Travelling on Tampons



Speaking about menses has always been a taboo in large parts of the world for a long time. Women, as and when they enter the cycle every month, are considered unwholesome, abstaining them from entering the kitchen and places of worship to the extent of not letting them serve cooked meals or go anywhere near the flora. And the list goes on … This belief is not entirely wrong if we’re to take into account the scientific explanation behind it. In olden days, when illiteracy was widespread and there was lesser access to hygiene, the few educated elders must have forced these practices so as to keep away from the bacteria and mucus secreted out of a woman’s body during menstruation.
However, although the process we, as women, undergo is the same, we’re aware of maintaining hygiene at all times during periods. It is not about shaming ourselves or hurting the sentiments of the religious lot, but it is more about fighting the cramps, the mood swings, the uneasiness we feel during such times, check-marking calendars just so we don’t miss the date. In spite of all the trouble we take, sometimes, menses have a mind of their own and come unannounced often when you’re all excited about that vacation.
So here I was – travelling and on my periods! I didn’t have control over the latter, and I didn’t want to postpone the former. So I started my journey, refreshing every now and then at the back of my head — Come What May! It was definitely not easy, holding nature’s call until I found clean washrooms with sufficient water supply and proper disposals (If you didn’t know, women’s body is more receptive to infections and viruses during this phase). I wouldn’t be at peace until we reached the hotel.
The real challenge came when my pious friends decided to visit the famous temple, Sri Bhagandeshwara, of the region. Not that I was against any religious beliefs, but — “I was on my periods”! The moral seeds had been sowed inside my thick head much before I could differentiate right from wrong. Now it was more of a habit, and old habits die hard. Almost five minutes on the outside of the temple, waiting for them to mop up the rituals, and I started to get fidgety. Did I come this far to sit outside while my friends made offerings? I didn’t have any offerings as such; nevertheless, I wanted to do anything but sit idle and almost roasted! Questions started to pop up from nowhere.
They wrapped up in 15 – 20 minutes and headed to dip their feet in the holy Triveni Sangam. I couldn’t hold any longer, nor could I withstand the sun shining right through my skin. The next moment I stood alongside my peers in the cool water of the mighty Cauvery, Kannike, and Sujyothi. I didn’t know what I was doing, but that was all I wanted to do then. By the time I was fully aware, I had already stepped into the shrine of Talakaveri, another magnificent architecture.
As I look back, I feel accomplished as a woman and more as a human. Sometimes it is tough to break away from old habits, but if one’s happy doing so, and until it doesn’t bring harm to the rest, why not? It’s time we be the change!
Until Next Time!
(All Photographs © Fiddlef00t)


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