"Sex is a three letter word, not an abused four letter word" – Ekta Kapoor
So this past Sunday, for lack of better things to do, I indulged myself to a few old episodes of the Indian talk show “Koffee with Karan” and heard the soap queen Ekta Kapoor give her take on sex in Bollywood movies prior to the launch of her movie “The Dirty Picture”.
The time I grew up India, women did not talk so casually about sex on national television. In fact we refrained from using the word ‘sex’ even in Biology class. Now that I think of it, I don’t think our teachers ever mentioned the word. I remember having only one lesson on the reproductive system and all we could do was look at each other and suppress giggles. And this was in a class of all girls too.
The sexiest thing in Bollywood movies at the time was Shah Rukh Khan gently moving his heroine’s long locks and blowing mildly at the nape of her neck and that’s all it took for us girls to melt in our seats.
Well, the reason I bring all this up is because the said interview took me back to those times and the impact of love, sex and dhoka in our lives back then.
I was more in love with the concept of falling in love than the real thing. Having lived in a girls hostel for the most part I did not come across boys that often (no getting ideas here). Also, I was very choosy (here some would describe me as snobby and bitchy) and most of the guys I met after I quit boarding school did not quite make the cut. It was getting very depressing. By that time most of my friends were “falling in love” and trying to sneak out of their homes and make trips to Victoria Memorial or movie theaters and writing love letters. And when my best friend at the time found a boyfriend too, I was almost determined to fall in love and did so (or thought I did) with the next guy I met. BAD IDEA!
Falling in love did not mean having sex. Well, I take that back. That information was not shared openly and not everyone indulged in it, or at least I’d like to think based on my situation. If the couple were bold enough they would hold hands in public places. That was the most physically intimate gesture couples used in public to demonstrate their love. I remember once I was walking back home from the bus-stop on my way back from college. Instead of the regular 10 mins it took me 20 mins that day to get back home. I had probably wandered. On reaching home dad asked me if I was seeing someone. The seemingly shocked expression on my face led him to spill the beans. One of my relatives had called him to disclose that I was spotted at the Jodhpur Park bus-stop holding hands with a guy. So this is what really happened. While growing up, us girlfriends held hands a lot. One of my girlfriends did dress like a boy most of the time and had super short hair too. I think whoever saw me that day holding hands with my friend mistook her for a guy. It is funny to me till this date. But it was more amazing to witness how such news traveled faster than BBC.
Getting back on topic here, since sex wasn’t part of my life, all I can think of is my first kiss. Now we all know how memorable that can be. It was to me too. Just in a slightly different way. The guy I was dating at the time (believe me when I say I don’t know what I was thinking) decided to land a kiss on me one day when I went over to visit him at his place as he was sick. Gross alert! Why would anyone kiss another person when they’re sick to begin with? But the ultimate grossness lay in the fact his breath reeked of onions – I mean real bad! And that did it for me. I was afraid I would NEVER kiss another man again. But then again, I will NEVER forget my first kiss. So, any idea of sex after that did not for once cross my mind.
Petty betrayal was a big part of teenager dating as well. If not, there would be no drama or gossip. You could tell by the way folks dressed or the kind of music they started listening too, that they had been dumped for someone else. And if someone was being overly poetic and/or a realist – then you could be pretty sure that said betrayal was taking its toll. However silly the causes were, it did bring in a lot of pain and at one point each of us friends have mourned or heaved a sense of relief having ended a certain relationship over some banana split sundaes at Outram Ghat.