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Flip Side: Contrasting tale of two girls through the phases of life

Hi Daddy! look here I am posing for the camera take my pictures, says the little girl of Shoe factory in Amsterdamabout 5 years of age standing in the big wooden shoes kept outside the wind mill in Amsterdam. The father smiles and clicks several pictures all in different poses for her little model Hadid. Her eyes were brimming with aspirations and ambitions  which were so strong made her believe she was a Gigi Hadid and was doing hoto-shoot. Funny enough  then how later that evening I saw a pair of eyes that harbored in them a shard of glass directly piercing through the dreams and aspirations of the future telling a sad tale of desperation and the proverbial “limited means”.

I was sitting in a late night 11 pm tram in Amsterdam and I saw a young lady draped in a long overcoat buttoned till the waist.  She looked dazed probably on cocaine or hash. She rode  fast on a bicycle along the tram all the while trying to protect her modesty by using two fingers of her left hand to pin the front of her flowing overcoat which had noting beneath it. I observed her from the window of the tram and desperately wanted to have a look at what lay beneath the overcoat. Not satisfied with the leg show I strained my neck and stuck my face on the tram window until the tram accelerated and she was left far behind. However due to the frequent red lights she was able to catch up with the tram and I again caught a glimpse of those white legs.

However, on the next curve she came quite close to the side of the tram and in trying to prevent her bicycle from ramming into the tram she took a right and lost her balance. She fell down on her back with the both legs up and the overcoat parted right up to her panties giving the onlookers a show of much more than she had desired at least at that point of time.  The tram went far and that figure on the road fell far away from my line of sight.

Both the events left me thinking about the prostitution industry in Amsterdam or anywhere for that matter. Somehow both the events seemed to be connected as if the little girl with dreams had grown up to become a woman riding the bicycle. Am I overthinking? Maybe prostitution is good and a source of income. Doesn’t it drive tourists to the cities like Amsterdam and Hamburg in turn jacking up the revenue from the tourism industry?

Having said that consider this, in today’s modern era where the major economies are driven by consumption and amassing of materialistic wealth, in that context our body is the most basic object that we can call ours and exert our rights upon. The act of paid sex which is the basis of prostitution and online porn for that matter pays a woman to give up that right for a few hours. Now which girl in a very balanced state of mind would have ever dreamt of giving up that right even for a few moments let alone for a few hours. Thus, it would not be preposterous to construe that this industry harps and takes advantage of a girl’s desperation and utter dire circumstances, sometimes tough childhood and molestation, that might have propelled her to  make this as a sole source of income.

The red light street in Amsterdam on both sides of the canal

On the contrary people might want to argue that don’t we all give up our right to freedom when we sign to work for a corporate, to all those I would want to say this “think again guys, did you have dreams in your childhood and would you think you ever dreamed of putting a price tag to your bodies”.

Here is one of the quote from my interaction with a lady who worked as a prostitute at night which will make you think about it over and over again.

When asked “Are you happy and satisfied with your work”?

She took a deep breath and paused, probably to make the answer easy to  grasp for me, she said “Try being caged in a glass enclosure with nothing but your make up on, with the onlookers giggling and wagging tongues at you and you would certainly know”. 

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“Sex Education” Can Indian youth do without it?

sex education

Last Week Dr. Harshvardhan, the Health minister of India, created a furore by expressing his views on “sex”, that is still a taboo in this part of the world. He suggested of doing away with sex education in schools and instead talked of inculcating abstinence and yogic values in the young minds.

I remember the first time I had my “fall” it was during while watching a semi explicit scene from a Hollywood movie, that had Drew Barrymore doing a car wash, as a matter of fact this much is enough for anyone at that time to go weak between his knees and when I mention hot-pants and a string top, the temperatures is sure to go up a few notches. But this was the time when the internet hadn’t taken over our lives completely and we were still dependent on fashion TV and HBO for our daily dose of sexual content. What followed it were beads of perspiration, feeling of loosening of legs and a flaccid penis. A child with no knowledge of what was happening to him is bound to get frightened and impatient at the sight of slimy white fluid trickling down. This impatience in our days led us to flicking between the Hollywood channels in search of anything explicit. In those days even a girl in a skirt excited us to limitless extents. But this is not the case now, today in the internet age you don’t have to go looking for the sexually explicit content just click a button and you can visit any female part in detail. So the sex education becomes all the more important.

In India, sex education starts in 10th standard with a chapter on “reproduction”, talks of every organism except “homo-sapiens”. It gives just a fleeting reference to post puberty changes in male and female body. The problem is how we in India view “sex”. Instead of referring to it in the same way as any other natural process. The mention of the word follows by giggles from teenagers and a stoic silence from the parents. The condom ads on the TV still evoke a discomfort of sorts when the whole family is watching the television together.

“filthy” is how sex is defined in India precisely and something that is filthy “we Indians are a cleaner lot, we don’t talk filth”, but given India’s ever and overgrowing population I think the definition of “filth” is different behind those four walls.

The need of the hour is to introduce sex education from Class 5th itself, the tender minds should be exposed to “reproduction” in a constructive manner much before they know what “porn” is.  Mr. Harshvardhan’s idea of introducing yoga and values instead of sex in curriculum in this age of internet does not cut ice, acting noble does not make one noble one has to think noble.

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