Fun fact: While trying to think of a good frame of reference by way of introduction for this letter, a slew of pop culture references flitted through my mind – from Alanis Morissette crooning, “I’m a bitch, I’m a lover/ I’m a child, I’m a mother” to Celine from ‘Before Midnight’ remarking how she sees beautiful energy in her twins when they fight for what they want. But there’s too much material here, especially for an introductory line, so here’s me keeping it simple – dear PMS, you are severely misunderstood. Period.
In life, there is always a sense of a looming presence out there, sitting in a brown chair in a ghostly white room, muttering – “Hmm, all that is fine. Male aggression is a product of centuries of evolutionary reinforcement. But what do you have to say for yourself, you genetically modified nurturer of a show monkey?”
Nothing quite matches up to the feeling of emancipating elation one feels in the days leading up to the bodily removal of an unfertilised egg. It’s nature’s way of saying, “JaaSimran, jee le apizindagi” (so maybe all those Whisper ads weren’t wrong after all). Buddha attained enlightenment while sitting under a Bodhi tree in Gaya. Thankfully, I don’t have to go that far. My enlightenment occurs in installments – for three days every month, a white light of edification fills my soul, and it is then that the jigsaw falls into place, the patterns make sense and the bottled-up emotions of the last few weeks discover more than just one channel of expression (cue break-outs on the face).
And because you are no longer ‘you’, the sweet, wishy-washy ‘you’ and because you make people uncomfortable in their understanding of “you”, you are perceived differently. Which, okay, is kind of the idea.
So thank you dear PMS, because had it not been for you, I would have never stood up to that senior colleague in office who took credit for all my work, or had an actual conversation with my ‘close’ friend of six years for an uncharitable comment she made that stuck to my metaphorical thought jeans, or even discussed threadbare all unresolved issues with my boyfriend. This is me being as grateful as it gets.
And because this letter begs to be ended on a wishful note (just because), I hope everyone out there, especially womenkind, is aggressive every time someone with a massive ego for grey cells tries to trample on your self-confidence, and I hope that you then give them the metaphorical and literal middle finger. If you don’t have “Welcome” stamped on your forehead, or you’re not made out of bristly plastic, then congratulations, you are not a doormat. So don’t act like one. You owe it to yourself to stand up for yourself, and you are not a worse person for it. Your display of female energy is not going to make the Earth topple off its axis, and if my experience counts for anything, your relationships become stronger because of it.
Dear PMS, you are a friend in guise of a foe. Sure, you accentuate our emotions and thoughts, but that only makes me feel more humane and connected and understanding of myself, and heaven knows, I’m not complaining.
The other P
Poet: Punya Pun-ya is student of MICA, Ahmedabad. When not indulging her proclivity for bad puns, she can be found trying to catch the attention of every dog that passes her way.