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  • Writer's picturePooja Jain

Crimson Leaf

Updated: Apr 26, 2021

If a snake touches your used sanitary pad, you’ll never get pregnant. Don’t touch pickles during your cycle; they’ll go bad. Don’t cook. Don’t enter the temple. Sleep on the floor – use a rug given to you, especially for these days. If you don’t get your period, you’ll die.

I wonder why were girls are told to slip it under their sleeves? I wonder if all those seclusions make sense? I wonder, are we really polluted?

As an eleven-year-old kid, I was very charismatic. Innocence and intelligence radiated from me. Mom was a very sensible and contemporary lady. She was my educator and my inspiration.

It was around the midwinters when we had a family reunion. Everyone was celebrating and having fun. All of a sudden, mom pulled me into a corner and inspected.

"Are you unwell, sweetie?"

"Yes," I answered adding that I was feeling a little down.

She smiled with gaiety and pride. "You got your first period, and now you are a lady, my little girl."

I wasn't very confused because I had my concepts clear. She announced it in the hall and I was congratulated by my relatives. My parents had read about some south Indian community that celebrated the onset of a girl's period. They fancied that idea, and although we did not belong to that community, my first period was celebrated. That day Mom told me something very important - Menstruation is the most beautiful thing that happens to a girl. It makes her capable of giving birth to a new life. Never feel bad about it. And this is what has made me a sensible woman today.

Not all period stories are of stigma and shame. Certain events and treatments that girls, as kids receive, affect them mentally and ingrain a false idea in them. The women of India, even in the 21st century, are set apart on their periods. They asked to sleep alone and stay away from the kitchen and temples. Girls are asked to hide their sanitary napkins and tampons in schools and carry them with care. Period stains are mocked at and shamed. Fighting with the period taboo is not easy, but it can certainly be achieved.

If you're a girl, what about you? What's your first-period story? Scroll down and fill in the form: let us know!


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