(This letter is a part of The Quint’s Father's Day series where readers write their little secrets to their dads.)
Before I write my letter to my dad, I’d like to explain why it’s important to me.
The familial set-up in India often makes it difficult for either party (parents or children) to have candid conversations about contentious issues such as sex, relationships, menstruation, pornography and masturbation. Belonging to an urban middle-class Bengali family settled in Delhi, I often found myself torn between progressive ideals I wished to adhere to and conservative principles I had been taught since childhood.
Despite all the hints I gave my parents about certain activities that are considered taboo in India, they never questioned me – or, tried to stop me. However, given the conservative nature of our relationship, I could never discuss them openly. Currently, I am pursuing a Masters in Gender at the University of Sussex, learning something new every day.
The experience has pushed me to do everything without inhibitions and without caring for the consequences. Today, I am going to one such thing.
Thank you for being the pillar of support in my life. As you may know, the 18th of June is Father’s Day and therefore, I wanted to confess something that I’ve always longed to, but never could.
Baba, I want to tell you that I have had sex.
I do not want to declare this as an achievement nor do I want to be a braggart; I just want to break the silence that shrouds this. I know you may be shocked, stunned or probably even disappointed to hear this because I am aware that pre-marital sex isn’t something you or your friends approve of. But it is time to break the silence and do away with the taboo. I really want to tell you that this isn’t a crime. Neither the government nor the Supreme Court, the highest authorities in our country, have deemed it illegal to have pre-marital sex.
Unlike the self-appointed custodians of morality in India, I do not wish to impose my set of values on you through this confession. I do not want to make you feel like I have imbibed “western cultural values”. I don’t want to have that argument. I really want you to understand that having sex is a wonderful feeling and it is not a crime. Are you still with me here? I hope you are.
Living in Brighton for the past year has made me brave enough to talk about sex more openly, which is why I mustered up the courage to write this confession to you. Please do not feel disappointed or let down. I am all ears to your criticism, thoughts and anger. I am ready to answer all your questions. But I feel elated about finally being able to share this with you. I want to set an example for our future generation so that they can talk to their parents freely about anything and everything.
Thank you for listening. Now it’s your turn. I am all ears.