• Under the Raintree Festival

'Rules for navigating' by Carmmel Taricka

Prior to setting rules for how one should use their body, it is important to understand what our bodies are after all. Medically, it is just a vessel with 206 bones, 640 muscles, a brain which controls every little function, and a heart to keep it all alive. But beyond all this, deep within, is a beautiful little soul, that no one else would know about, or care about, other than the vessel itself. Therefore, it all comes down to keeping this soul alive, giving life to life itself.

From the time of birth, the soul craves for warmth, love, compassion, a tight hug to feel the person’s heartbeat, a kiss on the forehead. But with time and growth, both physical and mental, the definitions of each of those change. Mere friendships turn into emotional attachments which may bring about physical attraction. And this is when relationships come into the picture. The emotional changes during this phase is tremendous, sometimes absolutely hilarious while viewing it as a third person. People want to be in constant contact with their partner to gain a mild validation for their existence. A slight smile from the other side of the room lights up their entire day. Every moment is a wait for their text notification to ping on their phone. Even silence around this person isn’t awkward. This is the moment you realize that the relationship has matured to something of value, something that would last for a long period. But most of these relationships tend to move towards something physical in order to make it last, to be worth the while. Sometimes, the only motive of being in a relationship is the sexual intimacy that the youth of our generation crave, the one that I’m a part of


At the onset of puberty, the young minds slowly begin to develop into something not so innocent anymore. The adrenaline rush is quite remarkable at this phase, that this tends to make them move towards early relationships, which should honestly be called ‘infatuations’, but most immature minds wouldn’t be able to understand it at that point of time. This is more often accompanied by sexual activity, even though they haven’t been educated much about it. Experimenting isn’t entirely wrong, but not when the person’s only lessons have been through pornography. Early pregnancy, STDs and even sexual assaults have been major results of these experiments. Though both genders get affected by these events, females are more often the victims of this mess. A man breaking the hymen isn’t just physical pleasure in the end, a chain of emotional reactions follow her. If it was consensual, her heightened trust for this man increases to a whole new level, even if she isn’t sure about his true intentions with her. But, many men still feel that they are entitled to a woman’s virginity, only because she trusted him into being in a ‘relationship’. This is the result of one’s lack in modern perspective, which again brings us back to education. Most parents, especially in a country like India find it uncomfortable and unnecessary to give their children ’the Birds and the Bees’ talk, but they fail to realize that their WiFi speed has greatly increased in the last decade.

At one point in a youth’s life, maybe not all of them, they tend to reach a wild slope in their relationship, which makes it almost impossible for them to think of anything else. Mindsets might change entirely, into something that is more bitter, that overthinks before trusting anyone for the slightest cause, sometimes complete loss of trust. They give in to their extreme sexual desires in order to fill the void that an incomplete and scarring relationship has created. This is the period when the word ‘Hookups’ rings a soft tune near their ears. A hookup in general is a short termed sexual interaction between two or more people, with absolutely no emotional commitment to each other. This seems to be their only resort to reduce their mental anguish momentarily. Initially this would work in providing validation for one’s soul, but when we hit reality, every physical interaction is not just physical. A whole deal of emotional heightening takes place which at times turns out to be uncontrollable. Eventually, he or she gets more than physically attached to that one person it wasn’t supposed to happen with. And things turn out to be way more complicated when the person on the opposite side doesn’t reciprocate the same. At this stage, you know that the other person is with you due to pure lust, but you end up satisfying it by surrendering your entire body to someone who would never respect it. The soul slowly begins to crush with mental and physical trauma since now the person knows that ‘he would never treat or even look at me the same way that I do to him……..’. It turns into the emotion which it swore to destroy, sometimes at a larger scale of it. The person stops caring about the way the other party treats their body since they somehow still have this tiny ray of hope instilled in them, that by satisfying all their luscious desires, they might finally start respecting them which might turn into a full-fledged relationship, which, under most circumstances, is impossible.

All of this just gives people a better opportunity to completely destroy the respect of someone’s body, more often a girl’s. After all these emotionally and physically scarring events, would she ever be able to trust someone, walk with her chin up, regain her confidence to even develop good friendships? Would she ever be able to look at her body the same way as earlier, respect it, or even try to nourish the soul that’s deep within it in order regain her self-esteem? How long should she fill the voids created with more sexual trauma? How long would she remain the victim of her own brain?

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