Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Time Factor

Long time no see, Riya (name changed)
How are you? I am missing you. 
                          Your dearest Pankaj (name changed).

This is a love letter written by a second-grader to his beloved. Further, it was ended with a big picture of a heart which was thrust by an arrow at the center. Just above the center 'Love' was written. When I saw this letter I remembered one of the funniest incidents of my past.

I was in grade three or four, I exactly do not know. One day, in my jolly mood, I was singing the song, "Khulla khulla pyar karenge ham donon, iss duniyanse nahi darenge ham donon... (We love each other openly, we are not scared of this world)," on the top of my voice. I hardly completed two lines; my father called me in his room and asked sarcastically, "Byanjana, do your teachers teach such things at your school these days?" At that time I could not realize the true meaning of the song but I sensed that I must have made a blunder. So I was filled with guilty feeling for a long time.

These days children are much smarter. Girlfriend, boyfriend, love, kiss, hug and other sex-related vocabulary are not alien to them. They can openly share stories of love affairs without hesitation. During my teens, my mother used to get annoyed when my male classmates came to see me at our house. Although our gossips were centered around study-related matters or friends, I wished those boys had never visited my house to disappoint my dear mother. Whenever I came home late, I had to face her suspicious eyes and needed to give an explanation for that. In fact, it was not my mother's fault; every mother was over-concerned and over-protective about their daughters on those days.

Now the scenario has changed. Relatively, girls can spend much time with their male friends without having any fear of mothers. Most of the parents take it normally that there can be a healthy friendship between a girl and a boy.

The women of my generation still hesitate to take part in social functions when they have menstruation. From the very beginning girls were taught that menstruation is an evil sign, one must isolate herself from other people because during this period (at least for three days) she is untouchable; if she acts like other 'normal' women she will commit an unforgivable sin. The fear of this unseen sin exists inside them at present as well. On the other hand, menstruation is more a natural phenomenon rather than an untouchable process for today's girls.

What amuses me most is, not only the urban girls, but the damsels from the rural areas are also getting bolder to talk about sexual issues. They teach the community people how to use contraceptives either to avoid unwanted pregnancy or to be protected from sexual diseases like the HIV/ AIDS.

People may not disagree with me that it is time that brings changes in every sector of the society. You simply wait and watch what will happen next.

Published in an English Daily The Kathmandu Post on Monday, July 31, 2006)

[The pictures on this blog are posted here with permission from their owners or have been gathered from various sources on the Internet. If you are the copyright-holder to any of the photographs herein do not hesitate to contact me. They will be swiftly removed if desired so.] 

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I would appreciate any and all suggestions on making improvements (as long as they are viable).