“My periods are going on!” –  say these words in public and you feel like you’ve beheaded someone. In India, menstruation is sculpted into dramatic scenarios. The journey to become a lady from a girl is not that easy,I guess.

I was on my first industrial tour after opting for engineering studies and was on the second day of my periods. Things were fine until we, a group of twelve girls and eight boys, were asked to enter the premises of a small temple. Suddenly, a friend of mine started giving me those looks and I said, [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]“Yes,I am having my periods.”[/inlinetweet] Needless to say, I could not entre the temple as that was the norm back then and I had to wait for my peers to return from the temple. I also heard giggles among my male classmates on the way back to college. Naturally,I couldn’t help wondering if this is where we had reached in 21st century.

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]I am called Saraswati, Laxmi , Durga and Sakti.[/inlinetweet] But I am a lady first; I get my periods every month, irrespective of any situation or occasion and it is to be respected. I wonder why these restrictions exist just for us. Why am I not allowed to go to temples, not allowed to touch anyone at home, and not go to work during those days?

I am not against anyone’s beliefs and rituals.  I often think of why people in our society regard periods or menstruation as a tabooed subject and not as a normal biological process that every girl has to undergo on a monthly basis.

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It’s not essentially the males who don’t understand periods and burden us with restrictions, but a major role is also played by women. They themselves have contributed to the creation of these restrictions and pass it on from one generation to another without knowing the facts, making it more difficult for the younger generation to go through it. Aren’t women first to be understood by women themselves? Instead of being empathetic about the situation, they do everything possible to ensure that girls follow certain myths and restrictions within the family.
Being an engineer, I naturally tend to question the root of certain beliefs our society has enforced upon us. I want to question things and I don’t want people to give me those looks when I say I am having my periods. Give ladies the respect they deserve, the love, care and rest that is required during their periods.

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Let them go to temples I say,[/inlinetweet] and let the sacred ambience create positivity within them. Let her cook, it’s her kitchen.  Let her work, give her that hygienic workplace. Let her live, she is truly bearing all this for you.[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””] These restrictions and taboos are man-made; God never wants to restrict anyone.[/inlinetweet] In fact, God always wanted women to be free and powerful and that’s why he subjected every power of nature in Goddess Sati. Respect that power!

Author: Monica Yadav is the founder of Respire Experiential Learning from Ahmedabad, India. She is passionate about educating kids through the art of storytelling.
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