“ I am in final year of graduation. I have been good in studies and extra curricular activities. I am NCC cadet and I participate in dramas, debates and dances etc from school days onwards. I am living with my parents, two elder brothers and a younger sister in a huge HAVELI type house in the outskirts of town. My father has whole sale business in old city. He and brothers leave around 8 am for that place. My sister is in 10th and her school is on the other side of city. Our house has a number of independent rooms adjoining main entrance which are for letting out. About a year ago a young man working in some government office had taken one of the rooms. Our house is quite isolated with a lot of other building under construction a little distance away. I have to walk about half a mile to get rickshaw to go to college. At times some of my friends meet me while I am looking for rickshaw. One day as I was waiting for rickshaw, he passed by on scooter. He stopped and asked me if he could drop me at college as his office is close to my college. I at first hesitated but seeing that I was getting late I accepted. As roads in our localities are in bad shape, I had to hold him lest I fall. He left me at college gate. Next day as I was walking towards the main road, he came by and offered me lift. Our house is not visible from that place due to construction work going on. I agreed. While dropping me at college gate he told me that he goes at the same time so if I do not mind he can drop me everyday. As it is not easy to get rickshaw many a times, I agreed. A few days later he asked me if I was in hurry to reach college. On my saying no, he asked if we could stop to have a cup of tea. I agreed. There is a small restaurant near our college. We stopped there. I told him I do not take tea at this time. So he offered me cold drink and snacks. There he told me that his office job involves field work and if I agree and tell him in the morning when I will be free from college he can plan it accordingly to drop me back home also. As he had been very decent and helpful and also reluctance of rickshaw pullers to go to our locality, I accepted this as God sent blessing. So we started this routine and at times had cold drinks at that restaurant. About two weeks later it was my birthday. I had told him that. In the morning he gave me a very good card and roses. Later while returning from college, he picked up some cold drinks and snacks of my liking. When we reached home, he asked me to join him in his room to celebrate my birthday. It was quite hot and the place was deserted with few labourers working. I agreed as no one could see us. When we were in the room, he put on birthday songs on his cassette player. He hugged me wishing happy birthday again. Though reluctant at first, I liked this and let him hold me close. He suddenly kissed me on cheeks. I was shocked but pleasantly surprised too. As I did not make any attempt to move out of his embrace, he held me more tightly. This sent shivers down my spine and I started pushing him away. He held on and told me not to worry as he will not harm me because he loves me. I felt as if it was a fairy tale and just stayed there. On his asking if I also love him, I just nodded blushingly. He kissed me on lips making me feel weak in knees. He however stopped on my saying so. I gathered up my things and left soon after I finished my cold drink. Later throughout that day I kept feeling funny sensation. Next day he told me he was sorry for what happened but I told him it was ok. We started spending some time in the room two or three times a week depending on how early I reached home. After few such meetings while kissing he started feeling me up there and I half heartedly asked him not to do so. I felt very shy when he removed my upper clothing first time making feeble efforts to stop him. This went on and we started feeling each other and little more than that. One day when I was very aroused and beyond caring, he made me lie on the bed and made love. I felt guilty and cried after that but he consoled me saying not to worry as he would marry me. We then started doing it as and when we could. Now that I am going to complete graduation, my parents have started looking for match. I am scared as my state will be known to my future husband and also I want to marry him only. He also wants to but is scared to talk to my parents as well as his.”
This is what Geeta told me. I have translated it from vernacular and censored it a little to suit publishing it here. This happened more than 25 years ago and in a town of medium size where I was based those days. A cousin of mine who is ages younger to me, she was barely 2 years old when I got married, asked me to help her college mate who was elder and senior. I was little reluctant as this was something like family affair. But she persisted as that friend’s family instead of doing anything to help her would fly into rage if they came to know what had happened and that girl was in suicide mode. So I had agreed.
I met her. She was about 20 years old. She was not willing to talk in our first meeting so I had to meet her few more times before she opened up but a lot of coaxing with leading questions / suggestions was required. We used to meet in my office and my cousin used to sit outside the glass partition to enable her friend to speak to me in confidence.
On hearing what she told, first thing which came in my mind was how come she let herself into such situation but on second thoughts she too is human and had let her emotions set off by curiosities take over. I knew his boss due to nature of my work. So I discussed it with him. Later we could convince parents of both sides to agree for their marriage saying that they are deeply in love. We did not disclose anything more. Of course our respective positions were of great advantage. Years later I learnt from my cousin that they are living happily.
My purpose of telling this is that as there is more intermingling now during college or even school and thereafter in work place leading to more chances of relationships developing. Banning mobiles or jeans may be hurdles but can not curb it in totality. Jeans were not so common those days and there were no mobiles and this was an incident in medium sized town more than two decades ago, in present times in big towns or metros such chances are even more. As it presently goes in our society, boys will get away with any kind of indiscretion but it is girls who are left holding the baby. In this instant the boy was willing to marry but now a days it is not so many a times. Based on my numerous talks with youngsters as well as some grown up persons of both genders I can say that majority of boys are keen on physicality after sometime in a relationship while girls like attention and live in fairy tale dreams looking for commitments. While they may like cuddling but for physical relations, it is upto girls to decide how far they want to go. Whatever decision they take has to be after full application of mind and as dictated by own conscience. If they can control their urges and do not want to go all the way then limits have to be set. Both partners, girls more so, need to ensure that situation never arises where chances of exceeding limits are high. Whatever be it, discretion is must and she should see that partner is not a blabber mouth. This is where I think role of parents is of utmost importance. As children grow up parents need to understand their aspirations and make communication easy to ensure that children gain confidence in them to share their thoughts. They should be more of guides than dictators. If that situation is not there then I suggest that girls may seek advice of someone elderly whom they can talk to freely.