Menstruation in India is associated with shame and taboo. Everyone loves to celebrate the birth of the child but nobody likes to celebrate the process.
I was in class 10 when I experienced my first period and that too on a Wednesday. On Wednesdays, everyone was required to attend school in a white uniform. And thus my white skirt inaugurated my menstruation by having a red spot on it. It was noticed by my best friend who already had experienced menstruation a year before me.
She then questioned me about the red spot. I had no clue. She asked me whether I was menstruating. Again, I had no clue about what she was asking. She then took me to the warden of the girl’s hostel and asked her for a sanitary pad. The warden handed me over a pad after the payment of ₹2 and with a stern look that seemed to question what kind of girl I was for not being able to take care of my periods.
Anyway, my friend then asked me to hide it under my handkerchief. We then reached the girl’s washroom. Naively, I asked her what to do next. She then guided me on how to use a pad. After I was done, we went back to our classroom. She then smeared white chalk on the red spot so that it became invisible to the world.
After coming home, I informed my mother about this. She then passed on the information to my dad. He then bought me my first pack of sanitary napkins so that I wouldn’t feel the hardship of menstruation and would be able to enjoy my days in a carefree manner.
Although I had had to hide the fact that I was menstruating at school, at home, I could move about freely and without any restriction. I was not considered impure at home. I felt more accepted with the involvement of my dad in this changed phase of my life. Menstruation is not to be discarded; rather, it should be accepted by everyone.