Don't Touch My Bag!

She walked at a brisk pace. Not exactly running though she desperately wanted to. Not daring to sprint either. It was too risky, to draw attention to herself. She must appear nondescript. Blend in,like always. Why did it have to be so far?
A familiar face turned around the corner and her heart skipped a beat. Not now. If he saw her, he'd want to stand & chat. She didn't have time for that. She had to deliver on time. It was crucial to be on time.
She turned around pretending to be on a call,hoping he would leave her alone. Luckily he did.
Turning back she resumed her walk. Her hands were sweaty as she clutched it and her dupatta tighter. Almost there.
She entered with a sigh. Nandini appeared visibly relieved. No words were spoken. No words were needed as a green packet exchanged hands and Nandini dashed to the nearest empty stall.

This isn't a story. It's what many girls will relate to. The backdrop that I didn't bother with could always be a school or an office or even someone's house. Nandini could be your sister or friend or mother or wife(if you're a guy) or you dear girl.

The reason I wrote this was because the other day at work I spotted this girl,clutching her dupatta,head bent down, speeding away towards the washroom. I knew why she walked that way. And I felt bad. Why this walk of shame?

I have always been a careless girl. I remember once at my old office, I had gone in to discuss something at a colleague's cubicle. A few minutes after I got back I received a call on my extension from him-"Rinaya,have you dropped you *dramatic drop of volume* pad in here?"

Okay I had one in my pocket and somehow it managed to fall off without my notice. What followed next was even more dramatic-female member of said cubicle was assigned the task of meeting me at the ladies washroom and returning the item. Turns out she didn't even let him lift it off the ground! Are sanitary pads honestly radioactive..just for men mind you. No wonder the shopkeeper wraps it in layers of newspaper and black polythene as if the mere sight of it may render someone unconscious.
Some men would proudly buy a condom at a local pharmacy. Ask the same men to buy you a box of sanitary pads and they'd stare at you in absolute terror. It's our fault. Yes. This time I think we should blame ourselves. Why do we hide it from our sons, brothers,our friends or colleagues? Why do you say you have a headache when in fact your uterus is trying to detonate itself?

When you can show Sunny Leone or some voluptuous female form in a condom ad,why do we have blue ink thrown around for 'representational purposes' in a sanitary napkin ad? And also I want to know who started this rumour that using a tampon makes you lose your virginity? Having sex the first time makes you 'lose' it, although I've never found myself at peace with the whole concept of 'virginity'. But that's another story.

The reverse side of the story exists as well. People who flaunt their bloodied garments on instagram etcetra. Seriously? I understand its a natural process about which you wish to spread awareness. But why post a picture like that? If you wish to spread awareness,talk to people, behave normally. There is absolutely no need to flaunt it. It defeats the whole purpose of claiming that menstrual cycle is an everyday biological occurrence!

Hormonal imbalance, mood swings are expected during this time. To rub it in the face of people around you just so you get to eat chocolates is utter nonsense. I know girls who have cramps so bad they literally cry their eyes out. By making light of this issue,acting as if being pampered and cuddled by your 'bae' makes it better,is really doing no good to others.

I told my younger sister what to expect after I'd attained puberty. I think it made her better prepared. She didn't freak out or start crying at least.

This issue has been addressed too many times but we're yet to see any change.
Maybe you & I can start by being normal about menstruation. Not using stupid metaphors for it,not saying you have a headache, and certainly not hiding your sanitary pads like it's marijuana!


CRD said…
I might be wrong, but I think people avoid talking about it because it's hard to predict how onlookers might react. I remember I once went to a pharmacy to buy sanitary pads for my wife and the attendant started giggling. I gave him a mouthful. Even women aren't any better. Going to the sanitary napkin section of the departmental store to pick up the same got me nasty, disgusted and suspicious looks from the womenfolk.

Well written.


Updated mine. Do drop by.

I think the problem is our mentality.. it is important to have adult lessons in school so awareness is there and when I say in school I don't mean take the girls in one corner and boys in another.

I do hope lessons are learnt

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