I think Indians make a mountain out of molehill when it comes to their children having sex.

Sex is a normal function and it is inevitable that your children will have sex with or without your consent.  I never understood how a country that was so open about sex, ( west never had Kamasutra, never had temples dedicated to erotic sculptures like in Khajuraho) became one where talking about sex itself became taboo.

This is what I told my children about sex.

Age of consent.  In Queensland, age of consent is 16 and it is a law. I explained to them why it is needed and what could happen if they break the law.

Rape. No one ever have a right to force themselves on another person. If a girl says no, it means No and if a boy continued to force himself on a girl, then it is rape. The reverse is also true

Pregnancy. I explained to my children that one of the biggest side effect of having sex is pregnancy. There is only one method of contraception  that is 100% safe. That is abstinence. There is no guarantee that any other method of contraception is 100% safe and I expect my children to remember that always.

STD. same as pregnancy. It is another side effect of unprotected sexual intercourse.

Virginity. I explained to them, it is up to them. Their body, they chose what they want to do with it and when and with whom. I am not a keeper of virginity and do not own my children’s body.

Alcohol and GHB. How much ever you trust your mate, keep your drink with you always. GHB is colourless and odourless. If you ever felt dizzy or drunk and you know  that you haven’t consumed enough alcohol to be dizzy or drunk, talk to the bartender and ask for help right away or call me. My job is not to judge you, but to keep you safe.

Yes, I do worry about all that could go wrong. But I refuse to  control every move my children make so I could stop them from having sex when they reach legal age of consent.

The traps..

I read an article in a Malayalam paper where a father wrote about the traps ‘ Indian’ children can fall in to while studying in US Universities  He mentioned that someone gave his son a fruit punch mixed with alcohol and the son didn’t know it contained alcohol and drank half a cup of the said fruit punch and lost consciousness and ended up in Hospital.

I worked as an emergency medicine physician for a while and this is my take. Assuming a person weighs 100 lbs, he needs 7 units of alcohol to lose consciousness. 25 ml of Whiskey is equal to 1 unit of alcohol. If the fruit punch was mixed with moonshine ( 190 proof) with the first shot, even it is mixed with fruit juice, it will burn your throat like hell and you can smell the alcohol fumes. It is not possible to drink half a cup of fruit punch mixed with alcohol and lose consciousness and get admitted to the hospital.

Yaya once told me, there is only one downside to studying in a US uni. Legal drinking age in US is 21 where as it is 18 in Australia. She also told me the solution to her problem ” I could always take a trip to Canada every weekend”

I know I am supposed to say ” how dare you? You can’t drink alcohol blah blah blah”

I grew up in India and have been drinking from the age of 17. I don’t even know if India has a legal age for drinking.  Someone always knew someone in the defence and we always had a supply of alcohol. If the defence supply run out, then we knew where we could get home made wine.

The truth is, I know my children will drink alcohol. it is part of the initiation in to adulthood. Sure, a part of me hopes they will not be a slave to alcohol and will know what their limits are, but I will not tell them not to drink alcohol.

I certainly do not think Universities are full of traps that will destroy my children’s future. I will be sending my children to Uni knowing that there will be drugs, alcohol and lots of sex..It is the same in real life ( outside Uni)

When my children go to Uni, though they are going as adults, I know they will make plenty of mistakes, they are supposed to. They haven’t had a lot of time to  act and think like an adult. I know  with my longer years of experience living as an adult, I should advice my children.. but I drank while I was at Uni..Why must I lie to them?   I strongly believe ” Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.” ( Will Rogers).

So my advice to my children when they go to Uni will be “have fun, enjoy your uni days, work hard and party hard, you will never get the Uni days again.”



My son turned 14 last week. He is taller than me and has a little bit of mesa and thinks he is a big man now.

 I learned so much from him the past one year. The biggest lesson  I learned happened when he was helping me hang the laundry. The truth is, I hate hanging laundry to dry. Because I live in Sunny Queensland and am environmentally friendly, I don’t use the clothes drier and that means laundry is a really big chore. That particular day only my son was home and I asked him to help me with the laundry. He came huffing and puffing, clearly letting me know how unhappy he was. I got really mad and told him off. It was not like I asked him to plough the field and milk the cow before sun up.

He looked at me and said ” mom, you asked for my help and I am helping you. My whinging and whining is part of me helping you and you just have to live with it. You can’t demand that I must hang the laundry with a smile on my face. At the end of the day what matters is that I helped you when you asked for my help not how my face looked when I helped you”

I had to agree with him. Why must I get mad at him because he was whinging and whining when he is doing the work?

I eagerly waited for his 14 th birthday to give him the book I kept with me for the past 25 years. I read Siddhartha by Herman Hesse 25 years ago and it was one of the few books I didn’t give away after reading. I hoped one day I would have a son and I will give it to him. I felt 14 is a good age to read Siddhartha as my son is now transitioning in to adulthood and I want him to understand that his life is a journey and he needs to know what he is looking for. I will never forget reading this.. When someone seeks,” said Siddhartha, “then it easily happens that his eyes see only the thing that he seeks, and he is able to find nothing, to take in nothing because he always thinks only about the thing he is seeking, because he has one goal, because he is obsessed with his goal. Seeking means: having a goal. But finding means: being free, being open, having no goal.”

When my children were little, motherhood was all about the ‘first’ mile stones they achieved in their life and now they have very few ‘first’ mile stones left to achieve. I have very few things left in my treasure chest that I collected over the years to give my children. I am terrified of the emptiness that awaits me when they all leave home…but for now, I still have them and cherish I will..every little memory..


I come a from a family of wanderers. Half of my grandfather’s family live in Ceylon ( Sri Lanka), half of my mom’s family live in US and half of my family live in Europe. I also have relatives in most parts of the world. The ones living in Ceylon have never come back to India even once and consider themselves to be Sri Lankans. The ones living in US came back to India every other year following the standard format..with all the women decked in gold, achayans wearing ill fitting coat and suit  and their children wearing smart shorts and often captain style tshirts or frilly dresses, shoes and knee length socks but most importantly speaking fluent Malayalam. It was  considered a great achievement by the parents to be able to raise their ABCD children as proper malayalees. A proper mallu child was in fact a feather on the parents’  war bonnet.

My question is, what is so great to be a Malayalee? I keep hearing about ‘roots’. What roots are you talking about when you yourself transplanted it out of India?

The parents went to US for want of better job, money, lifestyle etc. No one pointed a gun at the parents telling them to leave  Kerala. In the 50’s and 60’s the exchange rate enabled people to go back to India after working a few years outside, earn a chunk of cash and then go back and live on that income. Plus there was filial piety and inheritance to worry about.. But now more and more people are finding it easier to live outside India though they all claim to want to go back to Kerala one day. What are the chances their children who were raised outside India will want to go back to Kerala? What will happen if they never knew a word of Malayalam? How would it make them a bad human being?

Why are parents forcing their children to straddle two cultures? If you live in America, raise your children as Americans and if you are fearful of the “bad western influence” on your children, then wouldn’t it be better to stay in Kerala. It is illogical to assume that you are being a very smart parent by controlling every move your child makes, therefor you can control the outcome, in this case create a perfect Indian child who grows out to be a perfect Indian teenager and then go on to becoming a perfect Indian adult. But  unlike the 50’s and 60’s technology has advanced so much and children are much more smarter than you. All you are achieving is creating a crafty child who knows how to manipulate you.

Conforming to the popular opinions doesn’t make you a smart parent. Be open, accept the new life style, west is not all that bad, just as east is not all that good.