I still remember my first desire to be with the opposite gender. Oh! What a feeling that was when my hand brushed against the shoulder of the girl I had a crush on back in school. I may have been in 9th grade when I first had a crush on her, and as you can fathom, what a boy feels in his teens when his hormones are raging causing a lot of pimples on his face.
For some days, it was fun, gazing at her when no one saw, and talking to her during the lunch break; it was a dream which came true in some instances. But these beautiful hours were succeeded by adversities after some time. What should be my next step? How to deal with this new adulthood which I was about to receive? How to tell her that I love her? These were the queries which I had in my brain but there was absolutely nobody to guide me.
My mother and father always guided me on how to become a Charted Accountant or an MBA graduate from the best universities. They also taught me how to become a good and dignified human when I grew up. But there was another profusion of problems as well, which either they forgot to mention or left out deliberately!
These problems were related to love and sex. It took me quite some time to understand that I wasn’t in love in the 9th grade. I mean you can’t really be in love so young right, not even in Bollywood. I studied in a co-ed but the teachers never guided us on these topics.
It did not take much time for me to realise that these topics are considered taboo in our culture and we never talk about them with our elderly. But I was not the only one suffering from this completely new problem, my friends and millions of other teenagers also suffered because of a lack of guidance.
When I received no guidance from the people I loved and trusted, the internet and Bollywood became my best friends. I consider myself extremely lucky that the internet was not accessible 10 years ago like it is today. I started watching pornography to learn about sex and Shah Rukh Khan to learn about love and let me tell you, those aren’t the most promising solutions.
Now in my 20s, I look around and I see that things haven’t changed and with easy access to the internet, the vulnerability of the youth has increased which we can see in the increased rate of crimes by young people.
How can we expect men to respect women when we don’t teach them how to? We need to discern that all women cannot be our sisters.
No matter how many ‘save women, respect women‘ campaigns we run; I don’t think we will be able to lower the crime rate against women, because we are attacking only the branches, while the root of the problem is still intact and spreading.
Why don’t parents and teachers, who teach us how to eat and speak, teach us about how to deal with the opposite gender? No matter how much we try we cannot and will not be able to save ourselves and our society until this changes.