I was growing up too. We had a rich neighbour Lala Kahan Chand, an ugly man with a wife who was a half-wit. As I started College, he thought I would be a good catch for his dumb daughter, Ram Lubhai. He indicated his desire of a union of two families to my mother. My mother was overjoyed with his promise that his entire property was for his only daughter. He indicated that I could start teaching her English to make her more suitable for my requirements. The arrangement did not work and I started hating Lala Kahan Chand and his entire brood, especially the girl I was supposed to marry.

However, to add more romance to my life, a distant cousin of mine from the same street, started visiting our house calling me 'brother dear' in English. She also wanted English lessons in my close proximity. She had no fear of neighbours as she claimed to be my sister. She gave me my first lesson in 'sex' by pulling my hand into her blouse. I was both pleased and confused. Her proximity to me and the so-called English lessons upset my study schedule so much that I could not concentrate on any of my text books. I was afraid I would fail in the final examinations. I remained in a state of romantic intoxication for a few weeks and then one day I told her sternly not to visit me any more and virtually pushed her out. I planned to reactivate the romance after my annual examinations were over.

I regretted this action later but I was able to pass my examination with distinction. A rejected female is like a wounded tiger. I realised it only after my examinations. This same beautiful romantic girl now avoided me as if I was an untouchable - whenever our paths crossed. She would move ten feet away from me. To help me deal with my sexual frustration, I sought the advice of a Sadhu on the banks of the Ganga in Haridwar where I had accompanied my parents! Strangely, he did manage to help me exercise self-control through Pranayam.

As I grew up, it seemed there was some scandal or other connected with every resident of our locality. Yet, when they gathered on occasions of festivals, they were unanimous in mourning the deteriorating moral standards of the younger generations. I guess, it is a vicious circle. Some of us are saying the same as we age and our children grow older. We deny or forget what we were like when we were young.

Personally, I find the younger generation of today more self-confident, open and certainly less hypocritical than ours.