The words ‘I am not well’ did not ring any bells when I asked her to meet soon after our engagement. I cajoled, persisted, but she refused. I felt angry about not getting to see her and spend some quality time. We did not talk for couple of days. No ‘Good night’ and ‘good morning’ messages were exchanged. It was our first quarrel. On what? On her refusing to meet.
However, on the third day, she called and asked to meet at a cafe nearby. Jubilant, I immediately agreed. But little did I knew, that the meeting was not a romantic one which I had been dreaming, like any newly engaged couple would dream. I was ecstatic on just seeing her for the first time post our engagement. After exchanging the pleasantries, talking sweet nothings and placing the order, there was silence for a while. A strange one. After taking few deep breaths, she broke the silence.
“I am sorry that I flatly refused to meet you that day”, she said without meeting my eye.
“It’s fine. Even I am sorry for my behaviour”, I apologized.
She continued stirring her cup of coffee, looking blankly at the shiny table glass.
“What’s the matter?” I asked.
After a slight hesitation, she spoke and asked, “Have you seen the ‘un-dino’ wala ad?”
After sensing that I did not get what she asked, she uttered in a hushed voice.
Periods! What’s that?” I asked.
To which, she quickly tapped on her smartphone and handed it to me.
A video started playing and I went through the entire video. I understood what does Mensuration and Periods mean. After completely watching the video, I had 2 questions in my mind.
- Why did my parents not tell, inform me/ educate me anything about it
- Why she did not even tell me openly
Subsequently, I realized that talking about Periods was a complete no in our family. And so about Sex too. But, that will see a different blog post soon. Coming to the topic, every time a ‘Period’ ad came on television, we used to behave as if time had stopped and no one could see or hear anything. Not a word was uttered by any of the family members sitting in front of the television. And as soon as the next ad started playing, all will heave a sigh of relief and be their normal selves again. Do you know, such things still happen in many households?
It is high time that family members, especially parents and elders in the family come open on the topic of Periods. There should be a complete freedom to discuss things related to Periods, else time will show an embarrassing situation which you cannot forget, just like me.
Parents should create an environment where girls as well as boys are able to discuss things freely without having to feel shy. Even today, there are many teenagers and young adult who are oblivious to what does menstruation mean.
Moreover, there are many myths surrounding this topic such as:
- Women’s body becomes impure during menstruation and hence are not allowed to visit religious places and sit with other members of the family.
- If that was not enough, women are even barred from sleeping on the same bed with their husbands.
- She is not allowed to put a step inside the kitchen during ‘un-dino’ and is made to eat separately from utensils kept for ‘un-dino’.
- She is a target of shame during ‘un-dino’.
Women today are reaching places and it is high time that such archaic beliefs and traditions (which apparently is passed on by the elders of the family) are changed.
So as men, what can we do? Simply encourage her to break free from these myths, traditions and beliefs. #PeriodPride via @rohank01
And women, the moment is now, seize it and bring a change!
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