Updated: Sep 26, 2020
Story By: Shorya Mittal
Currently, I am 22 years old. The first time I ever got to know about periods was when I began having them. My academic year of class 5 had just ended and I was preparing to enter 6th standard. I was around 10 years and 6 months old. That was when my mother noticed an uncanny red mark on my pants, and she asked me to check if I was bleeding. That’s when she briefly told me about periods.
I remember how unjust had I found god after that day because periods were a reality difficult to accept for a vivaciously sporty personality like me. Swimming was an absolute no-no during periods. And playing football with a sanitary napkin between your legs can be a nightmare. Imagine the fear of a stained skirt in a co-ed school, with notoriously insensitive young -boys all around you. Because that is also the time when it was implicitly ingrained in us to be careful and safe from the boys because boys being boys have it in their nature to be immature and callous.
Anyway, we were given tips to handle that. For instance, if the stain would happen around the afternoon we would just refrain from getting up or walking around a lot. Or sometimes we would just turn around the skirts and bring the back portion on the front side to hide the mark.
One thing that was constant amidst all this, was this environment of secrecy that we were asked to maintain. My school held several workshops to educate us about periods, but they were held with extreme secrecy. Boys were never informed about them and we naturally hid about it from them. The amount of secrecy was so high that I always thought that men didn’t know about it and that periods was a secret that women had kept to themselves for ages. Its humorously surreal to think of it now, but that was childhood for me.
I wonder what would have happened if the workshops were attended by both girls and boys at the same time. May be, all the weirdness and the hesitation about periods that we have grown up with would have ended right there. But then, life would have been very easy for us, wouldn't it?