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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Of Sex Education, Phone Calls and Karyakram!

The only session in "Ahem Education" that I had in school was a 1 hour lecture a few weeks after we had appeared for the Xth board exams. And, that too was held because either the Education Department or the BMC or someone else mandated it. What they spoke, even they had no clue about.I think now, that bees know more.

"What is STD?" one asked.

Being a  studious, sincere student, I proudly raised my hand (as all geeks in schools do!)
"Subscriber Trunk Dialing" I answered, with a smile grinning from ear to ear.

"No, it is Sexually Transmitted Diseases." came the reply.

And that was it. STD is Sexually Transmitted Diseases, full stop.
What? How? Where? When? You were free to figure out by yourself.

Luckily, I took up biology in college and managed to enter medicine. At least now, there is some authentic knowledge. I read about a couple of things that some advertisements in trains and a few websites proclaim. All non-sense! Unfortunate!

Somethings so bizzare as, STDs are cured with sex with virgins! That perhaps explains the society's obsession with the V word. (Poor virgins! They be plagued for life.)

The reason why I am reminded of this incidence is the current string of rapes and sexual assaults that the media is highlighting. And one of the reasons I feel that the trend will not be curbed in any foreseeable future, is because of the element of ignorance.

When educated people are ignorant, what about the already illiterate frustrated unemployed youths?

I had the fortune of studying in a boy's school and therefore there is some first hand information of the endless limits to which the adolescent boy can dream. We used to share!

The problem is less of perversion. 

What is the greatest human attribute? The ability to reproduce in any season? The opposable thumb? The discovery of fire? No, it is the ability to think.

The problem is more of curiosity. What differentiates humans from monkeys and chimpanzees and orangutans, is among other things, our curiosity.

Chimps, our closest relatives, can only think about thinking! We can actually think. Plus, we have curiosity! Added benefits!

Curiosity, not adversity, is the mother of all inventions. We are curious about the stars, the moon, the mars and also the nucleus of the atom. About life, pre-life and after-life!

We are curious of the past as also of the future. We try to satisfy our curiosity by finding answers. Where we can, we do. Where we can't we refer to the greatest invention of the human species: GOD.

(Of course, then we fight and kill over it as well.)


So, God created two humans, a male and a female. And each is curious about the other as well. And that is where the problem starts.

We have the answers to most of the querries, but somehow, God once again is forbidding disseminating them, this time via the instrument of Morality and Decency and such other things conjured out of the thin air.

About six months ago, I was doing my night shift in the casualty.
Suddenly a group of about 14 men and women entered. No big deal! Bring 'em on. But, there was no trolley, no blood, no screaming patient nor a crying mother. They all were, however, surprisingly hold battery-torches. My first impression would have otherwise been that maybe a wall had fallen on someone in the dark night. I was curious.

"Sir, these two kids ran away from the house at 6 pm." said one. Apparently, they were neighbours.
"Sir, we caught them now 10 minutes ago in a garden without clothes." He added. The time was 2.15 am.

Torches, explained!

"So, what's the problem?" I asked.

"Sir, aamhala watatay, hyaannee KARYAKRAM kela aahe! Tumhi fakt check karun sanga."

"Bol, or else the doctor will anyway find out." Said a female to the girl. I presume that it should have been her mother.

One of the benefits of internship was that one would not handle such sticky situations. So, gleefully I referred them to the senior MO on call and watched how he dealt with it.

It was a clearly medico-legal case. The kids were pretty young. And if the girl would have been under 16, and if, they had indeed performed the karyakram,  the dude would be charged with statutory rape, consensuality not withstanding.

Well, from what ever that transpired, neither parties were willing to file a police case, let alone even getting an official casualty paper issued.

The families had no objections to the fact that they were run away lovers, neither was there any sense of animosity apparent between them. There greater concerns were whether the karyakram had been conducted or no. The mothers and the aunts were sweet talking the kids to confess, the fathers and the uncles playing "the bad cops" - Confess or the Doctor will find out.

Door gaon me jab koi baccha sota nahi, to uski maa us se kehti hai, ki so jaa, nahi to Gabbar aa jaayega!  Something, on those lines.

But they went away eventually, us being unable to comply to their requests without them willing to do appropriate procedures.

The kids were lucky (pun not intended), that their families were cajoling them. A few hundred kilometers away, in Uttar Pradesh their bodies would otherwise have been found suspended from a banayan tree with a noose around their necks.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, the current Union Health Minister is the man responsible for eradicating polio from India. I read recently, that now he tends for Kala Azar to meet the same fate. And he will succeed, undoubtedly.

But, even the views of such a visionary on "Ahem" Education are medieval. When Sunny Leone is starring as lead heroine in film after film, a simple Google Image search from even a naive fan, is bound to reveal more than he expected to see.

How more graphic could your text books get sir?

The knowledge is for dissipation! We are medical professionals and men of science. At least, such we shouldn't feel ashamed and embarrassed when discharging our duties.


Science has to replace shame, and in this scenario we are the most well equipped to do so.

Coming back to the kids in discussion, it was a shameful loss for Indian Culture, but Curiosity won!

Curiosity always wins, just that sometimes the collateral damages become unacceptable. One can't curb curiosity........ its impossible ......... but one can channel it for sure. You can't make monkeys of humans, so let the sapiens blossom.


(P. S.- Ahem in Hindi, means important)


Had the MO given in to their requests, would they have said," Mandal aaple aabhari aahe!" ?