Sex Education in a Madhouse

The year was 1997. It had been a year since my father had brutally picked me up from my pampered public school pillow and dropped me in the fires-from-hell of a government school. It was the top government school in the area but a cultural shock awaited me there. Draconian was an understatement. Boys were not supposed to talk to girls in front of the teachers and sit separately. And you could be given a third degree that would put Uttar Pradesh Police to shame. 

The teachers in my new 1857 era school were a terror. If technology would not have advanced enough, Steven Spielberg could have used them in Jurassic Park and nobody would have noticed.

My Physical Training teacher had a fascination for throwing mischievous boys on a wall behind the principal’s office. So, like a Nazi, he would just pick up a boy with both his hands and throw him on a wall. I believed that the Principal was aroused by the thud of boys colliding rapidly one after another with the wall behind his seat. Once I saw him enjoying grapes from a huge bowl with his feet up on the table as the boys thudded behind his back.

Thud. Chew. Thud. Chew. Thud. Chew.

My Biology teacher had a fascination for young girls. Somehow, he was not able to stop his right eye from fluttering like a bloody butterfly the moment he turned his head towards the row in which the girls sat. Then he moved his neck towards the boys and the fluttering would stop.

Flutter. Stop. Flutter. Stop. Flutter. Stop.

My Chemistry teacher would never face the class. He would enter the room facing the blackboard and leave the same way. He loved copulating with the black board and all he did was write till we could not differentiate where he ended and the chalk dust started. He entered brown and exited white. I hardly remember his face.

My Physics teacher too never looked at us. All the while he was blabbering (he jumbled up sentences and then scratched his head to figure out what he said and then started all over again), he looked outside the room as if India’s next satellite was to be launched from our school playground.

My Math teacher had a recurring habit of suddenly walking out of the class making horrible sounds and then spitting in the school gardens. The moment he would walk out in the middle of an equation, the whole class would go – Chhhiiiii!!! And then there was silence when he returned.

Aaarrghhhhghhaaarrrr! Chiiiiii. Silence. Aaarrghhhhghhaaarrrr! Chiiiiii. Silence. Aaarrghhhhghhaaarrrr! Chiiiiii. Silence.

The principal reined the kingdom with a whip in his hand. The students were equally crazy. The principal hated that the students would stand in the corridors and chitchat between two periods. He would come out with his whip and smash them like flies and students would scream and fall over each other to get back to their seats. It was a scene straight out of Sholay when Gabbar attacked the village with his goons.  And it happened again and again. The students enjoyed this.

It was in that school when I got my first slap for something I didn’t do. It was there when I was made a murga (where you have to touch your ears with your hands coming out of your butts) and humiliated. The topper in me wanted blood.

It was a crazy two years living in that madhouse.

And during that period, one fine day, it was decided that the students of class 12th needed sex education. Thankfully it did not involve all the crazy teachers to do a Full Monty in front of the whole class but a man and a woman (from some external education group) to come and talk to the students and tell them about AIDS and babies.

The girls were taken to a separate room and the boys were left with the guy who enlightened us about various aspects of sex and female arousal techniques (indirectly) and AIDS. The boys looked at each other and giggled and asked him all kind of stupid questions like the capacity of sanitary napkins and producing babies by kissing. Since I was the topper of the class, I kept my nose high up in the air and maintained a dignified silence complimented by my glowing hot red ears (My ears go a shade of lava when I am embarrassed). The guy somehow took it for ignorance and thought that my vital organs were still in the process of development and all this was Hebrew for me.

“Don’t worry. If you haven’t started shagging yet, it will begin very soon. Some boys start late”, he said giving me a quick look.

My ears caught fire. I wanted to stand up and yell the names of all the porn movies I had seen with my best friend sitting right next to me. But then I turned around and saw the Principal, Physical Training teacher, Math, Biology, Chemistry and Physics teacher all huddled in the window of the classroom and peeking inside like girls eavesdropping in the room of a newly wed.

The lady who was educating the girls soon came in and told the man that the girls were shocked and embarrassed to the point that they look like a sack of tomatoes. He consoled her and sent her back and ask her to show them the condom.

And then he took out a condom from his pocket and started pushing it on his index and middle finger to show us how to wear it. He pushed it the other way round by mistake which emancipated a smirk from me. Watching a man wearing a condom on his fingers in that madhouse was the last straw for me.

In the end, after we said goodbye to the man, the girls returned to the classroom. They behaved as if they were not wearing anything. I had never seen my classmates so quiet and nobody spoke for an eternity. Days passed and it seemed that the man and the woman were always in the room in spirits, hovering near the fans and wiggling their condom covered fingers mischievously at our faces. It took a mega Diwali bomb which went off in our classroom despite the Principal’s warnings to bring things and laughter back to normal. The bomb was so powerful that by the time we knew what hit us, the ceiling fans were swinging violently and plaster was falling from the ceiling in perfect lines. The spirits were nowhere to be seen.

And then the Physical Training teacher picked up my classmate who set off the bomb and threw him on the wall. Thrice.

Thud. Chew. Thud. Chew. Thud. Chew.

All of us (including the classmate who thrice slid down the wall like tomato ketchup) threw our head back and laughed. The madhouse was back to normal.

[images from 1,2, 3]

68 comments on “Sex Education in a Madhouse

  1. The difference between private and public schools is so drastic, if only all our schools were good, we’d be a different nation.

    All we had for sex education was the last chapter in the Bio book, ‘Reproduction’ and some of us pretended they had not already read it, some pretended they knew more than the teacher.

    Schools can change the way young Indians look at sex – as something men need and as something that decides how good or bad a woman is.

    • Yes, the difference is huge and I had a hands on experience in that. I almost went to the verge of running away from my house. The first year was a torture. I used to sit and cry all day. Of course, now I laugh at all that but a child has a different perspective.
      And, I also remember how embarrassed my Biology teacher was when she was teaching us that chapter. It makes a lot of difference when the teacher behaves normally while dealing with such topics.

      • I was in a public school and my teacher skipped it and told us to it ourselves and pose questions if any, we were a all girls school still….
        And best part the same teacher set a question paper to draw the male / female reproduction diagram…We all knew it by heart , but no one drew as we had a male teacher hovering over us , that exam was giggles…

  2. But Amit, at least they made an attempt !!!

    in our school, there was Nothing at all…and our biology teacher skipped the chapter which taught menstruation! What logic was that???

    But you did study in a colourful school eh?

    • Yes, somehow I could never understand why that attempt was made in that draconian environment. I guess some agency approached them or the order came from the top.
      Colourful???? I almost ran off from my house. I cried bucket full of tears for almost a year. Somehow I started enjoying it in the second year because of the loony bunch who taught us. 🙂

  3. oh boy!! your school sounds entertaining!! 😀
    and the way we were given sex education is given – all the girls were taken to a room and told abt periods and how bad/guilty it was to have/think abt sex!
    our seniors were with us and they asked embarassing questions to the lady and kept us entertained!!! 😛

  4. THREW the boys against the wall??? Exactly how much exaggeration is this? 😛
    Jeez, sounds like a totally pyshotic lunatic asylum. Scary house…er…school! 😐

    Haha we had our sex ed in the 10th. Bunch of giggling girls and guys. But it wasn’t all that bad. But we weren’t shown the condoms …. I don’t think the teachers would have survived the shock! 😛 😀

    • It is not an exaggeration. He did that quite frequently and I thank my stars that I never flew towards the wall.
      Yes, it was scary but it prepared me for the tough world. 🙂
      They would have never allowed a condom if it was a joint session. 🙂

  5. actually ur school took initiate na..great that they tried to show you condoms at school. in fact we struggled to get one see during our college days, managed it out of our curiosity. we did have sex education in our so called Govt school, where a pediatrician took a class for us, for 400 students combined in assembly. yes, we just had pin drop silence, and it tool days for boys and girls to act normal again.
    oh yes we too had the girls boys sitting in different rows, teachers smiling while looking on the girls side and changing reactions, girls and boys using different staircase, in fact using toilets in different floors,thought there were girls-boys toilet in same floor. ..

  6. Sex-ed in 1998 in my school was not out of the ordinary. Girls and boys sent to a seminar room, complex diagrams on the projector, AIDS awareness, sex explained, menstruation covered. We all did not speak with each other for two days. Then we moved on.

    But what shook the earth beneath me was one day, a few months ago, I was browsing channels on the tv when a program was on about sex-ed in British schools. This is a whole new level.

    I won’t go into details to keep my comment short(er), but there were a lot of things covered like positive body image reinforcement, body’s ageing, size of organs, menstruation, common myths, contraception, and many many more. No projectors, but live nude models to show how a woman’s body changes with the different phases of pregnancy!

    All I can shamefully admit is that I learnt a thing or two. Sigh!

    • I think taking a joint session is the right way to do it. That is the only was students can shed inhibitions. I really wish we had joint swimming lessons in all the schools. That too is a step towards being relaxed about your sexuality.

      They seem to be covering a whole range of topics, which is good. I wish we had something like this here.

    • I think in todays photoshopped world and with porn addiction in all due to internet and mis-sex education , the whole new level of accepting normal body of women and men is really required.
      Else men will be ever trying to extend their normal functional organs and women trying to lift their motherly body….
      I know how I suffered due to my husbands porn addiction , these things are needed….

    • Well, it was fine. We at least got to know stuff. It felt weird because of all the craziness around.
      The P.T. teacher did. It was his favorite mode of exercise. 🙂

  7. At least they attempted it. Our school never had it. We only had a chapter on Reproduction which was given for self study. Teachers were embarrassed to teach it. Me and a couple of my friends got all the knowledge from one of our friend’s mother who was very friendly and open to talk about it all. How not be ashamed, having crushes on boys was normal, it was not love etc. I remember at one point, we even had discussions on which birth control method was best for us and how we would go about convincing our sex partner or husband about it 🙂

    • My Biology teacher (in the public school in which I was earlier) did the chapter in the classroom. She was very embarrassed but still she finished the chapter. When she drew the diagram of the female reproductive organs on the board and asked a guy some questions about them, the idiot felt very surprised. He said he thought diagram was of a cow’s horns. How dumb can you get.
      Your friend’s mom seems a very cool person. 🙂

  8. Something one of my very close male friends disclosed.
    During 3rd year of graduation,some guys talk was happening at the men’s hostel.Somehow the topic was about period.
    Guy 1 : Any clue how this period looks like?
    Guy 2 : Oh yeah,yeah..I know..for a month some blue liquid will come instead of urine.

    Once I heard this I was not sure whether to laugh or cry 😛

  9. Threw them? And you are not exaggerating? sigh!!! thank god you never got “thrown away” by the Kans!! ROFL

    Sex education,eh? Our private school didn’t give us any gyaan droplets to us…but yes I remember we had this Whisper team coming in to our school and collecting the girls from 7th standard to 10th standard in the auditorium where they threw light on the mensuration cycle as well as the their product. I also recall after that hour long session when we girls came out all our male classmates were curious as to why only girls were taken into the audi and what had happened to us inside that we were giggling secretly and feeling all shy to even talk about it?

    But I guess that era is fast moving by…we are now in a decade where in sex education is becoming of more importance and taking a good shape…hopefully we’ll have our gen next children getting prepared for the right mind set as well the education part which should start at home too becomes a drawing room topic!

    • No, I am not exaggerating. It was not difficult for him. He was a huge guy and we were puny, malnutritioned boys. 🙂
      Well, that is good too. At least the girls knew that what was happening to them is absolutely normal. A lot of girls are completely terrified when the cycle starts.
      I don’t know Scribby. Is it taking a good shape? Nowadays, the children are frequently exposed to porn even before they move out of schools. I guess that is where they get their education from. Somehow I feel that it also leads to misconceptions because porn is not a very good way to start your sex education. Schools really have to take this task very seriously.

      • totally agree on the porn thing…it even beat KJo’s larger than life movies!

        Internet certainly is spoiling the young minds and the length it lets you reach is immeasurable…

        this is where the parents role comes in: to teach children the concept of playing in parks and not on couches with gadgets…I think we had a pretty innocent childhood, or at least I feel so! Where talking non-veg only started when we reached 10th standard and watching porn was out of question !

    • Scribby, the Whisper people came in to our school as well and the same way that you described, girls were taken to the auditorium and explained mostly about menstruation.. and some leaflets were given.. which were quite informative – a very commendable effort.
      BUT you know what the boys whispered?? “This is conspiracy against us – the girls are being taken away so that the question papers can be leaked to them, so that they can top the class.”
      Sachi… they actually came and asked us.. humko bhi bolo na questions.. 🙂

      Somehow I believe those times were innocent times.. maybe because I grew up in a very small town.

  10. aiyyo aiyyo what a shameful topic! such gupshup will encourage immoral behaviour no?? haha, Anyway, I’m glad you got some official education about the birds and the bees although grade 12 is quite late for that. I never got anything and see what a perfectly good boy I have grown up to be. 🙂 (minus a handful of panicky moments.)

    • I guess we all are already immoral according to Indian standards. At least I am. 🙂
      I know, I had already seen my first porn by then. He was just saying things I already knew except for a few details here and there.
      Yes, you are a good boy. I know. 🙂 And don’t get me started on panicky moments. I had plenty of them.

  11. Goodness! How did you survive that school! It sounds absolutely scary!

    As for sex ed, I realised that I was comparatively luckier in our school. The bio teacher was super cool, and sex ed was handled by doctors from the local hospital. So they were totally un-self conscious and it was a joint session, with both boys and girls. We were given chits to write our questions, at was all anonymous, so people did come up with relevant questions. It was only much later that I realised that our school was more the exception than the norm.

    • It was a torture all right but somehow I started to laugh it off after a while.
      You are right. What happened to you seems to be an exception and it sounds really great.

  12. That sounds like a madhouse all right! But at least, they made an attempt to teach you about sex and the human body, and they deserve credit for that, irrespective of the atmosphere of the school.

    Our teachers just skipped the chapters on sex-ed in Biology, I think. Or maybe just asked us to read through them, assuring us that nothing from those chapters would be asked in the exams. 😐 Gah!

    One of the teachers used to throw boys at the wall?! :O Really? :O Reminded me of a Roald Dahl book (I think Matilda – not sure) in which the headmistress loved swirling the children by their hair and throwing them on the ground. She was a master weightlifter or something. I have never heard of such a thing happening in real life.

    • Yes, they do although I am not sure why they did that.
      I do not understand teachers skipping those chapters. What is the point?
      Oh yes he did. He was an absolute terror. If you have studied in government schools, you will know that the punishments are more physical there.
      Did you get my mail? Was it ok?

  13. the school was indeed a madhouse ; whacky and entertaining. but at-least some sex education initiative was taken. I still remember my biology teacher who told us in a matter of fact manner that we were big enough to read the lesson of Reproduction on our own -lol. She was fighting to get away from the class early and infact left us 20 minutes before the class bell was supposed to go 😛

    • Indeed it was. I cried buckets during my first year there. 🙂
      Haha. Seems your Bio teacher was terrified to even touch the pages of that lesson in the book. I guess this is exactly the kind of behavior which lead to misconceptions about sex in the minds of teenagers.

    • My biology teacher cancelled sex education too; she wasn’t afraid of talking about these things i think; but we were so bad, so talkative, that she didn’t want to give such a course to horrible pupils like us. (Not me, of course, I was a goody-goody). So we studied rocks and volcanoes instead…

      • Haha! Here the teachers are too embarrassed about discussing the topic that they give it a skip or are generally red-faced when they dare to venture. 🙂

  14. That surely sounds like a madhouse! Was the PT teacher actually throwing the boys against the wall? Did any of the boys nor get hurt if it really happened?

    And as far as the sex ed, there was a chapter (read part of a chapter on reproduction). The teacher explained in detail the vegetative reproduction than the human reproduction 🙂

    Once a team from whisper visited our school the girls were given informative info about menstruation.

    The Diwali bomb did go off in our school too. The culprit was never caught. But all of us were given a lecture on where the young generation was heading 🙂

    • Yes, he was. I find it amusing that everyone is so surprised about this throwing-boys-on-wall bit. 🙂
      According to the logic (and as per my observations), when someone throws you towards a wall, you instantly move your hands in front of your face.
      Somehow, because of this reflexive action, no one actually bled. Yes, there were bruises but no one cared about them.

      For the Diwali bomb, our teachers were very smart. They lined up 4-5 suspects and kept slapping them till one of them told the truth. 🙂

  15. Urgh. And the only reason girls get menstruation knowledge is because Whisper wants to make money! I remember when I was in primary school (5th standard ish) at an all girls school some girl must have accidentally let some period blood fall in the toilets. My goodness, no one knew what it was! So rumors went flying around that there was a ghost in the toilets. We had dares among ourselves as to who would be brave enough to go to the bathroom (lol).Eventually the headmistress made an announcement for us girls to stop believing such nonsense. But no mention of periods at all. Only thinking back a few years later did I realize what it was.

    It is sad that your school was actually kind of progressive by Indian standards. Even condoms oh my!

    • Chalo, at least they are doing something. It is better than doing nothing.
      This was the only incident of progressiveness my otherwise backward school showed. I am still not sure what hit them when they took this step. 🙂

  16. First comment here..

    Amit, I can’t believe such schools also existed..Indeed, it was a madhouse..You guys went through such a torture at that age…
    Throwing students on a wall?? That too by teachers?? Can’t imagine.

    On sex education or menstruation, I do not remember any of such teachings in our school. But I do remember a funny incident. One of my cousins had her first period blood spots and she was not aware of menses. She thought she has blood cancer and started crying. Her younger sister came to know and she too started crying that her sister is going to die soon :).
    I think it is not only school, the parents also needs to educate the children.

    • Hi Kashlife. Welcome here. 🙂
      Yes, it was a torture but we laughed through it during our last year. I guess, the madhouse got us in the end.
      Hahaha! The blood cancer incident is so cute. 🙂
      Yes, agreed. When the parents know that their child has reached a stage when something natural like menstruation can freak her out, they are supposed to educate her beforehand.

  17. Lovely post…was sitting is office waiting for a lousy client to send some feedback when accidentally i reached your blog.

    u write so well!!

    I studied in a convent (co-ed) and had a very similar experience in relation to the sex education classes. I too remember the class becoming completely paranoid about contact with the opposite sex for quite a few days after the said class was organised.

    • Thanks Pinku for liking the post and welcome here. 🙂
      We start losing eye contact after such classes, don’t we? Everyone is suddenly talking to the walls. 🙂

  18. > Thud. Chew. Thud. Chew. Thud. Chew.

    Brilliant sign off lines to a brilliant article!

    Sorry for the delayed reply. Enjoyed it too much to pass.

    Like others, I still am coming to terms with a school were a PE teacher throws kids at a wall.

    About the bulk text of the article, we had our sex ed class when we were in 10th (norm in Madras in the early 90s, don’t know now). The material was mostly about pregnancies and AIDS. The instructor added his own moral color to the printed material (Too bad, no visuals!), especially his views on masturbation and monogamousness which I found was just plain silly. He did mention it was his personal view though.

    But…. the girls and boys in our class were already in a phase of not talking to each other from childish are-boys-or-girls-cooler carried over from 7th standard. The sex ed class allowed some of us to briefly snap out of this for like a week to specifically ask if their class was as embarrassing as ours!

    • Thank you for your comment.
      I too was shocked initially when he threw someone on the wall but I adjusted pretty soon.
      Thankfully, the guy who came for the class did not have a personal view and was pretty straightforward with his explanations.

  19. Well , I have already, decided to part Sex education , awareness on porn addiction (which is equivalent to substance addiction infact even more dangerous as the porn can be played in mind anytime and it does triggers the same chemicals that substance addiction does) , Social engineering , Internet malices where strangers stalk and threaten , False info on Internet , Targetting on net / facebook… etc…I have spoken to the principal of my childs school to introduce somethings from 7-8 yrs itself and classes delivered by some Proper Psychiatrists/Counsellors.New World , new technology , new issues

    • I think falling upon porn as a teenager is pretty normal but it has to be balanced with facts which has to come from parents and the school. So, you are taking the right step.

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