After reading some posts I felt deeply moved and wanted to be of whatever help possible to those who may need it. This made me think of what to write and how to begin but some reason or the other I could not marshal my thoughts to put them in letters. A shocking news in today’s ToI about a 23 years US student having been gang raped by 6 of her classmates shook me out of my slumber. I felt that I should not delay it anymore. I am certain that some of you may not like my stating the obvious truth which is generally not acknowledged. I have always believed that there should be no differentiation between boys and girls. But unfortunately this is also a bitter fact that girls are on the receiving end always. It is the way God has willed. Thus girls even in civil and broad minded society still have to be able to fend themselves. Apart from bringing up our two children, girl & boy, on equal footing I have had opportunity to inter-act with number of youngsters of both genders. I feel that I should share my experience with you all so we should not have another Nafisa Joseph or that budding TV star ( sorry, I miss the name ) again. It is a well known saying that a man will show love to have sex while a woman will consent for sex to have love. Based on this I will briefly narrate 3 out of some cases I had been asked to advise. No matter how friendly parents are there will be still some thing which children would not like to talk to them about. It is upto parents to foresee such situation and instill confidence in child to share his or her thoughts or actions.
First one relates to a fine young girl of about 23 who was deeply in love with a man few years elder to her. They were keen to marry inspite of being from different castes. Her parents had learnt about it. After some usual threats and hesitations they consented stipulating that the man should meet them. But he on some pretext or the other kept avoiding it. They were known to me. On their request I spoke to the girl. After a couple of meetings she confided in me and my doubt was confirmed that he was already married. He had two children also. They had met at some party and were drawn to each other. She was looking for steady boyfriend and he filled the slot. He told her that he was single. A few meetings later he coaxed her to have physical relations proposing to marry her. She by then was totally bowled over by his affectionate manners and as he promised marriage she consented. It was only after that he told her of his actual status. Though she was shocked but she could not come out of this as by then she was in love with him fro her heart. She believed him when he said that he would divorce his first wife and marry her. She continued doing whatever he wanted. And that had been going on for almost six months by the time I spoke to her. She quarreled with me when I told her that he would never do so and was using her for his lust. However after a long talk with patience she agreed to tell him that no more physical relations till he files for divorce. She frankly told me it would be difficult for her too as she also liked it. When she did what I asked her she saw his true side. He tried cajoling her, threatened her and even made her submit with brutal force. That is when she agreed to my advice not to see him any more. He kept persisting by sending messages through his staff. The mobiles were not so common at that time. She directed those messengers to me when it became intolerable. One day he came over to my office and told me not to interfere in his life. Polite requests did not make any headway. So I met his superiors as he was in Govt service. It was only after their intervention and informing him that they would be obliged to initiate legal action if the girl complained, he desisted from making further contact with her. I advised the girl that she should not speak about it to her would be husband in future and if inescapable could just say that she had been friendly with boys in college but not to discuss any details. This advice was as no matter how educated and broadminded one may be it will still pinch some corner of his mind if he knows that his wife has had her share of physicality irrespective of what may have been his past. I have not met or spoken to her after that and her parents too shifted to their native place but I heard that she is happily married.
Second is about a girl of just below 20 who was studying in college out of town and stayed in the hostel. Her mother, whom I looked at as sister due to her brother being my long time friend, told me once when girl was home on holidays that her behavior was totally changed and she was found shouting & using profanities on telephone to someone. She wanted me to intervene as girl refused to say anything to her. I had a very long discussion with the girl and had to use my patience much beyond limits. Once she understood that I mean no harm but am there to help her, she confided that she has developed physical relations with her room mate who also belonged to Delhi. She also told that though she has had physical relations with a boyfriend but was happy in the present relationship. They intended to get married and live as a couple. This was much before the present supportive processions. The other girl was more dominant or husband like. The shouting on telephone was as she used to tell her not to do certain things or go out in certain attires when alone. I explained to her that it is her choice as to what relationship she wishes but presently our society was not ready to accept such couples. She understood after a lot of arguments specially that her mother would be devastated once she learns this. She agreed that she likes heterosexual relations too. My advice was that she should follow her conscience but keep standing of her family and herself in the society in mind while taking any decision. I also told her to be discrete. It was almost six years ago. She has got engaged to a fine young man. Though I have not asked but know that she does spend time with her girlfriend on week ends at times.
Third is about a student of 12th class. She had got marks in 90%s in her 10th Board but in 11th her performance dipped drastically. Her mother got worried and approached me through someone who knew that I do counsel youngsters. This girl was at first unwilling to speak anything. It took me 3 meetings to win her trust. She told me that she met a boy of same class but in different school when she was in 11th. They became friendly which developed in love gradually. After a few weeks of meeting regularly they got onto hugging and kissing stage. On my gradual leading she accepted that they had gone far beyond that but insisted that not the whole way. I did not want to embarrass her by asking more so I let it go at that. My advice to her was that for everything there is time and age. Presently she should concentrate on her studies as unless she gets good marks her future will be uncertain. And same goes for him too. How she lives her life is her own decision as she is not a toddler but she has to understand that there are some expectations of her parents which she can not just ignore. I also told her that whatever she does should be after full application of her mind and clear conscience without any peer pressure. I drafted a daily time table for her allowing time for not only studies but for outings, talking to friends on telephone and even for parties as needed. She liked the idea of such daily schedule. I met her a few more times after that and was impressed with her dedication to follow set routine. She scored more than 85% in 12th Board making her parents proud. It is over 3 years now and have neither met her or her mother.
My intention of bringing it out here is to emphasize that instead of taking hasty decisions under euphoria of being in love and later being left heart broken or becoming a victim of lust girls need to apply mind fully before making any commitment. It may seem impractical as cupid strikes without warning ( I have already accepted that in my earlier post ) but fact still remains that though girls have as much right to live life as they want just like boys but being GIRL they still have to take precautions to ensure their wellbeing.