When I got my first period,
Mumma told me that all goddesses menstruated.
That Panchali was heavy on her period when Dushasana dragged her, and
Duryodhana ordered her to sit on her thigh.
And when she took longer to bathe that day
Her five husbands thought that it was because of the
impurity that flowed out of her.
Little did they know that she was only trying to wash away the dirty touch of the demons,
And that she was purified only after she washed herself with their blood.
I always wondered how difficult it must have been,
When Sita was exiled in the forest.
Maybe Ram went after the golden deer to cheer her up
Because she was having severe menstrual cramps.
Like the girls from the neighbourhood slums,
Did she also have to use leaves and sand?
How frustrating it might have been for Durga
when she learnt that with every drop of blood that dripped
from the monster, a clone would be produced.
Had it been the other way round, she would have won so easily.
She was on her period, you see!
And maybe, Kali was experiencing PMS; when she took over the battle
adorned in skulls as she danced upon the corpses of demons.
Rumour has it that Lakshmi was disheartened
When she was denied refuge in the elite kshatriya household
Because her saree was stained;
She was borderline anemic and looked paler than the moon.
Doesn’t look like this practise is going to be shunned any soon!
What if Medusa talked to the snakes on her head
And told them that she was heavy on her second day?
After Poseidon raped her in the temple of Athena
And she was punished for the same!
But Mumma also told me
That in Assam there is a place where they worship a bleeding vagina
And celebrate when the Brahmaputra turns red.
In Bengal and Tamil Nadu menarche is a celebrated with a huge ceremony,
Like a joyous occasion
Just as it should be!
So, when I got my first period,
Mumma told me that I had become a goddess now!
She drew my reproductive system on a paper,
Arrows showing the path of blood.
She told me that it was okay to talk about it.
Would be proud of me, If I taught other girls the same!
Author ~Arushi Dubey
Editor ~ Suditi Mukadam