Vinodini could never forget that day, it was etched firmly in her memory. She was celebrated, revered like a Goddess.
It all started when she spotted a few drops of blood in her panty and shrieked in horror. She thought she would die and she hurriedly called her mother. On seeing the blood, Amma smiled and hugged her. “You are a woman now kanna”. Whatever that means, little Vinu murmured. A grand celebration was held in her honor where she was decked up in a saree, relatives and friends were called, they blessed her and sumptuous food was served. This lasted a few hours.
She was then ushered to a room and isolated from the rest of the family. No sleeping in the bedroom, no watching TV, no touching others, separate utensils were used for her food, she has become a untouchable in her house.
The years of growing up like a person inflicted with plague, hiding the fact that she was bleeding for a few days, the discomfort of buying sanitary napkins in the medical shop and quickly hiding them in a black polythene, being treated as “impure”, dirty” by her own people- she has borne all of it silently, keeping her tears in her heart.
Today as a mother of a 11 year old who bled for the first time, she hugged her little girl “There is no shame baby, this is a natural monthly cycle. Nothing changes, you go to school, sleep, eat, play as usual”
She was glad that she successfully resisted family pressure to celebrate her daughter’s onset of puberty. She took the first step in an arduous struggle to break the taboo.
(This post has been written for the second edition of BAR-A-THON, the fortnight-long blogging marathon for bloggers everywhere! My theme is “7 colours of the rainbow ROYGBIV”. I present a Flash Fiction in 300 words based on one colour for each day of the challenge and blend it with something that personifies that colour )
(Blog Image Courtesy: Menstrupedia)