In our days we did not have as much worldly knowledge as the modern day kids have. I think every present day kid of eight years is exposed to much ‘sex’ than what an adolescent was exposed in our days, thanks to the media. In a way it is good to know proper things in a proper way.
I still remember how not only I but all guys of my age in those days never had any chance to know about ‘the secrets of sex’. There was no chance to see or to read or to hear anything about sex. It was all hush-hush thing among close friends. So it was mostly like the characters in the story of an elephant and four blind men. One blind leading another blind led only to more confusion. Especially puberty of girls was a great enigma for us. Talking about that brought goose pimples and we were thrilled to share our information with others. I got most of the gossip about sex from my rural friends, especially during my summer visits to my native village. Each one had his own theory about sex, puberty, menstruation, masturbation etc. We were totally a confused lot. This confusion made sex more and more a mystery and we had no chance to know about it. This made sex more enigmatic and mysterious and we always talked about these matters only with our very close friends. So naturally since we had our references from fellows of our own age, it was mostly like one blind leading another blind from one dark spot to another dark spot! We were very stupid. Hot discussion on the nature of genitals of the opposite sex happened often. There were times when we were not sure how a baby would come into this world. To make matters worse comparing a cow and a woman especially in the matter of their anatomy and mode of delivery was common. This state of affairs even continued to very late period of our adolescence. Such was our ignorance in those days!
I had a cousin. His father and my father were first cousins, and they had the very same name and worked in the same school. To avoid confusion people used to call my periyappa as senior so-and-so (periya ..) and my appa was known as junior so-and-so (chinna ..). Like our fathers we also had the same first name. He was just two years senior to me. But he played the role my ‘friend-philosopher-guide’. He was the one who was unraveling the mysteries of sex to me. His house was on my way to school and church, the two places around which my early life was revolving. So I used to go to his house on my way to school or church and then we would go together. He came out with so many newer things about anything and everything. I very submissively accepted all his ‘doctrines’. Never questioned them. Except the one time when he was explaining the ‘dirtiest thing’.
Whenever he came out with anything he used to always show an air of superiority which was quite right since I was too wet behind my ears for my age and what all he said were ‘scriptures’ to me. I never dared to question his statements. But one day on our way back from school he started giving me extraordinary information on sex. He told me with the same and usual air of superiority what a married man and wife would do in private to get a child. My God! It sounded so obscene and dirty that I thought there could not be an iota of truth in what he said. I said I did not believe what he said just then. He majestically told me that was the truth and nothing but truth. I kept silent for some time mulling over on what he said. I was simply flabbergasted by this unbelievable and dirty thing. For a few moments we were walking in silence.
Then I asked my cousin: “Then … er.. how about my father and mother?”
“Well, it has to be so”, he shot the answer without a moment of hesitation. He was very cool answering my question.
Few more moments of silence. I was still trying to digest what he had said. But I could not. A flash came and I asked him: “In that case, how about your father and mother?”
This time he took some moments. Hesitated a bit. But came out with an affirmative answer. But this time it was not as authoritative as it was for the previous question.
Still I could not believe it. Our own parents. This much dirty. Oh! No, I thought. I did not believe it and wanted to prove him utterly wrong.
My next question was very much pointed and poignant too. I asked him: “If it is so, is it the same way between Mother Mary and St. Joseph?”
He was thrown off balance by this question. Clean bowled. He was dumbfounded now. I was happy that I could at last nail him down to his utter lies. How could such a dirty act be true? Could any decent human being, leave alone the divine persons, do such nasty things?
I was waiting with batted breath for his answer. This time he did not have the guts to say yes.