In medias res



“Could I meet you sir? It’s urgent.”

My friend who is a popular speaker in schools and colleges narrated an incident.

“Sir, I am student of the college you spoke last week. My friend is in a bind,” a student called him on the phone.

The boy who had called, his friend, a girl and a middle aged lady turned up at my friend’s house the next day at the scheduled time. The girl wore a school uniform.

“This is Babu, Priya and this is Babu’s mother,” introduced the boy who had called earlier.

Babu, aged 19 studied in a college while Priya aged 16 went to school. They reside on the outskirts of Madurai in Tamil Nadu. Babu and Priya were romantically involved during their school days and have had many encounters of unprotected sex. Babu’s father is a cab driver while his mother is a nurse. Priya came from a wealthier background but her parents had died several years ago. She became pregnant when she was 14 and she was quietly whisked away from school. She delivered a child ten months later. She has never seen the child and does not know the whereabouts of the baby today. She suspected that her relatives had a hand at the child’s disappearance that she walked away from the house and has been living at Babu’s house for the past one year. There have been frequent threats from her uncle who had threatened to kill them all if she does not return.

Babu’s mother continued, “Babu has always been a studious boy and I am so disappointed at him for being so irresponsible. Priya is still a minor, so we are worried if they might slap a case of rape and kidnapping on Babu and us. What can we do?”

My friend promised that he would get back to them after speaking to an advocate on the legal options.

“I have promised to both of them that I will ensure that they complete college education and get them married later. Sir when you speak to students please teach them how to use atleast that wretched condom. So many lives would not have not gone astray,” Babu’s mother said.

My friend echoed her concern that a large number of teenagers both in cities and villages are indulged in unprotected sex with very less or no information about protection, contraception and sexually transmitted diseases.

It is high time we stopped debating about morality, culture and values, and speak to youngsters about sex. They will engage in sexual behavior whether we speak to them or not. They might act safe and responsible if we do.

The choice is before us.


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