Grandma Sutra

Modern Family

Grandma Sutra

Illustration: Akshita Monga

I

have always felt that the most difficult journey for an Indian child, is the one he or she undertakes to explore their sexuality. If, like me, you grew up in the 1990s, you’d recall the quietly stifling atmosphere that accompanied any hint of sex – when your mum would casually flip the channel during a kissing scene or a sanitary napkin advertisement on TV, without batting an eyelid. Luckily for me, I had a most unusual ally to help me along with my sexual awakening: my aged, toothy grandmother.

We lived in the tiny town of Kathgodam, in the foothills of the lesser Himalayas, known as the gateway to Kumaon, the abode of Gods. As is common around these parts, everything was attributed and distributed first to God, such as the day’s first meal or a slice of birthday cake. The day I had my first period, my mother even made a secret offering of sanitary napkins in our home mandir.

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