There are certain phases in our lives which though might seem very minor and mundane but have a very major impact in our lives. At that time, we might feel it is a very little incident, but then it eventually shapes our life, whose importance we understand very later in life. One such incident was how I got my periods, which thankfully I’d written in my diary back then with all my teenage emotions very raw, which I’m able to make sense today.
I got to my periods when I was in class 8 but I knew about it since class 6. It was my friends who acquainted me with the whole concept that we “bleed every month.” Of course, our knowledge back then was supported by silly theories that if you get periods, you’ll be pregnant. Some said if you get periods, your height will not increase, some said once you get periods you will not be able to visit temples. And back then, visiting temples was a very big deal for me because I was learning one of the scriptures and it meant I had to leave it mid-way. Whereas some said if you don’t get periods, you are not a girl! And to top it all, my girl-friends warned me to not discuss this with any boy because if you do then you will be cursed!
From class 6 to class 8 was the torturous years of my life. My teen-mind was torn between such a dilemma – I could not understand whether I should pray to have periods or not? And like many other girls, I did not consider talking to my mother or grandmother about it, until I finally had my periods.
It was a Friday and I was going to watch ‘Rab Ne Bana di Jodi’ with my family in the evening. Luckily, I had my periods in the afternoon and I called my friend who had told me that I should inform her first when I get it. Back then we had a landline but when I called her, I couldn’t connect to her. I was getting agitated so eventually, I had to rush to my grandmother for this. It was she who then educated me about the whole process and made me understand the significance of it. She then narrated me how different the things were for her when she got it at her time. They used a home cloth but we still are better off with a sanitized pad at least. She also sat down with me and clarified all my silly doubts and stupid concepts. I told her not to tell this to my mother or I will appear as a very foolish girl and to this date, she makes fun of me for believing such things and we joke a lot!
If you’re a young girl reading this and still haven’t got periods, first of all, get off the internet and TALK to the women in your family. If they are not available, please don’t hesitate to talk to your father or uncle or anyone whom you trust and is preferably older to you.
The more we taboo from talking about it, the more misconceptions sprouts from it which is disastrous to us as a society.
In the present times, it is very important for parents, schools and the government bodies to take an initiative and start a conversation with the young minds to prevent any sort of fear or anxiety grow into them.