All of ten then,
She found her yellow dress stained,
Patches of red now decorated her frock.
Confusion and desperation now gripped her,
She approached her mates to help get it over,
Frightening advice poured in
Leaving behind a feeling
Of something deadly.

She hid it from Mumma.
Would Mumma understand,
Or accuse her of something awful?
And what of her closest friends?
Two days went by
She kept mum, being shy.
Wrenching in pain on the third day
She finally said it.

The days that followed were nightmarish,
Cotton sheets were now her mate.
Uncomfortable and uneasy it felt
By the end of five devilish days
She found some relief
Now she’s the same cheeky girl
As she was before.

Gosh, Mumma had warned her –
No boys;
No going outdoors;
No games.
Skirts and frocks are history
Salwar kameezes lined her present.

A month later she found the stain again
Surprised and worried,
She enquired,
“Mom, am I sick?
Why this again?”
“Hush,” inexplicitly, mother explained –
“Nobody would marry you if it ever did end!”

Puberty had set in,
She couldn’t fit into her old pairs,
A rush of hormones,
A craze of emotions,
A developing chest,
A change in her voice,
Making her more fragile.

“Why, why is this happening to me alone?”
She asked herself.

At thirteen, she first read in a book
What menarche was all about
By understanding puberty
She found the reason behind all those bodily changes.

Now she is happy
Acknowledging that everything is normal
Though she cannot help but curse her fate
Asking herself
“Why didn’t I know all this before?”

Poet: Annanya Khandual

Annanya describes herself as a wannabe MechNeer (her term for Mechanical Engineer).She is a voracious reader and loves to write & travel. Her mantra is is to explore life & live it to the fullest.

Editor: Divya Rosaline