Blog / “Young Girls These Days Are…”

“Young Girls These Days Are…”

04.07.2024 | Tamanna Chandel

It happened at once. And Tanya couldn’t believe it. 
“Say it again?” 
“I want you to…”.  
There was a deliberate pause,  
“I want you to get me a pregnancy test.” 
“And where will I get that?” Tanya felt faint. 
“I don’t know. A chemist, you idiot!” Anu whispered with a hush. It was 3 in the morning, and Tanya knew Anu’s sister slept in the same room. 
“Are you sure you want to get it checked?” 
“Well… yeah?” 
“Don’t you guys…” 
Tanya trailed off, couldn’t bear even to say it. 
“We did.” 
“Then why…”  
“I just want to be sure.” 
Tanya thought for a second.  
“Okay.”  
She nodded to herself, pacing in her dark room.  
“I’ll get it. But how do I bring it?” 
There was a pause.  
“Just, bring it in a wrapper or something.”  
Tanya heard a note of despair in Anu’s voice.  
“I really need it,”  
She continued, her voice quivering with unsaid emotions, 
“Okay,”  
Tanya whispered, “Sleep now.” 
 
It needed to be done alone. She knew of this. But she couldn’t. Tanya was frightened of the way the chemist guy would look at her. Judge her. Remember her face, maybe. Talk about her to his friends or family. Young girls these days are shameless… 
So she had to rope in Bhoomi. What else are friends for? 
”You think she couldn’t buy it from a shop?”  
Bhoomi panted as she kicked the scooty again, the third attempt at making it start. Tanya looked up at the sky; it felt like it would rain soon. 
She shrugged, 
“Why would she buy herself? All the shop owners know her father, and it’s a market where they all know each other.” 
Bhoomi huffed and gave her ancient scooty one last kick. Tanya felt it was the last one because Bhoomi swore loudly. The old engine rumbled to their delight.  
“Let’s go,” Bhoomi shouted over the noise. 
 
They found a shop far away. As far as Bhoomi’s knowledge of chemists in her vicinity would allow her. Then came the more important decision. 
Who was going to ask the chemist? 
It was a real problem. 
But they were both 19. Legally adults, and they could talk it out amongst themselves. Weigh the cons and pros. 
“He might see me again!” Bhoomi argued. 
“How would he? It's like we are in a different voting zone.” Tanya replied. 
“It’s nearer to my house.” 
“I have to take it with me to her house! In front of her parents!” Tanya pleaded. 
“I would be recognized.” Bhoomi rolled her eyes, and Tanya could see the crack in her determination. 
“Please…” Tanya tried pleading with the best puppy eyes that she could.  
“You know I would stammer” 
Bhoomi stared at her. Then she took a deep breath. “Okay, fine.” 
Tanya nodded her head once, congratulating herself mentally, if only I could delegate giving the test to her as well! 
But, of course, not all wishes are heard. 
 
The man stared at Bhoomi and then at Tanya. They both had waited to ensure the pharmacy was empty and no one else was at the counter before bringing the kit. 
“Only this?” He was silent and looking at them. Tanya nodded. Bhoomika nodded with her. Tanya realized they both were just nodding, unable to form any sentences. 
The man looked at them both. A moment passed. And then something weird happened. 
The man said nothing and put the kit in a newspaper packet. 
 
“Well, that went easy.” Bhoomi’s remark made no impression on Tanya, who was deep in thought, and she was thinking a million things. 
Do they really not care? I thought they would be more judgemental. 
Is it a one-time thing, or does nobody cares about what you do in your life? 
Then why this pretense that you do? Why do they control what you wear and who you talk to? 
The pair walked and reached the Metro station. They both stood, their heads joined, and looked down within Tanya’s bag, trying to adjust the kit’s content into the wrapper of a giant chocolate. 
As Tanya wrapped it entirely, so it wasn’t visible, the question on her mind the whole day blurted out of her, “What if she is pregnant?” 
Bhoomika looked up from the bag. Tanya met her eyes. 
“Well then, she’ll have to deal with it on our own.” 
Tanya was startled. She had a very different notion of ‘support’ that she wanted to lend. She tried to tell Anu that it would be fine and she would have all the help if she was pregnant. But looking at Bhoomika, she realized it wasn’t the case. 
Everything was not fine. If Bhoomika, their age, was so detached from the whole thing, what would her parents think? An unmarried pregnant daughter in India? 
Preposterous didn’t even begin to cover the scale of it. 
At that moment, Tanya looked up as the sun lowered over the horizon, beyond the path where the metro moved. For the first time in her life, she realized that friendship and love for your friend wasn’t everything. 
Society and the world had the power to ruin it. To take it away and make you hide it for decorum. It forces you to aid in the machine of hypocrisy. 
She then took the test kit and shoved the last bit of chocolate bar in her mouth, stuffing the kit in the wrapper. 
The sweet flavor of the dark chocolate made her realize something. Life was short, and they were young. That’s why it was important to say whatever you felt in your heart and whatever you said, was right. 
She smiled, “I am going to say this to her anyway.” 
“Don’t worry, it’ll be fine, no need to be scared. 
She then waved goodbye to Bhoomika. 
I’ll always be your friend. Baby or no baby. 
If you or somebody you know wants to learn more about safe sex, consider reaching our ‘Support’ and ‘Engage’ verticals for affordable and inclusive help!    
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