At the age of twelve, I found my bench-mate’s descriptive style appalling. My moral sensibilities forbid me from delving into a detailed analysis of his power of observation, but it was often about our English teacher’s breasts. I remember that one day, when I did not take the textbook with me to school, she said, “No punishment for anyone today. I am letting you go with a warning today, because I cannot think of doing anything to him.” The boys in my class settled the scores by writing my name in the list of the boys who made “noise” in the classroom. Once when the boys stood up, turning around to take their textbook from the bags when she entered the classroom, she said staring at her textbook, “Quick. I do not want to see your backs.” It left me thinking, “What is going on?”
When a young teacher was taking classes, this boy asked me whether I would want to sleep with her, if she had entered my house. When I said, “No”, he asked whether my decision is final, or whether it would change if it were a rainy day. But, I have always had fixed opinions, on everything. I do not intend to mean that I have ever had any respect for age differences or social limits. In my mind, I have pictured every beautiful girl I have known since the age of three, irrespective of their age, though not quite in the same pornographic detail in which pre-adolescents would have had it.
When I was 15, one day, I sensed that a young aunt of mine was breastfeeding her child in my room, when I was reading, lying down on the bed. She was smiling, and after hesitating for a while, I walked out of the room hoping that she did not feel: No, it was not awkward until you said, ‘well, this is awkward’. When I used to come back from the pond, after taking my bath, she would walk behind me, asking me why my trousers are wet, and whether I took my bath wearing my underwear. Much to my surprise, everyone in the room seemed to enjoy her well-natured humor when I was hounded out of the room. She once spanked me at 17 for playing cricket inside the home with my little cousins, with her open palm. When I walked away, embarrassed, my mother asked me, smiling, “What happened?” When I slept in the night, I felt that she had left marks with her fingers.
In high school, I once noticed that my best friend was staring at the breasts of a senior girl while talking to her. The senior boys wanted to know why he did it, when she left.I have no doubt that he did it purposefully. In college, a girl once told me that another boy never maintains eye contact while talking to her. She would not elucidate. When she once conned me into a telephone conversation on breasts, I said that it was not in my nature to get into this, and that she spoiled me. She said that she felt as if I wanted her to spoil me. It was the first time in my life I noticed that I was attracted to breasts, but I do not think it ever formed an important part of my fantasies.
In the past few days, I have been staring at the breasts of an older woman I know only in the virtual space. Do not ask. My list is full of them, at all levels of erudition. Every time I stare at her breasts, I feel tenderness. I have never felt this way before. I have never seen anything so pure. I do not, of course, mean this in a transgressive sense. If I sit near her, as a writer, I might not feel the tension leaving my muscles. But, then, it would be because the mental effort writing demands is too much for me to bear.