Did you go through our Science textbook?! We are going to be learning about the Reproductive Cycle this year!!” said my friend, giggling.
“Haha, yeah, the world shall now know that storks don’t deliver the babies after all” I laughed, patting myself for such a smart comment.
“Well smarty-pants, why don’t you tell us how babies are really created?” said Rahul.
“Why don’t you go ahead and give it a shot, and I’ll tell you if your answer is right or wrong” I said, trying to dodge the question.
“Why don’t you answer my question first! Haha, you don’t know the answer, do you? Shame on you! You’re 12 and you don’t even know this. Loserrrrr.”
GASP. THE ‘L’ WORD.
“Hey, I do know how babies are created!”
“Go on, then” smirked Rahul. I could’ve killed him.
“See. It’s written in our parents’ fate, when we will come into this world … their world. So, whenever that moment approaches, a mother’s egg starts to prepare itself, while the father’s sperms travel into the egg.”
“How do the sperms travel?” asked Shanaya, wide eyed.
“Oh, they fly out of the father’s body at night, travel to the mother’s body and enter the egg.”
I didn’t skip a beat; I answered that quite confidently, because that is what I really knew.
“How does it “fly” out, Siya?” asked Rahul, almost ready to burst out laughing.
I could feel my face turning red.
“I don’t know; what I do know is that when the man and woman are fast asleep, all this takes place. They don’t even realize it until the woman takes a pregnancy test.”
“WHAT!? HAHAHAHAHA” guffawed Rahul and his gang.
This was so embarrassing. I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me in.
“Tell us more; you’re very much on the right track” smiled Rahul.
“Then why are you laughing?”
“Oh, that was an inside joke. Please continue, O Great One. Teach us some more.”
Clearly, I didn’t get his sarcasm.
“Okay, so … then the best sperm gets selected for the egg, which results in the formation of a cell which slowly evolves into a baby within the span of 9 months.” I continued, feeling very proud of myself.
“That is fine, but I’m more interested in how these sperms reach the egg… then why do people use condoms?” asked Shanaya.
Oh, those plastic thingies. This was an easy one.
“The condom acts like a sieve for the sperms … it purifies them and only then do they travel to the egg.”
“Oh … okay. Why the different flavors, then?” smirked Rahul.
“That is to make the sperms smell nice because apparently, they smell really bad…”
“Is it? Hmm” laughed Ajay, Rahul’s buddy.
“Where did you gather so much knowledge from, Siya? I am so impressed!” said Rahul.
“Really? Hehe, no one told me anything. I figured it out on my own” I grinned, still being immune to his sarcastic darts.
“So, would you use the condom as a sieve for tea as well?” asked Ajay.
“Why not! The purpose will be served” I shrugged. “Yeah, and so shall the tea”, grinned Rahul.
Their gang started laughing again. I didn’t get what was so funny about the whole thing.
I gave them a look and left for home.
My parents were still not home. I decided to surprise them with cups of tea for the evening.
I was so engrossed in making tea, that I didn’t realize when my mother came back home, and entered the kitchen.
My mother looked at me and stopped in her tracks. She turned beetroot-red and decided to enter her and Papa’s room.
“OUR DAUGHTER IS MAKING TEA WITH CONDOMS IN HER HAND”, screamed Ma.
She was so loud, I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire building had heard it.
Parenting is pretty fucked up. Nothing prepares you for any of the things that a child throws at you. It was all right when I was changing diapers and cleaning shit and piss, that was like having a pet. But now the child that I used to have complete control over (apart from her excretory system) is now a completely self-aware human being. She has her own thoughts, her own ideas, and I am supposed to keep those ideas and thoughts correct, moral, and clear, all at the same time.
How do I protect her from corruptions that life offers? There is always a right place and time for everything. I can’t expect her to just stay a kid, but I have no idea how to consider her as a twelve year old now. The world is giving her lots of information, and I don’t know how to help her make sense of that information.
“See beta, condoms are something that men use.”
“I know, I know, to purify the sperms.”
What the fuck, how should I react to this? I don’t know where she got this purifying idea, but she knows something about sperms… let’s work on that first.
“What do you know about sperms?”
“They fertilize the egg, and that makes a baby in Muma’s belly.”
Phew, at least she has the absolute truth about reproduction correct. Now comes the hard part.
“Do you know how sperms meet eggs?”
She blushed, does she already know it? Why am I the one having this conversation, why does her mom have to be so awkward about this?
“Yes, the muma is asleep, the sperm flies from your body and goes into her belly, and then a baby is
That’s some PG 13 Hindi daily soap bullshit definition. What the hell are they teaching them at school?
“Have you been taught about reproduction in school yet?”
“No, we will be taught this year.”
“Where did you get the condoms?”
“Rahul gave me a packet when I asked him what condoms looked like.”
Murder should be legal. That smug little shit. He must think he’s hilarious, or some kind badass distributing condoms and what not.
“Well, condoms are used for something else, and children shouldn’t have them.”
“I know what they are used for dad. Rahul said I am right. He knows his stuff, his older brother told him everything.”
I will probably talk to his parents later. Better get his ass screwed for this shit.
“He was wrong.”
“Then what is a condom used for?”
Deep breathing, calm down, just tell it to her.
“Let me tell you what it isn’t used for; making babies.”
“What? Why wouldn’t you want to make a baby?”
Because a baby asks questions like this when it turns twelve.
“Look, when a man loves a woman they both come together and perform this act called intercourse.”
Her eyes are doing that thing, where they widen and threaten to get inside my head. Her eyes are so big for her head.
“What is intercoze?”
Here we go, ease it to her.
“Intercourse is when a man puts his penis in a woman’s vagina. Then they feel good, and he lets out sperms inside her.”
“Ewww! You peed in muma?”
I shouldn’t have married this awkward lady, she can’t even explain to her daughter about sex.
“No, sperms are not pee. They come from the man’s balls.”
“Testicles, the things that hang behind and below the penis, that looks like a rooster’s chin thingy.”
That was good, she will get the rooster reference. She seems less shocked now, she seems to be thinking.
“Then why do you use condoms?”
“Condoms are used if you want to have sex but not produce babies.”
“Why would you not want to produce babies?”
Because if we had a baby every time your mother and I had sex, you would be one in a thousand babies at least.
“Because sometimes muma and papa have intercourse… not to produce a baby, but just to … practice.”
Practice sounds good, sounds clean.
“Oh, that makes sense. Thank you dad.”
FFFFFFFF. Thank god that’s over.
I think I shall opt for sex education for the younger one. God only knows how he will react.
Photography By: Manahar Kumar