#MyPeriodStory: Tales Of Blood

Editor’s Note: This post is an entry for the #MyPeriodStory writing contest, a unique opportunity for you to write a letter and stand a chance of winning Amazon vouchers worth ₹2,500! The contest is organised by Youth Ki Awaaz in collaboration with WSSCC. Find out more here and submit your entry!

I am menstruating. I am bleeding. Blood is coming out of me, my vagina. And, the first time that happened, I thought I would die, because how could I live, with so much blood coming, flowing out of me, my vagina. I know you don’t want to know all of this, any of this, I know you don’t want to see the blood, because the only time a man wants to see blood, is on his bedsheet, on his white bedsheet, on his bed, on the first night, after his marriage.

But, I, I don’t have these preferences, I can not have these preferences, I get to see the blood on a lot of places, on my bedsheet somedays when I wake up, on my clothes somedays when I come back, I see red water before I flush it down, I see deep red water in my bucket, when I soak my stained clothes, and, have been seeing it for quite some time, eight years to be precise.

And, the first time I saw the blood I thought I would die, except, I didn’t, and the blood became a routine, something that doesn’t get paid any special attention. I remember seeing blood on my bench after a day in school and feeling terribly sorry for seeing it. I remember this one time, there was blood on my bag, that I tried to wash later, and couldn’t, and it stayed there, like an arbit art, by brown permanent marker, that had nothing much to say, and I didn’t bother, and I would carry it around, everywhere, like a badge on my bag, a badge that I liked, that showed I wasn’t very good at removing stains, scars and a badge that was painted with my own blood.

And, this one time, when I was on a train, with nothing to help remain the blood there inside and to not come out, because it shouldn’t come out, and I wore precisely three trousers, one on top of another on top of another, all that I had in my bag. I remember another time, when I woke up in a pool of blood, and it’s no exaggeration when I call it a pool, there was a lot of blood, more blood than I had ever seen before in my life, I saw that day, on my bed, and I wake up, stand up, and I feel hot blood flowing down my legs all the way down to the floor, leaving a trail wherever I walked, I went straight to the washroom, and sat there for good one hour, I guess, seeing the blood flow, unrestrained, voluminous dark red and black blobs, thinking to myself that this was how I was going to die.

Except I didn’t die this time either, and I remember my friends making a joke about the entire situation, and calling me the flood of blood, and I thought it was really cool, like an apocalypse, and I Apocalypso, who would maneuver the complete final destruction of the world, with my own flood of blood. Haha. But, you don’t want to know all of this, any of this, right? How gross is this write up lacking any sort of aesthetics! But, I would anyway say it.

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A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
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Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
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