PERIOD – A Taboo Rooted in our Culture

16th January 2019 at 10:00 am

Oh! Sorry for the taboo title, because my mom has taught us to speak about periods in euphemism. “I am down”, “having chums”, “birthday aa gaya” and what not. Sorry, it was not mom alone but we, friends, too use these words and keep coming up with more and more creative words. WOW, isn’t it!

Is this really the 21st century? When are we ever going to shun this culture of shame?

Last week, I woke up at 3 AM due to severe pain. Body writhing, eyes rolled into the head, I felt a Satan inside. I already dread nights. I dare not open my eyes past 3 AM. But that pain subsided all other fears. For people who have little or no idea what that pain is like, its like someone is grinding your insides and pushing it uncontrollably out of your body in liquid form, like a spear running all the way through your lower abdomen and you need to poop. I was in tears. I felt like spewing my gut out. And sat over bed for an hour for my raging uterus to calm down. That too after downing a pain killer.

Was it worse just last week? No!! Its equally excruciating red pain every single time. The only difference is that during daytime, we, females, the most powerful creatures of the Earth endure it hard and divert our minds to work. But that night, I had no work to help. And I realized it was hell. My body was not my own and was rather owned by the angry bleeding uterus. Guess we all heard about the labour pains, where the uterus contracts to push the baby outside the mother’s womb. Now, imagine the pain when the same uterus sheds off its own thick lining every single month. That night I felt as if I would not function again. I knew not how to think and how to talk. The only thing I was aware of is PAIN. It was fierce!!

The next day morning was a revelation to me. I started thinking how and when it all started. What endurance we had right from childhood. A tiny little girl coiled up into a ball was all I could visualize. The Indian society never ceases to surprise us. In south India, we had this insane custom of making the girl sit in one corner of the room, completely untouchable from the family for like 5,7,11 days when this menstrual cycle hits for the first time. I wish to believe that this ‘was’ a custom rather than ‘is’.

>If Sati was a terrible thing that happened to any woman, so is this custom. If Sati was worth banning, so is this custom.

Dear Mothers !! please don’t do this to your daughters.

These sadistic stunts of the uterus are strange. The same uterus would help us someday to be give birth to one or two. Guess, its playing a give-take game all through. For it to favor us in the future, uterus takes this out of us every month. May be.

Most important thing: On days like these, we are cranky. We are famished. We are easily agitated. We are depressed or just fucking tired. And this emotional turmoil called PMS is a fact. FACT! This is menstrual madness. For those who are oblivious to the kind of pain, a woman goes through, please understand we don’t enjoy being dysfunctional or bedridden. But the SATAN inside does. PERIOD.