The words of Taboo
10:00 a.m: A typical Sunday morning, the scene is set – study table, laptop and a cup of strong coffee. I am about to start writing my new blog post and Aai (mother in Marathi) enters the room.
Aai: What are you working on a Sunday morning? (She thinks whenever I am on the laptop I am working)
Me: Thinking of writing a blog on periods.
Aai: Are you nuts? You and your issues!
11:00 am: Aai asks me to join her for the grocery shopping. Unlike other e-commerce sites, she doesn’t believe in buying grocery online. We both head towards the nearby grocery store. While shopping I remember I have to buy sanitary napkins , for ‘those days’ of the month. I head towards the billing counter, the guy wraps the packet in a newspaper and then hands over a black polythene bag. I wonder whether he is handing over a time bomb to me.
3:00 PM: The door bell rings,my niece and sister-in-law enter the house. Aai starts gossiping about the recent television serial she follows with my sister-in-law; in the meanwhile, my niece and I start watching television. Suddenly an advertisement of sanitary napkin pops up, it shows how a sanitary napkin absorbs the blue liquid. My niece who recently got her periods mocks at the ad and tells me, “Attu, am I colorblind or they are actually showing blue color?”
5:00 PM: I call my friend to tell her about“Thatmate” our platform to answer some of the questions related to sex education and menstruation. (Well, this idea popped up when my niece asked, ‘What is a condom’? My whole family was taken aback as if she had committed a crime). To which she replied think twice before doing something like that.
I come from an orthodox family and have heard several myths related to menstruation since childhood. I remember when mother used to get her periods she didn’t enter our pooja room and kitchen. I used to enjoy those 5 days as we used to outsource food from hotels. Mother used some old cotton rags during those days of the month and used to hide them in some dark place. When I got my period mother didn’t insist me to follow everything she used to do, however, she asked me to refrain from going inside the pooja room and she still refrains me. Well, if God disapproves of this fluid then she should disapprove our existence too.
I wish instead of telling me what not to do during my periods my mother would have told me that it’s a natural process and will occur almost till the age of 45. It is the thing to be proud of , it makes you different from those with the XY chromosome. It makes you a woman, Welcome to the womanhood!!