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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

In the Times of Harshvardhan ji some talk of Birds and Bees



I am a confused mother today - though if truth be told the husband thinks I suffer from two disorders- ACS and OCD . The former is an acronym for A Confused Soul and the latter is , of course, for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Anyways , to come to matters of greater import, namely , the aforesaid confusion.
We all know that  Harshvardhan ji has said that sex education should be banned in schools. We can  assume, from  newspaper reports, that the minister feels that school children are not prepared for it and  that it is a vehicle for vulgarity. Now, Harshvardhan ji   is an honorable man . Further, he is the health minister of the country. He obviously knows what he is talking about. If that be the case where does it leave my son in his drive to educate himself about the birds and the bees?
I turn to you, dear readers, to clear my confusion. Do read what transpired today and give your verdict...



"The mouth of...? that is easy,it's the vulva.Oh, and could you tell me  the male reproductive organ ? testes ? thanks". I immediately busied myself in looking busy as my 13 year son put the phone down (  the jury is still out on whether children today study from class notes during exam times or teach each other on the phone). The boy sauntered off to his room ,but within no time  sauntered back to again pick up the phone." hey, is it scrotum or scrotal?"

 Of course, I could not fight anymore with the curiosity that was almost killing me by now and so ,ever so casually( of course), I said "so, how's it going?" "fine,Ma".  He almost sauntered off again, but then looked at me and said ," do you remember any Biology ?" The tone suggested that since I was born in an India about which they were now studying in history I may have not been taught about  anything  except ,maybe,  the Neanderthals. I rose magnificently to the occasion and said," ask me anything".

So, the boy comes with a sheaf of papers, which turn out  to be  revision sheets posted  on the school site by the teachers and said, " I need some help with the labeling of the diagrams". An hour later we were done .I now knew  that the menstrual cycle had phases ( four, to be precise) and also knew more about reproduction ( listen, if I  had even an inkling that it was such a long,convoluted process I definitely would have done a rethink on reproducing! ) than ever before. I also knew that all the talk by our Education/ HRD  ministers( past and present) about reducing the burden of studies was  hot air. As the husband put it( between coming up for air because he was chortling so much ) the elaborate manner in which reproduction was covered in class 8 could put any med school syllabi to shame.

 But more than all this, I  now knew how mature the young of today are. The matter of fact tone and no change in expression, whether talking about breasts enlargement or when correcting me (" mom, it is not testes.  Here it has to be testis since it is in the singular") was an eye opener. And the best part? when  the son picked up the phone ( at a certain point we were stuck for the answer) and said " I will call my classmate.Her parents are doctors and will know the correct term"! The camaraderie and bonding , maybe eating into a lot of time, is nevertheless something that is heartwarming.

The boy gets up to go to his room .I cannot resist ruffling his hair.He grins at me and says, "thanks mom, you didn't do too badly". Praise from a teenager, sorry,adolescent ! I grinned too.

Well, at that point- at the grinning stage-  I had not read the views of the minister. But now that I have I am no longer grinning. 
Instead I am confused!!!

12 comments:

  1. So am i Anju :(
    Thank God my children are grown up-i don't have to suffer this!

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    1. Good for you, Indu:) Believe me it is not getting any easier- to know boundaries and set limits- in fact at times one gets the feeling that one is reaching the stage where there are no boundaries!!

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  2. Hilarious! What age is your son?
    I wish they would not reduce sex education to physical level solely. There is the far more vast psychological aspect of it.

    I pity the school teachers, though. What makes anyone think they have clarity on the subject; the ease to discuss it without stammering and the confidence to teach it without sweating?

    I don't know your son's syllabus, but remember they will teach them only halfway. The emotional aspect will need to come from the parents. So, do you indulge in PDA with your husband in front of the kids? (Sorry for the cheeky last part!)
    http://sweetyshinde.wordpress.com

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  3. OMG, Sweety ! you have completed my unsaid sentences, dotted the i's and crossed the t's , so to speak. Welll, PDA between husband and me? Of course- but I think for the kids- Gen Y - it is something outdated and quaint- like what we felt for our parents!
    And don't be sorry- I like the cheeky you::)

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  4. Nice point of view Anju Mam, agrees with your points. I guess Dr. Harsh Vardhan was actually trying to know the mood of the nation with those controversial dialogues. I am sure that at this age he or any govt will not prefer to do some acts like this.

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    1. Yes, Alok- so true ! That the BJP behaves itself is our only hope now!!

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  5. Well said Anju! The thing is - you can talk to your son - but how many parents can? Or should? If they can't keep their faces straight while discussing sex. Sex education belongs in schools, in mixed company to drive home the point that it's something that takes place between consenting adults who know what they are doing. In the absence of this I guess the parent has to step in. Tough one.

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    1. True, Kalpana. It is a tough call for any parent- and quite often we go wrong...It is something like ' damn if a parent is cool and damn if he/she is not'. One can only keep one's fingers crossed and hope for the best ...

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  6. Children know a lot about sex these days, thanks not only to the curriculum but more to the media - particularly the internet. Now, knowledge is always good, as far as my opinion is concerned. The question is to what use is the knowledge put? Are the students mature enough to absorb the knowledge they are getting? It's here that the teachers and the parents should change into the role of friends. Yes, I mean it: become friends and children will readily accept us.

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  7. Tomichan, children of Gen Y are extremely intelligent and cannot be fooled or get taken in by the emotional atyachaar of parents- so, the only way to bond with them is to be friends- as you have very rightly pointed out.

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