I Bleed and I am Not Unotouchable!
A Take on Menstrual Hygiene Day in India!
Hello folks! Today, unlike my other blogs, I am not going to review any property or voice out my experience with brands. In fact, this post is going to be very personal and relatable. Today, as we are celebrating World Menstrual Hygiene Day and busy in sharing social media initiatives concerning the same, there’s a huge section in the society who still do not know that menstruation is a common physical phenomenon. In fact why should I point my fingers at the society? Even when I am penning down this blog, I know I would not be able to be vocal about my cycles in front of my father or father-in-law. And when it comes to sharing it with the other elder communities of the family, like my mom or mom-in-law, they would surely pay heed to me in patience but I would be immediately barred from entering the Puja Room or bearing any sort of contact with “holy” things.
Yes, I menstruate and believe me there’s nothing wrong in the fact. Just like a 3 course meal is essential for survival, menstruating every month is required for the smooth facilitation of a woman’s body. But as I chant out these big ideologies in the blog, I am not able to understand many in my family that there’s nothing wrong in experiencing your periods. It’s a God-gifted phenomenon and thus there’s nothing to be distanced yourself from God during this period.
I have always witnessed this typical “hush hush” of maintaining a deep ingrained secrecy in every family regarding menstruation. I still remember when my dad used to inquire my mom that why am I not doing the Puja that day, my mom always replied, “She can’t for 5 days.” This was enough for my father to understand that I am menstruating and he kept numb. My mom never allowed me to touch the cupboards during my cycles and the Puja Room was always a prohibited territory. Things didn’t change much post marriage since my mom-in-law too was from the school of thought. And seriously, I don’t blame any of them for the faiths they nurture. It is the society that has always been the sole reasons of superimposing these thoughts on them. And today, even when I call myself a modern matured millennial mom, super progressive in her thoughts, I still succumb to the “Period Rules” as underlined by both of my moms. However, I am always thankful to both of them for not compromising my menstrual hygiene in this Pandora’s box of traditional rules.
Not much deviating from the topic, my focus triggers back to the same crux that in the Indian society celebrating menstrual hygiene day would hold validity only when we are vocal and expressive about our cycles. At a time where we have issues like extreme cramps to handle, control intense bleeding and incomprehensible mood swings to take care of, let’s not make things more difficult for us. Let’s not a red stain on our white kurta dampen our identity. Menstrual hygiene and menstrual education go hand in hand and a proper celebration of this day in India would be truly possible when we all can voice out confidently, “We bleed and we are not untouchable.”