes, look, the pedestrians. Pedestrians in Calcutta are a unique breed. They cross, they walk, they stop when they want, they move, they command and then they turn to show their temper. Don’t be ridiculous, you can’t expect them to walk all the way to the corner of the street when the place they want to go is just across! It is a crime to expect a pedestrian at the zebra crossing; it’s unheard of that they shall wait for the walk sign or use the pedestrian over bridge to cross over and of course its ridiculous to expect them to confine themselves to the pavement! Yes, yes, you have to swerve, curse and stop suddenly for them for often they are talking on their phones and cannot hear you or worse, listening to the radio on their headphones. Bloody nuisance I say!!!
Ah, this is Red Road……and that’s Shahid Minar on the right. Those are the football clubs on the left and that’s Eden Gardens out there. Look at all the people, there must be a rally in the afternoon, you better be back soon then, or you’ll get caught in the crowd. You like crowds….yuk, wait till you’ve lived here long enough…you’re crazier than I thought!
I turn left here, GPO is straight on……damn, did you see that stupid woman trying to run across? She’ll get herself killed! That’s the Assembly on the right…..
There, that’s the High Court, lovely old building isn’t it?
If you go to the end of that road that way you’ll be at the Governor’s house, lovely old building. And take a left, just keep going straight and you’ll be at the GPO in about 5 minutes!
What, you’re not listening, stop looking like that. This is how I park. In fact this sea of cars are all parked here like this and this is how it will stay till evening. Of course there’s a lane for cars that want to pass….. where else do you expect us to keep our cars? Go on, laugh……..Don’t look so shocked and no please don’t take pictures here, it’s embarrassing! Anyway, I’m off then, yes, yes, it was a pleasure…anytime. Catch you later!!”

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Drive me crazy

My father was an old fashioned man: he believed that if you knew driving, cycling, swimming and mathematics you could sail through life with nary a hitch. So at around age three I learnt to swim (I had no choice in the matter and did not have a voice to protest but yes, I love swimming so its ok). Save for very occasional hitches, I always managed a good grade in Maths (I can’t say I hated the subject, and Baba made it fun, so it wasn’t really a chore or as scary as my friends all thought is was!). As for cycling, by age ten after a lot of cuts, scrapes and grazed knees, I mastered that art. And right after my 18th birthday, my father enrolled me at the driving school. So while my friends were studiously preparing for their Higher Secondary exams, I was also learning how to drive. At the driving school I doubt I learnt anything. Those days’ cars meant big bulky ambassadors with side shift gears. I was fairly confused between neutral and reverse and barely knew whether I was coming, going or staying in one place. I knew how to wave my hand in big circles when I had to make a left turn but thanks to my height could barely stick my hand out of the window much less wave it about like I was on a drill display! It’s a wonder I passed the driving test. My real lessons were with my dad, early in the mornings, and at the garden house. Baba insisted I had to reverse around the garden before he would even consider letting me out with the car. And I had to learn how to change a tyre as we’ll. So here I was gasping and groaning with a spare and a jack while dad sat in the shade on a chair nearby with a glass of beer in his hand and watched. I finally was considered road worthy. But it was time for me to leave for college and who wanted to go gallivanting in a fat old ambassador anyway, so I never got to put my driving skills to any real use.
The next time I came home for the summer, we had a Maruti 800. Ah, I looked at it and rubbed my hands in glee. Baba was most magnanimous, he told me not to get killed and left enough petrol credit at the local petrol pump to take me around the world twice over. And he left for the USA for my sister’s graduation. I was hesitant at first. Then I took my grandfather out shopping one early morning. He was a very irritating passenger. Here I was, wheels of my mind turning every second, working on the gears and all and desperately trying not to hit that milk man on the bicycle that stopped without warning and my grandfather unperturbed would be reading every banner we passed. ‘Whenever you thing of colour,’ he started, ‘just shut up!’ I finished. He looked at me aghast. I apologized, my grandfather said its okay but the next time I offered to take him to the bazaar he muttered that he’d rather walk!!!!
So there I was with a six-month-old car but too scared to take it out. For a while I thought about it and then I made a trip to new market in the daytime on a weekday. And returned unscathed. Ah.
After that you couldn’t stop me, I was out all the time. My poor grandparents gave up on me. More often than not, Vaishali was my guide and companion, I’d pick her up from IHM in Taratalla or from her house and we would go gallivanting. Sometimes there were others, sometimes it was just the two of us. Airport, the garden house in Maniktalla, Red Road, Park Street, the Strand, Eastern Bypass, we roamed in every nook and corner of the city. Not that I didn’t have nicks and dents, oh yes, I did. But I was undaunted. Now as I write this, memories of that crazy summer of 1990 flood my mind…that time when I neatly reversed and parked, in my neighbours driveway!!!!! The time we almost had a cyclist sitting on our bonnet, the time when I stopped the car in the middle of traffic and refused to move until one irritating guy got out of the car (his sin? he had criticized the building that housed my father’s office, Victoria House), that time we were so drunk we could not make out whether there was a cop at the traffic light hence spent a good quarter of an hour just standing there in the rain arguing with each other. Vaishali sticking her entire body out the window telling people to get a move on…she read the signs, even when there weren’t any and I drove. I’ve never before or after had such a fun navigator. We’d get home late at night and sneak out early for yet another drive….I had tasted a different kind of freedom and I loved it! The summer unfortunately, came to an end. I left before my father could return home and admire the new shape his car had taken thanks to the dents I had made. Later he told me he had expected things to be much worse .and he was just happy my hands were now set!!!!!!!
Back in college, I hankered for a bike….my father permitted a Luna. Yikes, after six months of pedaling laboriously up and down the Symbi hill and having people overtake me on foot and bitterly complaining about it in every letter to my parents, I graduated to a silver Kinetic Honda. Ah. You couldn’t stop me then, breezing around, I had tasted the wind in my face and the thrill of the road….even when I was broke I ensured there was money kept aside for petrol. Lonavla, Deccan to Camp to Aundh to Khadak Vasla and beyond, the hills were calling. Sometimes I even drove my friend’s bikes, Yamahas and KB 100s. Ah life was beautiful, wild and free. Yes I had a few spills and tumbles but nothing serious. I felt the needle point pricks of rain on my face, I must have swallowed some the flies that flew into my nose and mouth as dusk fell on the highway, I learnt to cover my hair with a scarf to keep the dust out, I learnt what it meant when the chill of dawn hit my bones when I drove too early too fast and then just couldn’t get warm for hours afterward. I learnt to drive on the highway, to throw caution to the wind and in the hours of cruising around and zipping about, my horizons widened and grew. And there’s one thing I realize today: those days can never be replicated.
Once college was over, however and I was home, the car was gone. My father had passed away and my mother had opted not to buy the car from the company. I ranted, like always, but settled down to a sedate existence. I took the bus to Court each morning digging my way into the sweaty crowd and reaching court more that a little flustered. Then was another bus ride to Chambers and another back home. One thing about public transport in Calcutta is the crowd. Although there is supposedly a separate area for ladies, more often than not you have strange men who seem to fall on you each time the bus brakes or hits a pothole. This was so much of a nuisance that I actually took to carrying a safety pin in my pocket, it proved extremely useful in getting rid of wandering body parts, intentional or otherwise! After about a year of suffering the trials of a daily commuter, I bought my first second hand car: a white Maruti 800. Life was better then, but since the petrol had to come out of my own pocket, my excursions were mostly limited to Court and Chambers. But the thrill of driving never left me. I loved the speed, the zip, the high and the independence. I still do. I’ve never had to sit around waiting for my husband to find the time to take me shopping, when I wish to take my kids for a swim I just pile them into a car and drive off, when required I can pick up the girls from school and I can go out on my own without being dependent on anyone to drop me or pick me up…….Yup, I love driving. And I love cars and bikes. Now my vehicles are a Honda city and a Zen Estillo, but I dream about my Safari Dicor, CRV and very own Ducati. True, in rush hour it doesn’t really matter for no matter what you are driving, it can be a pain, but I still would chose self drive over having the driver take me. I drive fast but I don’t think I am rash. I try to follow all the traffic rules. I do obey traffic lights and try not to flip a bird at the bastard who swerved suddenly. I mouth bad words to maintain my sanity often to the horror of my passengers. And I get where I’m going. Quickly. Or rather, as fast as the traffic will allow.
Now I try to live by the same rules for my girls. They've learnt the swimming. I'm struggling with the Maths and the cycling and when the time comes for them to drive....sure enough, they will!
And will I get angry if my car comes back in a new shape? You bet I will!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

TEN REASONS WHY i have failed as a parent!

I see other mothers and parents around me. Today’s parents are indulging and wise. Their children are always well turned out and seem to know much more about anything that I ever did. They have PSPs and cell phones and immaculate hair. Somehow, I feel like a misfit. And if you see my kids running about scruffily, I guess it’s my fault. Someone very wise (I forget who) has said that all children begin by loving their parents. Then they judge them. Sometimes, they forgive them. Keeping that in mind, here are ten reasons why I suspect I may not be forgiven.
1. I DO NOT AGREE with my girls except when they toe the line. I don’t agree with their choice of clothes, their hair, their shoes, I fail to be impressed when my girl wears my boots (yes, we’re the same foot size!) and cavorts around in a bid to be fashionable. Jeans or shorts and tees work fine most of their lives, as far as I am concerned, and I do not know what magnetizes them to those sequined pedal pushers or other silly dresses that shimmer…I do not allow kajal and lip gloss though all their friends around them are using them. When told I curtly ask them to go live with those families. Somehow I suspect they make faces, but they haven’t gone anywhere yet!
2. I DO NOT really CARE WHAT GRADES THEY GET: the other day I met my daughters at the club, I went from Court while they came in from school. They had a quick bite which consisted of fresh lime soda and a burger for one of them and a patty and a sprite for the other and I rushed them through their chocolate boats. That’s when I saw her. This lady had come with her son, he was still in school uniform, his school bag was open and his exercise books were all over the table. The mother is ambidextrous, with one hand she was inspecting each class-work while with equal efficiency with the other hand she was shoveling fried eggs down her son’s throat all the time berating him about his grades having slipped from A+ to A. I turned away shamefacedly and shooed by daughters away. Sadly, my girls are very so-so with grades; if they get a C I think that’s good enough. When they get a D I think at least its better than an E and when they get home an E, I think they at least have not failed. When they get an F, however, all hell breaks loose. My husband gets angry, I run from the room, my daughters are wailing and I am trying to look guilty. Later, much later I explain to my husband that it’s not so bad, “they will flower”, I say, he grunts in distrust, I’ve been saying that for the last five years!!!!! And sadly, my daughters have figured out that I really don’t mind what grades they get as long as they get promoted to the next class. For sure enough, in a while the crocodile tears have vanished and they are back to their normal loud selves….I think I am inflicting permanent psychological damage on them somewhere.
3. I SHARE my anger, my pain, my tears and my frustration. I do not hide in the loo and cry. I do not shelter my children from grief. When someone dies, I tell them about it, when I see something beautiful and a tear comes to my eye, I do not bravely brush it away. When I see a movie and a lump forms in my throat, I do not pretend I have a cough. I am proud of our armed forces, I am proud of our freedom fighters and our heritage. I see no reason to hide behind a wall of emotional indifference. When their beloved grand mother passed away, I insisted they come see her one last time, hug her once more. When they ask me about cremations or burials or rituals and generally awkward stuff, I do not hedge. I answer them as honestly as I can. When I’m broke, I tell them and they adjust their needs accordingly. They get my opinion, however wrong or politically incorrect it may be. I even use bad words in front of them. No, don’t look at me aghast, I believe every individual has a right to give vent to his or her feelings, especially when you are driving. The traffic gives us enough reason to go crazy, a bad word or two muttered under my breath or even louder, goes a long way in maintaining my mental balance. So the other day I heard this conversation between four children, two were my girls and two were my friend’s daughters. All four kids are age 12 to 8.
“do you know the F word?”, one asked.
“Yes, I also know the C word…..(giggle giggle)”.
“I even know five B words”, this was the youngest one!
I was relieved when the conversation ended with a lot of giggles and solemn assertions from all four that they know the words but also know they are not supposed to use them.
“not until we are very, very old,” said the youngest,
“or not until we know how to drive,” that was one of mine.
“And anyway not in front of any biggies!”
That was that.
Now what are the five B words? I can only think of three!
4. I DO NOT MONITOR what the girls watch on TV or read or listen to. Yes, I may put the volume down once in a while or scream at them to shut the damn thing off, but while they are at it, I have no clue whether that high-pitched voice is Justin Bieber or the girl next door. As my niece (she is a very responsible 16) puts it, I am too relaxed, I let them watch anything…..even movies meant for older kids. Well, I figure they’ll know it sooner or later anyway and if it isn’t on the TV they’ll know in school anyway. And “The Princess Diaries” cannot be all that more grown-up than “The Three Idiots”…so where do I draw the line? Yet, I have TATA SKY, yes, I lock certain channels, but somehow they seem to know it all anyway. I hear them animatedly discuss shows I have never even heard of with their friends and I give up. I cannot catch up with them, why even try?
5. I DO NOT KNOW the names of all the capitals of the world. When faced with a bit of text, I have to read it before I can begin to give even seemingly intelligent answers. I have forgotten entire text books that we studied as children and I do not regret it. My knowledge of current affairs is at best, vague and I have to look up the net to help them with their projects. I know people who ensured their children learnt at least a thousand words before they even got admission to school. (Do two letter words count? I always wanted to ask that parent but looking at the seriousness with which she was conducting her son, I refrained). In any event, I doubt I know a thousand words and I don’t think my daughters do either!
6. I SAY NO to parties with strange names I have never hitherto heard of, I say no to canteen money save every other Friday, I say no when they want Coke or chips or other strange fried stuff when we go to the super market and I say it to their friends too. Any friend of my daughters who has had the unfortunate experience of accompanying me when I go somewhere shopping will be able to vouch for it. I say “no”. Loudly. Once we were in Scotland and my girls (they were 4 and 5) were poking all the soft cheese which for some strange reason were kept at toddler level, I grit my teeth and muttered “no” so loudly, some old ladies almost called the cops for child abuse.
7. I DRIVE my girls up the wall, round the bend and over the hill. I tease them mercilessly, and when they think I am done, I do it again. Sometimes I am cruel, I often send them downstairs to the night guard when they do not put the lights out on time, I tell them when their tummy sticks out or they look like something the cat has dragged in. I go on till they rant and rave and cry and then finally till they can laugh at themselves. We all need laughter in our lives, and who better to start with, than yourself?
8. I DO NOT DRESS the way other mothers do. I usually arrive for their parent teacher meetings and sports and most functions in Court clothes. My daughters insist it makes me stick out like a sore thumb. When I wear jeans, the top is not trendy enough. I don’t wear elegant designer saris like the other moms. So the other day when I went for my child’s school exhibition I ensured I was draped in a sari. My daughter took one look at me tottering about in those ridiculous heels and started turning away whenever I asked something. And ask something I did, the exhibition was on River Ganga and she was standing in front of something claiming to be the Kedarnath temple. I asked her questions till her ears fell off, no she did not know much about it. Neither did I, but you get the point? When they were small I used to dread the birthday parties they were invited to. At three in the afternoon on a hot summer day, twenty or thirty toddlers ranging from age 2 months to 4 years milling about in various stages of distress and there are the perfectly manicured elegantly attired diamond sparkling mothers daintily chit-chatting in the corner. And there was I and another friend, in our crushed FabIndia kurtis which we probably had been wearing all day……trying to look innocuous! Frankly, I got bored. So that was the end of my daughters’ partying!!!! Poor deprived girls!
9. I HAVE NO CLUE. I don’t know my daughters friends mothers except a very very select few, I do not meet and greet other ladies when I go to pick them up from school, I am not part of the ladies group exchanging recipes and maid and mother-in-law horror stories outside the school gates….In fact I’m lucky if I go for their sports day and know which race they are in! More often than not, I’m clueless. So every now and then I check the starting lineup and shake my head and sit down. A friend told me the other day I was making her nervous. Can anyone imagine MY distress? All the other mothers are busy taking photographs, by the time I find my daughter in the drill display and have my Blackberry camera switched on, the drill is over and I get a sea of girls running in the other direction. A friend told me the other day that she went to one of the school batch mate’s parties and discovered that some of them were visiting their after-life. I believe some trance like state or something. They’ve already been through their past-life and are now into the next! I went into shock. Me, I’m so confused with this life I would probably get lost in my after life and never return! None of that for me!!!! No I’d rather remain clueless.
10. I FORGET to sew buttons, stitch name-tags and similar stuff. So in the morning there is often a frantic rush for safety pins or water proof marker pens. Of course I’ve forgotten where I’ve kept them and then the car is honking downstairs while I am still chewing that last bit of thread off…who remembers where the scissors are! When they were small, I often forgot to ensure they took their Tiffin boxes or water bottles. The receptionist at the Montessori took to just sighing when she saw me yet again at her desk holding two water bottles in my hands. My children are seriously deprived. But I’ve found a way around my forgetfulness…I’ve told the girls they should be independent and it is their responsibility and not mine. Somehow, since then, things are remembered. More or less. We manage, I think, or am I forgetting something?

And last but not the least; when my daughters were small, it was one of my recurring nightmares that I would not know them from another child. Anyone know what I mean? I must be a lousy mother, I agree! After all it’s not like a golden glow adorns them that only a mother can see. Have you ever been to a Montessori school at closing time? I have, a few times and watching a sea of toddlers running towards the waiting assortment of parents, maids and drivers, I always was filled with a feeling of dread…now which one is mine? I’d desperately try to remember what they had been wearing to school that day, “was it a pink t shirt, or yellow, hell it may be blue!!!!” I drew a blank. I’d look around desperately until at last one bright eyed child would run to me and that’s how it would all click into place, yes this ones mine, she’s coming home with me!!!! When I started working when my younger one was a few months old, I’d sit in office and try to recall the faces of my daughters. Well, they had two eyes and a bright smile….but would I know them from the others? A recurring nightmare…until I got my act together and now they are old enough to identify themselves and I am old enough to know better than to ask!!!!

There you go. That’s enough to hang me. For now.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Now I’m frightened. I just read an article in”The Times of India”.” Draft bill allows non penetrative sex by age 12.” Yikes. What they mean, among other things, is that its perfectly all right if two children both over 12 years and under 14 indulge in consensual non penetrative sex with the idea of sexual exploration with each other. My foot! Hell, my elder daughter is 11. So in another few months after she is twelve she can tell me, “Ma I’m going to the other room to sexually explore some XYZ” and my reaction is supposed to be, “yes beta, just make sure you do not penetrate!” Are you mad? No, don’t laugh. I wonder what brought this about. In my own limited intelligence, I find this is supposed to be a Bill for the Protection of children from sexual offenses…OMG. Is this how they do it then, “yes beta, take her to your room but don’t get too excited, haan..”
What are we doing here? And what, if God forbid, one child is a trusting sweet sensitive 12 year old and the other is a well read, well informed, strapping 14, who’s going to ensure that the exploration stays under control? Are the parents supposed to watch and guide things along as well? I can just imagine a parent sitting there with a whistle in one hand screaming “time out” from time to time!!!!!!!! Isn’t there enough promiscuity in society without dragging pre teens into it? Oh some of you will laugh, it’s been going on for years, you say…in the garb of doctor-doctor games and all, but at least they maintained some level of innocence. Now you mean to say I can come home from work one day and find a strange boy in my house. “Don’t worry ma, we did not go all the way.” What am I supposed to do, smile and offer the boy a coke, or hit the roof and scream my head off?
I know, I know, in the end it’s all our upbringing and the values we teach them etc etc etc but how the hell can I be sure that the friends my daughters mix with are being taught the same values? And a twelve year old has neither the maturity nor the sense to give consent far less understand what she is getting into. And God forbid that an unsuspecting 12 year old does give consent and then emerges from the experience traumatized? 12 is no age for any child to be playing adult games….after all the laws against child marriage, we may as well just go back a few hundred years and allow them to marry then, “just don’t penetrate”…we can write it in bold letters above their bed!!!!!! So what is this Bill in aid of? Do we want more suicides, more child molestation and more rapes of minors? Instead of protecting the children, we are proposing to throw open a world of sexual diversions to them, “come, come, learn first hand”…as if the TV and the internet is not enough! What kind of perverted mind shall do this to a coy immature 12 year old? Oh, I say, let them discover sex themselves, at their own time and pace, let them learn it may be beautiful or not, let them make the discoveries when they are ready for it and with someone they may like for what that person is and not just for the “exploration” experience. Why impose it on them like its, say, Algebra? “OK so now you are 12 years old, you should know all about algebra!!!!!!”
Gosh, in this day and age when the papers are full of stories of scams and scandals, suicides and the rising prices, world cup cricket venues and mad yatras and mindless violence, can we not do something constructive to alleviate those situations? As it is, todays kids are over burdened. Like it or not, from the moment they enter school, they are part of a colossal rat race. Can’t we do something to ensure that our children stay safe, or at least as safe as they can be?
Why complicate matters further for the children?