PERIODS ARE NOT TABOO, PERIOD – #MyRoleModel


Hi Folks,

Akshaya Tritiya aka Aha Teej festival has some sensitive and personal memories of mine attached to it. Exactly 10 years back on the Akshaya Tritiya day of the year 2004, I was happily enjoying the beautiful diamond studded necklace that my paternal uncle and aunt gifted me. This particular paternal uncle and aunt had no issues, so they considered me as their own daughter and bestowed me with love, care, and of course lot of gifts. It was around 9AM in the morning and I was feeling unbearable pain on my tummy. I cursed my mom for giving me too much pooris for the breakfast, she suggested me to take some chaas (butter milk) since she thought that it might be heat of my body that caused the stomach pain. Every after drinking one huge glass full of chaas, my tummy was still aching and I don’t if it was my illusion or if it was real, my tummy was aching even more than before. When I went to the loo, to my surprise I was urinating blood, or was it something else? I was confused and tears rolled down my cheeks.

“I knew momma is going to kill me”, was the first thought that hit my mind. I discreetly went to my elder sissy and told her, “Blood is coming. I didn’t do any naughtiness. God Promise!” She understood it even without any other explanation. So, that’s it. I had hit my puberty, after a clear explanation from her I realized what Periods and Chums are. Well, what happened next made me go dumbstruck. Minutes before, I was the naughty little angel of my family but right after I informed about the so called bleeding aka periods, my diamond necklace was snatched away and after illustrating me about pads etc. my sister, mother, and aunt took bath. The last straw was when they hid me away in one of the rooms with separate glass and plate. For first two to three hours, it was fun and I enjoyed playing video games and stuff however, the stark truth hit me odd when the lunch time arrived. They gave me food separately to that room and no one even talked to me except my sister who tried to sneak in and out of my room often. After a hearty meal, I was sleepy and I dozed off. I woke up forgetting everything that happened (yea, I was a sweet little kid, I forgave people so easily back then – Now I became clever or should I say cunning?) and I went to play with my little brother. As always, we started to play “Catch me if you can” (where one person should catch the other) game.

Suddenly, out of nowhere my dad came and shouted, “Rahul, go inside. Don’t touch her” and he turned to me and said, “Go inside the room, girl”. We both questioned in unison, “Why?” “Because, Sri is unclean and touching her will make you unclean” he said. “Unclean” we both mouthed at each other. Tears started to roll down my cheeks again. Why was I considered unclean for some natural act? Just because I hit puberty and I became a young lady from a little girl, does that mean I became unclean? “Shut up” came a roaring voice and I turned to the direction of the voice and it was from my paternal uncle i.e. my dad’s brother. As we looked at him he continued, “Hitting puberty is a natural act and a girl coming off age is something to be treasured and not cursed. No, she is not unclean just that she is physically week and that’s why she is not asked to do work at home or strain herself. Neither she has contagious disease, nor has she done a sin to be treated with this strictness. Asking her to stop running and playing because it will make her tired during periods is sensible but asking her to stop playing during her periods because you think she is ‘unclean’ is absurd and pointless. Even educated people are doing this sin.” As he finished saying these, my whole family and extended family gathered around. My dad protested, “but this is what we had been following for ages.” To which my uncle responded, “We are humans not a herd of buffaloes or sheep to blindly follow our ancestors. Maybe they followed certain things traditionally, but we should use our (he points to the brain) and follow only those that makes sense.  Now, (he looked at me and my brother) both of you, sit and play something that will not make you people tired and Sri is not unclean, she is indeed more beautiful and more virtuous now.”

I rushed towards him and hugged him tightly; he gently kissed me on my forehead and made my aunt to replace my diamond necklace back to me. It was not the necklace or the freedom to touch and play made me happy but it was the fact that my traditional and orthodox uncle had a rational thinking that not many people have even now. From that day till today, neither my parents nor my relatives treat me or any girl in her chums like an alien and above all I will have access to everything during the chums day, like I have on a normal day. I cook food, hug my mom, sleep in the same bed as my sister, roam around with friends, play with my brother, and work with my dad, etc. like any other day. This is not just for me but for all the ladies of my house. Thanks to man of #innersteel Mr. Somanathan, my uncle aka my godfather who is since then still now #MyRoleModel

Change like charity begins at home; it has begun in my home. Has it in yours? If not, be the change that you want in the world. To all women out there, periods are not taboo, period. From my brother to my male best friend, I openly state to them that I am on my periods so I can’t come for a paintball match or for playing gully cricket. Trust me, they will understand and not mock, if they are real men. Also, there is nothing wrong in discussing about periods and menstrual issues to your husband. If a guy feel awkward and shy to learn about the problems related to his better half’s vagina then he has no rights to well…you can finish the sentence for me. To all real men out there, make your woman feel comfortable and let her discuss it with you. You might be a brother, father, bestie, or love of her life; whatever you are if you respect her natural biological process then she will definitely consider you as #MyRoleModel in her mind.

P.S: My godfather aka uncle aka #MyRoleModel expired on April 7, 2012 and it’s been two long years since he left me but he made sure that I was strong enough to handle the world by myself.

I am writing about #MyRoleModel as a part of the activity by Gillette India in association with BlogAdda.com.

Watch this video, where Rahul Dravid speaks about his #MyRoleModel – his dad!

~Periods, let’s talk about it!
Stri

Like my FB Page for more updates: I am Stri

If you liked this post, you will like this one too – Periods – Chums – Menstruation – Little Visitor – Oh Come on let’s talk about this! 

Advertisements

14 thoughts on “PERIODS ARE NOT TABOO, PERIOD – #MyRoleModel

  1. Nisha says:

    Thankfully no one ever told me that I was ‘unclean’ so I don’t know how you feel. It would have created such a dent had your uncle not come to your rescue. He is indeed a role model. God bless his soul!

    Like

  2. Soumya Prasad (@soumyaprasad) says:

    Being married to a Brahmin family I faced all this crap too. Thankfully my husband came to my rescue! I still don’t know why periods are considered unclean. It is a sign that the woman is healthy and can have babies. People just have to talk something or the other. Its a sad state.

    Like

  3. anuradhaforever says:

    beautiful one 🙂 so true !! We people are unfortunately hypocrites 😦 we put rules and follow things that does not have any basis to be followed , if you question it , you would be wrong 😦 !!! And one more thing I have seen is buying Pads in local shop , they cover it up as if e are trying to buy drugs 😛 I mean it is a natural thing right ?? Why should we be ashamed of it ?? 🙂 Fortunately I never faced anything of that sort at my place but I have herd lot of such incidents from my friends 🙂 Btw I have just nominated you for a tagged post , kinda a award do see ok 🙂 http://anuradhamohan92.wordpress.com/2014/05/05/first-liebster-award-d-yay/

    Like

  4. arandomstateofmind says:

    I always fail to understand why some people behave in this way and brand us with all those ‘unclean’ for those days. It’s just a regular way of life. Lucky you to have such a role model whose views were so modern and unbiased ..good luck for the contest 🙂

    Like

  5. Alok Vats says:

    You were lucky Sri who has Mr. Somanathan, not many people are out here who has the thinking like him. I felt bad after hearing about his death, but then we cannot do anything in this. But to be very frank, I really found it a great sensible post and every human being should have similar thoughts as your Role Model….

    Like

  6. Anmol Rawat says:

    This was a sensitive post really. It’s good to see someone talking about it openly 🙂
    It happens a lot in Indian society and should be banished. At least we, the coming generation should put a stop to such thoughts.

    All the best for the competition!

    Like

  7. parulthakur24 says:

    Fabulous post!
    I come from North India where similar words like unclean etc. are used. Luckily at home, I never faced a thing. My parents being teachers are very broadminded and I grew up being very comfortable with all this. However, the society never leaves you behind. I had stepped out of my home for the first time to prepare for IIT and I was in Varanasi, away from home in a hostel. On a trip to the famous Kashi Vishwanath temple along with 25 other girls, my hostel warden did not let me enter the temple. I was at the door but not was allowed to step inside cos I was menstruating. This was 15 years back and till date I have not got the opportunity to see that famous temple again. That same day, I pledged to myself to oppose this kind of behavior and do what I think is right!

    Like

  8. Shailaja /Doting Mom says:

    This was a powerful post, Sri. I am glad you wrote about the meaningless taboo that surrounds this natural act. May your uncle’s tribe grow in number! And I am sure he is smiling at you, reading this piece today. Loved it ❤

    Like

Add your thoughts! They will make me Smile :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s