“Don’t go near or touch your amma (Mother)…She is dirty”
These are the words that I heard from my grandma, whenever my amma gets her periods..
My amma was not allowed to take bath for those 3 days and she was served food only after everybody in our family ate..She had a separate plate, glass and she was not allowed to enter the house..She stayed in a room outside my house..I was so young and didn’t understand why my amma is dirty for three days every month..When I asked questions, I didn’t get correct answers..
I didn’t know anything about periods until I got the same..Even now, I scold my amma for not telling me anything about this topic..My amma had a myth that I might get scared if she told me before about periods..I explained her that I was scared only because I was not aware…
(Image courtesy: Pinterest)
I still remember the day when I got my first periods.. ..It was and it still remains the day when I was frightened to the core, not knowing what to do..
My eighth standard annual examinations was over and all my friends had already left the village for their holidays and I was planning to go to my cousin’s place the next day along with my amma..
As I was bored, I hired a bicycle for around 3 hours and was cycling around..After 2.5 hours, I had stomach ache and started feeling uneasy..So I returned the hired bicycle and came back home..I was wearing a white skirt and my amma saw that there were some red strains on the back of my skirt..When she asked me about that, I told her that I don’t know about that..My mother then explained that I had got my first periods and taught me how to use a sanitary napkin..I was told that I should stay in my house for three days and shouldn’t go outside..I felt very bad as my holiday plan to cousin’s place got cancelled..
I was in a village where people usually convert this very personal thing to a much celebrated public function..Every tom, dick and harry in the village knew about this!!!
I was very much shocked as many people, including men started visiting me..I really couldn’t cope up with both this embarrassment and also my physical pain together.I was so angry that I was made to sit separately for those three days and wasn’t allowed to go outside..I wanted to scream loudly that I wished to play with my friends..
After those 3 days, again a big function was conducted in my home..I was asked to sit in a chair for hours…I hated that function to the core..
Everything was new to me and everybody started advising me that I shouldn’t roam around like earlier and should start behaving like a girl hereafter…
I felt very different when I started going school after holidays…My friends’ circle which consisted of both boys and girls earlier suddenly transformed to only girls!!!!
I couldn’t really understand why some boys felt shy to talk with me and I was also advised not to talk with boys… It was very weird and then I slowly understood that these are the changes that happened after my first periods..
After that, I slowly started protesting that I would take bath and I need a bed to sleep during those days..My grandma couldn’t control me and I got what I needed..It was my first victory and I was clear in what I wanted in my life !!!!
I still feel ashamed that I didn’t know anything about menstruation earlier and changes that happen in my body due to that..
I strongly feel that it is duty of every mother to tell her daughter earlier about chums so that the girl understands the changes happening in her body and is not afraid…It is also important that sons also should be taught about menstruation, so that he understands the situation of his mother,sisters, and also every other woman during periods…
There are some women who say and feel that their mother in laws’ didn’t treat them well during their periods – But these women do the same now to their daughter-in-laws or daughters..They still follow and believe the age old myths regarding periods..It is very surprising to see them behave in this manner…
I know that even now there are some people (both men and women) who practice this untouchability during periods...Unless there is a change in their mindsets, it is very difficult to transform them…
My question to those people who still consider periods as a taboo is:
“I am proud about menstruating..It’s my blood…What bothers you???
This blogathon is supported by the Maya App used by 6.5 million women worldwide to take charge of their periods and health.