before the Eid holidays began in Dhaka schools, eight teenaged
boys and girls [class seven-eight types] planned to spend
some time together outside their homes. They also found
a perfect excuse for their parents: a sporting event at
a local school. Fortunately, for them, the event didn't
take place for an unavoidable reason. So, they went to a
friend's house in Banani. Two among them, a boy and a girl,
while everyone was engaged in adda went to a different
room to spen some time alone.
these kids were having a good time, hell broke loose in
their homes. Their parents started frantically looking for
their kids, as they were nowhere to be found till four o'clock
in the afternoon. They had gone out at 10 o'clock in the
back to how they spent their time, especially the two who
went into a separate room. Questions naturally pop up in
mind: why did they go into another room? What were they
doing in that room for an hour? The other kids who were
watching TV and munching Lays in the drawing room said they
didn't know what they were doing. However, they said, their
two friends were going out as a couple for quite some time.
can assume two things from this. One, they simply wanted
to talk to each other in isolation; and two, which may sound
like a shock to many, they exchanged one or two kisses which
obviously is an expression of love and affection. The meaning
of spending time alone may go much deeper than just kissing
each other; it may mean that they wanted to express their
feelings for one another physically, as always, emotional
extravaganzas usually have a corporal manifestation. One
can't really blame someone for expressing one's passion
in this way; it's only a normal human expression. But the
question is, in this case, at what age? Do we or should
we take the incident of two teenagers having physical relationship
we've got a real agenda on the table to talk, debate and
feel prejudiced and non-prejudiced about.
two kids are not the only ones who have fallen in love at
such a young age. There have been billions like them who
have done so in the past and there will be many more who
will fall in love in the future. There are a growing number
of people, not just teenagers, who go on dates that may
end up in physical relationships. As said earlier, going
out to have fun and look for partners is something very
unnatural, but the trend these days is, according to many
parents and elderly people, focus too much on the physical
relationship. They say that the focus, unlike in the past,
has now shifted to the physical aspects of a relationship.
The romantic side of love is quickly fading out.
to this observation, one can really say that we don't see
any more Debdases [not the character from the Hindi movie],
nor do we see any character like Labonya [from Tagore's
Shesher Kobita]. It may sound quite unbelievable
these days, but characters like these did exist in our society
in abundance. This trend has reversed now; one can very
easily get over any kind of emotional blows and start a
as things change over time, human behaviour and reactions
concerning love, passion, relationships and sexuality are
also bound to change. For example, no one expects to see
a person like Debdas any more, or very few hope to think
that two people in love will only go physical only after
they get married. One can argue by saying that romanticism
requires time; but people these days have very less time
for anything; whatever has to be done has to be done very
quickly and get over with. Romanticism has certainly become
a thing of the past. Having some ephemeral fun seems to
be the objective nowadays.
the times have changed. We now livin a globalised village
where learning about foreign social elements is a matter
of seconds. This of course is a blessing of mordenisation.
One can easily act and feel like an American or Egyptian
without even going to America or Egypt. Well, times may
have changed, but have the values changed? Has the value
of love and affection changed over time? Is love all about
having lunch at a fast-food joint and spending an hour in
a locked room?
these questions may seem logical to some and illogical to
others. But everyone can see that our society, along with
people who make a society, has started to change. People
have less time for one another; love is becoming too physical;
money is getting more importance than relationships; our
children are trying to follow a culture that we cannot cope
up with; so on an so forth. But is anyone thinking about
this society? Has anyone ever tried to find out who was
responsible for our children's seemingly unacceptable attitude?
Or whether their attitude to life is at all unacceptable?
yes; there is a lot of table talk on these issues, but not
a single official or formal one. Apart from the fact that
officially talking about sex and sexual behaviour is taboo,
people fear to talk about these issues. Even the TV channels
are hesitant to run talk shows on these issues.
taking the social change in consideration, shouldn't there
be research studies on these issues? Shouldn't the questions
be raised whether we should allow our children, the future
citizens for that matter, to choose a different lifestyle
in this changed atmosphere? Shouldn't there be dialogues
on the need for sex education, human behaviour that suits
Bangladeshi society and culture, whether to raise teenagers'
awareness on these issues etc? Shouldn't we all try to analyse
whether our children are getting the wrong notions of life
certainly disagree or agree on the issue but we will not
know that unless we talk about it.
(R) thedailystar.net 2005