For me, menstruation has always been a topic with which a lot of drama is attached. Oh! Don’t take me wrong I am not talking about the PMS thing, its the rituals or traditions that are followed in our country. I have lived in four different states and that made me to connect with people from 6 other states, and one thing that connected all those states is the rules a girl/woman need to follow during menstruation. Some are logical in a way while others are completely ridiculous. And another thing that I never understood is women who are well educated and liberal in everything else, not only choose to follow all these rituals but also impose on their daughters too.
But in this blog I am not going to criticise it, but will share some weird things that I experienced.
Before I could hit puberty, I was aware of this natural phenomenon. Not because my mother gave me the much needed information but because of the fast (vrat) that menstruating girls/women do in Madhya Pradesh. It’s called Rishi Panchmi, it occurs the day after Ganesh Chaturthi. My mother used to do it and all thanks to my Hindi reading skills, I used to read the story (Katha). Long story cut to short, this fast was done to wash away the sins, which a woman makes when she cooks and feed the family during menstruation. Really! How can feeding the family can make you a sinner? I always wondered. Thankfully my mother never forced me to do the fast, she always said,”shadi ke baad to karna hi padega”. Now I am married and I have to follow the traditions but NO, I don’t do it even now.
During religious functions specially weddings a menstruating girl is completely forbidden. She is not allowed to touch or even come near the bride/groom. And I hate this thing, so when I got periods during two of my family weddings, I chose to keep it a secret. But I also chose to stay a little away from pooja-path, but I was dancing and singing like everyone else. Now you must be thinking what’s the point of sharing it now, its not a big deal. Let me reveal it, the same two weddings weren’t successful. Both couples divorced for their own reasons and if I would tell someone in family about my secret they would blame my periods for their divorce. Don’t laugh, I am serious.
I know you didn’t believe the last story. But here is the proof. During a normal conversation about menstruation when one of my cousin told that she doesn’t believe in Menstrual impurities and does everything that she normally does. Another cousin (M.Sc. Chemistry) said and I quote,” that’s why you gave birth to two daughters and not a son and also you got divorced (the same divorce).”
I mentioned the qualification (no, its just a degree) because the people are not uneducated but education here does not have any effect. It’s surprising to hear such nonsense comments about the natural process of a woman’s body. Menstruation is not a curse, its a blessing, the blessing to have the ability of giving birth to a new life. Though the pain and hormonal up downs can make your life worse but still it gives you the best gift of your life “Motherhood”.
Swati Shrivastava, a post graduate in Literature, is a knowledge seeker and reads a lot of stuff for that. She loves to pen down her emotions in form of poetry. Her daughters help her to learn and explore new things and to keep alive the child at heart.