“For the last time Maa, bleeding has nothing to do with the purity of a girl!”

“No, Sudha. I am making lunch. You have to wait for 5 days before going in that room. She is cursed. I don’t want to bring more bad luck to my family by letting her sit on the bed with everyone.”

“This is not right!” I heard Sudha speaking in a frustrated tone. “And more bad luck? Really, mother? I won’t let the history repeat. What happened to me in my childhood will not happen with my daughter and…” (interrupted)

“Is the lunch ready? I am hungry. What are you talking about?” asked her father as he entered the kitchen.

Exactly. What were they talking about? Was it what I was thinking or was I out of my mind? I took a closer look and saw Sudha standing next to the platform which was covered with bowls full of vegetables and a plate of chopped onions with a knife on it. Her face was boiling with anger. I hope she knows murder is a crime.
“For the last time Maa, bleeding has nothing to do with the purity of a girl!”

Sudha shouted at the top of her voice and her father did what he was good at since her childhood. He awkwardly picked up the newspaper to avoid ‘the talk’ and started reading it as if he didn’t hear anything. But oops! She said it. Wonder how drastically the chances of her survival in this house have gone down after such a blunder or I would say her, ‘conscious choice of words’ but no matter what, I am not going to leave her.

In spite of her mother forbidding her, Sudha opened the door and went inside only to find Aashi sitting on the floor in the corner, trembling with fear. Her watery eyes asked a lot of questions whose answers were hard to explain to a little girl like her. Rushing to her, Sudha held her in her arms. She put Aashi’s locks behind her ears and I saw her face with a pink nose and wet cheeks which would be fair and happy otherwise.

I saw Sudha lost for a moment. Seeing her daughter like that, reminded her of her 14-year-old self who would sit alone in her room during her periods, not able to comprehend why her mother locked her up in a room alone for five days.

Caressing Aashi’s hair, I heard Sudha saying in a weak voice, trying to control her tears, “Aashi, it is not your fault. Mumma is here for you. She won’t let anyone hurt you. Stop crying, baby.

Do you know 3 out of every 10 females in India don’t know about menstruation until their first period and in places like Rajasthan, the statistic is 9 out of every 10 females? Menstruation is a shame which makes her impure and cursed. She should not enter the kitchen and holy places or talk about it in front of boys. Such traditional beliefs are ingrained in young minds by the orthodox and anybody going against such beliefs is showered with not blessings but disgusted looks and taunts from the society.

India’s progress is hindered by its own people and it’s high time they should change their mentality. Parents should inform their daughters as well as their sons about such issues which will make them better individuals as well as a better citizen of the country.

Wait… The sounds of the footsteps are disturbing my flow of thoughts. Who is it? Oh, it’s Sudha. Why is she checking the drawers of her wardrobe in such a hurry? Looks like she is unable to find her treasure in her wardrobe. She closed her wardrobe and turned around. Our eyes met and she sighed. Oh! She needs me. It is that time of the month. Finally, I will be out of her purse after a month and fulfil the purpose of my life.

 

 

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