“Shh talk low someone might just hear us”, I scolded Priya. Giggling she nodded and started fixing her tunic looking into the mirror. “You should have seen the faces in the class when the professor got to that page, just to announce it is omitted” she said making her way towards the exit door. I laughed and followed her to the canteen. If there is a disastrous place in the school then it can be the girls washroom only, no one can ever guess the amount of gossips and the rumors that take birth there, covered by giggles and snorts. Oh lord! I’ll fast if we get a place to sit here I whisper as I see the population in the canteen, Priya just laughed; I guess it was not a whisper!’ Look there’ Priya points as my eyes follow her lead and I see a group of girls not just any group ‘our’ group. Saviors they are I think, waving our hands we make our way towards them, being squeezed between the masses.” Having a feast aren’t y’all”, I comment taking in the amount of food on the table. Whoever says that girls can survive on salad need to meet this people! The table was filled with chatter as six girls were trying to talk all at once, this was usual after three hours of listening a girl needs some outlet for energy that was hoarded!
‘You know my parents gifted me this book that talks about sex!’ Kria the girl on my right whispered to the group with this shy smile. We all gawked at her. ‘But there is no point now the Reproduction chapter is omitted from our science syllabus’, we all said in unison as we slumped in our chairs getting back to our meals.’ This is not fair we have been waiting for it since the start of the year just to know how the professor faces the class when he teaches the cycle’ I say and they nod in agreement. Our lunch break is consumed in talks about this weird guy, who needs to go pee in every lecture, and then there is this girl who sticks to this boy, people say they were caught in the girl’s washroom cubicle together, then how this male professor wears a pink shirt etc. But the highlights of our chat talk today were- one the book that Kria was gifted that we shall get to see tomorrow when she gets it to school (sneaking it from her mother)and two we need to wear our slacks underneath our tunics regularly even though they(the tunics) are painfully long and thick for summers because today we had this surprise check wherein we were made to wait back in the yoga room as the boys went back to class and the teachers lifted each of our tunics a bit to check if we were all wearing slacks if not then they were given a bad remark in their calendars(year book). As the bell rang which signaled end of our break and another two and half hours of tortuous listening we parted agreeing on the fact that we all were excited to know what was there in that book Kria will bring to school tomorrow.
That was the scene when I was in school just three years back, it hasn’t changed much now either.
Sex education is an important part of education system today. Many schools disregard it; they either omit it or just skim through it. Parents don’t have an actual conversation about it when the child’s age is right to know about nature’s creations instead they gift them a book just like Kria’s parents did. Channels are flipped when a condom advertisement is flashed on a TV. It does not go unnoticed by the child when either of her parents makes a comment on media these days. A girl is shy and turns away when a tampons ad flashes. She gets weird looks in class when one of its packs fell from her bag while removing a book. It becomes the talk of the school then. If a girl has a blood stain waist down it is shameful people laugh at her as someone tries to cover her and walk her to the washroom, where she is wisely advised to take the stained part in front. Same stain if in front then does not make a difference? Why?
If parents or education system won’t inform the children about what “sex” is then we all know what other sources are and where they lead to. The whispers in the washroom and the canteen will continue and they will advance too, this time it was about just the book maybe next time it will be about porn. There is no way you can stop them from talking about these stuffs it is natural considering their age and the inquisitiveness regarding the forbidden subjects. But the sex education will help to provide the right information it won’t be a creation of a child’s mind that later becomes the assumptions and myths of the rest. Why can’t the parents and teachers take the initiative as they tell them what they should know before they Google it? We make it a taboo subject and then blame them for doing wrong or bad things when they don’t even know what right is! A girl won’t be able to differentiate between the good and a bad touch until she knows what they are. It is time to break the popular myths and educate India.