Wednesday, 27 August 2014

PERIOD DRAMA....(kissi khooni darinde ka)- By Avantika Ganguly

I have grown up in an extremely crazy liberal and to great extent a highly matriarchal family where we never followed any social, religious, economic rules. Thus for me knowing about sex, hormonal changes, menstruation etc.was not an awkward or hush hush matter at all. In fact, since the time I can remember, my father was the one who used to buy pads for me and my mom. I could talk about it normally to my dad and tell him “my periods are on” instead of saying “I am not feeling too well so I need to rest”. But my bubble broke when I spoke about it at a friend's birthday party when i was asked to do push ups as a part of a ‘dare’ (I didn’t choose ‘truth’ cause i knew then would ask me to name my ‘crush’ :) ). Anyway, back to the point, I used the ‘p’ word the unforgivable, sinful, miserable word that unleashed all the wrath from my friends, especially girls (boys were busy giggling away , of course, because for them ‘period’ and ‘porn’ fall in the same ‘asked not to, but want to’ bracket). I was told for the first time that i am not supposed to talk about my period. As a matter of fact, I am supposed to hide it. Slowly I realised that my family was the ‘abnormal’ family. Cause a normal family would treat this as ‘unn dino ki baat hain’, not let the girls attend any puja or enter the temple premises or touch a jar of pickle or even boil water in the kitchen. I have seen girls ‘whisper’ the name of the pad company more softly than Sonali Bendre and Salman Khan spoke in the movie hum saath saath hain.

Since I am writing so much I would like to mention another incident. On the day of Saraswati Puja I organized everything- flowers, sweets, the idol of saraswati, diyas, agarbattis- EVERYTHING. I decorated the puja area. When it was time to start the pooja, one of my roommates suddenly objected to me doing the pooja.
a. She saw a dream the night before where Maa Saraswati appeared and told her that if she didn’t conduct the pooja the the person doing the pooja will eat her up with mayonnaise.
b. She is the third inconsequential vampire from Twilight Part 2.
c. I was having my Period.

Audience poll se uttar aya hain…. c. I was having my period. Inspite of being uninteresting, it is the SAHI JAWAAAAAAAB.
I was shocked. She was in the 2nd year of law school and this is what she had to say. No logic. No reason. No explanation. “Bass aisa maantey hain” was her answer. I was the weak one next to three other roommates. So I let her earn the Saraswati brownie points.

The reason I am writing about this is not because I love my periods. I HATE them. They are the worst thing ever and I wish Justin Beiber would have it. But no matter how much i hate them I wouldn’t want to be ashamed of them. I hate the fact that all the shopkeepers wrap up the sanitary napkin pack in newspapers,put them in a plastic bag and then give it to us. I am fed up of it. I don’t want ugly plastic bags. The sanitary pad wrappings are so nicely done. I would like to carry it without the black skin (Okay that sounds racist.) Rephrase- I would like to carry it without and ugly plastic around it (Okay better.)
So finally my dream came true. One fine night in the middle of rains in the month of august I met ‘the one’. I went to a store named ‘REAL CHEMIST- 24 hours’ next to Banana Leaf and once the billing was done he handed me the Whisper Ultra XL pack. I looked at him cause i actually thought that he didn’t notice what was in my hand. But I soon realized, it was not a mistake on his part. It was a choice that he made. I was ecstatic. I thanked him. He said something of this sort- Madam, yeh hi normal hona chahiye. Plastic wastic kayeko. Yeh to normal baat hain. Shareer ka normal baat. Isme sharmana kayeko? (Madam, this is what should be normal. Why should you use plastic. This is a normal part of the body. Why should you be ashamed of it?) I was so happy that I wanted to marry him. I didn’t. But I was really happy. For the first time someone treated ‘Period’ with dignity and most importantly someone treated it as normal. Not something to be ashamed of. I felt good about it (P.s. I still hate periods by the way). I was all smiles. It made my day. I didn’t ask him his name. I was too happy. But for me he is and will always be Robert Downy Jr.

By Avantika Ganguly

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