At the age of 11, I learnt about masturbation in one of the many sex education books that my father had brought me. He was afraid that I would grow up with misplaced notions and misconceptions about sex and sexuality, and wanted to ensure that I learnt early and learnt right.Over the years, we have had several conversations about sexuality, boys and changing bodies. In one of those, he told me about his discussion regarding masturbation with his father and grandfather.This poem is about that –
My grandfathera married manwith a quiet wifea solemn faceand rich eyestells his sonthat masturbationwill make him weak.
My great grand fathera man who was left behindwhose wife ran awaylater married a widowwho also dieda lonely mantells his grandsonthat nature is perfectand pleasure is too normalto be avoided.
My fatherall of fourteenwith his curious eyesdarting from his fatherto his grand fatherjust sits and smiles.
After few lifetimes,my fatherwith mirthful eyestells me this storyand raises his handto the divineand says -thank you. thank you.
Zainab Kakal is a poet.
Image source: Jean Paul photography.