Periods!

The word everyone runs away from;
isn’t something to behave like a storm,
it isn’t meant to hold us back;
or to restrict us in a sack,
it gives us power, the strength of being a women;
the strength to produce a life in our abdomen,
this life giving process is as natural as breathing;
but still period shaming everywhere in the world is streaming,
in India, the subject is such a taboo;
as if it’s a crime in having periods too,
even in a fairly educated middle class family;
women took great pride in following the custom of 5 days isolation willingly,
there’s a separate mattress for the menstruating woman;
even if she touched anything by mistake, some clean water is sprinkled to purify it again,
pursuing any sport or swimming, elders never allow;
all this shaming and the horrendous experience stays with me till now
my little mind decided it was best to hide period,
so, I just didn’t tell anyone the next time I bled,
what exactly happens inside the head of a teenage girl when we period shame her;
we are basically telling her that she and her body is dirty like a beggar,
all the itching, rashes were already a trouble;
now irritation and shaming are also a constant struggle,
I remember mom’s answer to how to buy a pad;
tell a chemist sheepishly, he will wrap it in a BLACK polythene bag,
not many women use cloth pads now;
but then it has to be dried in a dark, dingy place where no one would see it anyhow,
now Women have a HUGE role to play here;
by making periods shame free without any fear.
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