Remember the T.V ad about buying condoms from a chemist shop, I definitely wanted to look cool doing the same. So I set out to buy it thinking that it's so easy to do such a thing, whats the need of that T.V ad.
On the way I met one of my friend, Bony.
Together we set out to complete my dreams of buying a condom. " Lets go to a chemist shop. I need to buy some condoms", I uttered to him. "What, condoms!", was his initial reaction.
"Ok. lets do it", said Bony. I first drove towards the main Thangal Bazar and stopped in front of one big chemist shop and asked Bony to accompany me. "Aghast!, Are you really going to buy it?, I thought you were just joking, like you usually do with all the stuffs", said Bony.
"I'm not joking, I need to get some condoms and I need it urgently", I replied
He was very surprised at my answer and he told me he has some condoms, maybe he can give some to me. But I wanted to buy a condom from a chemist shop. So I didn't fudge 1 inch from my resolution of buying a condom.
" I will go alone and ask for it", I said, "You don't need to worry about your prestige". So I set out to go to the 1st chemist shop but I was feeling very nervous.
When I was about to ask for it, one lady customer came from behind and I felt shy asking for the dreaded condom infornt of this innocent lady. So I came out out of the shop and stood 3 metres form the nearest view looking for the golden opportunity. I saw many customers come and go. Finally I decided to go for another chemist shop.
Scanning for chemist shop on the streets of Paona Bazar, with one criteria that there should be no customer in that shop when I'm going to buy my condom, stopped at many chemist shop but when the time came for the final decision , I always get a negative answer.
" This one has a lady as a salesman, not this one", Bony said.
While we were searching for the perfect chemist shop, we were talking of many things. "Are you going for sex?", asked Bony
"What do yo do with condoms, do you think I will use it for making balloons and sending it to the free will of the air around us", I replied.
His mind was working like anything. He was searching for the name of the girl that I'm going to use this dreaded condom. He came up with many names. I said "This is not the one, ok I will tell you when we get the condom in our hands, so first mission Condom and then the mission, who will be the lucky girl".
"Why do you feel shy in buying a condom?", I asked, "You told me you are an expert in all this buying and now you are feeling shy like a little school kid, now you are a grown up, we can buy condom we are above 20 yrs and there is no point in feeling shy about it."
"It's not that I don't want to help you in buying it but see I'm not yet married", bony replied, "What will those people think of me?"
"So they will think of you as morally bad, but who are they to judge you, just because you buy a condom", I said in an angry tone.
Between our conversation we reached Kwakeithel and I was on the look out for Chemist shop again. I went to one chemist shop but the moment I was about to ask, I felt a chill in my spine .
"Do you have this tablet....oh....neuro...ceptam...tam.." I asked in a husky voice, instead of asking for the one I intended, I ended up asking for another non-existent drug in our state.
"Were you successful ",asked Bony.
" Damn! its so frustrating, being a Medical student not able to buy it"
I remembered many things from my 1st year of my MBBS life.
"So today is your first lesson on Anatomy. We will learn about the breast in detail.....", was our anatomy lecturer first sentence and she continued teaching everything about breast.
Everyone was so quiet. We hadn't been exposed to such an environment in our previous times and we were all feeling shy. Knowing our shyness, the lecturer had given her piece of mind.
"Boys and girls, this is a Medical College, there is nothing taboo about the topic you are learning. You need to know all these to become a good and great Doctor one day, I hope you take control of this situation"
I was brought back to reality by the sound of police siren. "Clear the way, the CM is coming", they shouted on top of their voice.
Then, we finally to go for a chemist shop near Hafta and Awang BOC, but we couldn't find a suitable chemist shop for our quest. Then we finally decided to do the rounds in Singjamei. We figured out one chemist shop, which had no customers at that instant but we had to finally bow out because the shopkeeper turns out to be a lady.
"It's already 7 pm", I shouted on top of my voice. My curfew starts at 7.15 PM. So we finally decided to abort the mission for the day.
"ok. bye Bony. If I need it urgently I will take some from you", I said and bade farewell.
I reached home just before curfew was to be imposed.
Later I thought about my ordeal of buying a condom.
"Was it because I was too shy?, or is it because of the eye of the society?", I wondered.
I realized the ordeals that people of my age might have gone through to buy a condom will those shopkeeper think of us, what will people think of us?. I couldn't sleep because I couldn't accomplish a task that I challenged myself.
I read my project report that I was doing for my scholarship and it stunned me because 30% of the HIV infection occurred due to non-usage of condom. I was alarmed. If I had a situation which I couldn't control with no emergency condoms by my side, I could definitely impregnate the girl or still higher risk could be spread of STDs.
"Why should I feel shy about buying a condom", I said to myself many times. Why should I think of other's mean thoughts about me? So, I decided that night that when morning comes I'm going to buy a condom, no matter what happens to my prestige or anything.
So as soon as I woke up, my thoughts dominated on the condom. I finally dressed up and went straight to a chemist shop near the Chamber's Hospital, Thangal Bazar. The shopkeeper wasn't there, so I had to wait for a seconds and then he turned up and asked, "Kari hidak loubigadba".
I waited for some seconds and asked, "Do you have contraceptives?"
He didn't understand the word "contraceptives" and he said no. Then, boldly I said, "I meant condom". He replied he doesn't stock condoms because it is not profitable.
I was feeling pity at my condition. I had the will to ask for it and it turns out that he has none.
Dejected I finally went home towards Singjamei and I stopped in front of a chemist shop and I finally blurted out "condoms pliz". The shopkeeper was a man in his mid twenties and he asked for the number of pieces.
I replied, "Give me 6 pieces". He said, "I have only 1 piece left." So I had to take only 1 piece felt a bit of courage and asked him about how people usually asked for condoms? He replied, "CT or condoms directly".
I continued the conversation by saying, "Its a bit embrassing to buy condoms because I'm too young to start a married life." He continued, "We don't stock huge quantities of condom because it sells very less"
I finally returned home feeling good and great that I have accomplished a task that I had set out to complete.
You may all be thinking, why I wanted to buy a condom?.
1. Do I want to have pre-martial sex with a girl using the condom?
2. Do I want to see the nature of the people?
3. Do I want to learn about the youth?
4. Do I want to fell satisfied being able to buy a condom?
Well, folks I' m doing a project on the nature of how a youth like me feel when they want to buy a condom. So I had set out to experience the same in my own HIV infested State.
I guess people feel shy but can shyness be a reason for you getting HIV\AIDS or impregnating an innocent Human Being or setting of a cascading reaction of spread of HIV\AIDS in our society. Well, folks, Isn't it time we realize our folly and accept the fact that we need condoms.
So lets protect ourself. Use condom for the tomorrow that lies ahead.
SJ contributes for the first time to e-pao.net
The contributor can be reached at http://wakhal.blogspot.com
This article was webcasted on 23rd August 2006.