A survey released by one of Bollywood's biggest hits last year, Udaan-all about a 17-year-old boy, who gets expelled from boarding school for sneaking out to watch a semi-porn film-shows: one in five teens watches porn before age 13; every second teen necks and kisses, 15 per cent in the school loo; one out of five claims to have had sex; 90 per cent believe in premarital sex, with 45 per cent of girls opting for clandestine abortions. Hookah bars are all the rage.i PAD TEENS: The latest crave.
"Everyone I know has touched first base, at least." That's "kissing and necking", she explains to her parents.
A face among the nation's 250 million adolescents- the world's largest. Not enough, going by the furore over the new Protection of Children From Sexual Offences Bill, 2010 proposed by the Ministry of Women and Child Development ("Does it mean 12-year-olds will start having sex? But now a host of surveys is figuring out what it means to be a teenager: they pack in 38 hours of activities into a day- work, chat, browse, talk, SMS, Twitter, Facebook, smoke, drink, splurge, do drugs, have sex, get pregnant-and they can't wait for the future to arrive.
Unknown to the nation at large, teenage seems to have taken on a whole new meaning. Twenty-five out of 100 teenage girls in a big-city school are sexually active, reports the Indian Association of Paediatricians.
During high school socials, dark corners of the venue are "reserved" by couples beforehand, so that they can go and "do it" in a crowded room, "just for the thrill of it", Mimi explains. And surveys reveal*, it's a generation that spends 10 hours a day on some sort of a media, two hours on social networking sites, 1.6 hours on the phone, four hours 23 minutes a week on computer games.
While 66 per cent carry mobile phones to school, 47 per cent can't live without TV.
To Delhibased counsellor Gitanjali Kapoor, it's a cultural moment: "Constant exposure of different types of media is enhancing their inquisitiveness, encouraging them to question and stretch their boundaries."Not that the teens care. But to Taki, 19, a Delhi girl (who prefers to be known by her nickname like the rest of her peer group in this story), that's a gross underassessment: "Over 75 per cent of my classmates are not virgins".
Some of them are into serious romance, some are "just FWBs" ("Friends With Benefits. just a convenience thing".) Some boys carry condoms in their pockets because they don't know when "they might get lucky".
Notes are regularly exchanged between girls after sexual encounters and discarded i-Pill packs are often found in the bathrooms of the posh convent she studies in.
"I'm sure you won't remain a virgin by the time you turn 18," her mother interjects tearfully. "I'm not stupid enough to get into trouble."Trouble is the one certain truth about her: she is a teenager.