The red stains at the walls never bothered me so much until a red stain appeared on my white school skirt. I was used to the concept of “daag acche hain” but my blood stained skirt blew away my mind. I knew about menstruation vaguely but I didn’t know till then how it actually happens. I was so unprepared to see blood stains all over my underwear and my school skirt.
It was when I was in the sixth standard that I started menstruating. After the last period when I stood up to leave the class a friend of mine told me about the stain in my skirt. I turned to look at it and thought it to be red paint only to realise after a few minutes that it was something else. My pants felt heavier, my body temperature felt much higher than usual, my own body part disgusted me.
There was a hush hush sound among my female friends asking me to keep calm.
My stomach ached severely and I didn’t understand what should I do with my stained skirt. A friend who had got her periods earlier came to my rescue helped me with a sanitary napkin.
I rushed to the washroom with my friends. They literally had formed a human barrier to hide my stain from others. I was instructed to put the napkin. The entire process of using a pad, felt very complicated then. Somehow I succeeded and it felt no less than a victory in a battle.
I thought that my life has been disrupted with leakage everywhere. The stains in the skirt had to be hidden because our society bothers more about the stains on female clothes than on that of the walls. My artistic brain helped me to hide my stained skirt and I stapled that portion of the skirt into a fold and used safety pins too.
On my way back home I kept thinking about how should I tell this at home. I reached home and told my mother about it in my high pitch voice and she immediately asked me to slow down. I didn’t know till then that this biological process is an open secret. Speaking of it in public is not appreciated.
She asked me whether I had used a napkin or not which followed by a lot of biological and illogical statements. I remember she told me not to enter the temple and touch anything related to God because I wasn’t supposed to.
On one hand I had to deal with the bone breaking stomach cramps and on the other with such stressful statements. My first period encounter was no less than a war in my body. Although everytime it happens it feels like it’s for the first time.