I have no idea how my friends and peer would react if I have to tell them, while crossing a Pharmacist/general store, that I have to buy a sanitary pad for a female friend or my sister. Its a taboo word which brings nothing less than a wicked smile and a silly sense of embarassment. Menstruation and sanitary pads are sort of forbidden words which can only be ‘whisper’ed, not openly acknowledged or discussed. Prerna Subramanian.has stayed-free of the pressures of our hypocrite and pseudo-modern society and blogged the following: Well written and Kudos!! I hope this article would serve as an eye-opener to many! Read on…
I go to the medical shop and ask for a sanitary Napkin.
First, I myself use a euphemism to a ‘pad’. I then correct myself, and say, bhaiiya Pad chahiye.
Then I think, why didn’t I just call it a pad first? What is wrong with a pad? It does not sound wrong? Why was I so sophisticated about it? I decide, that next time I come, I will call it a pad directly, no euphemisms. I won’t even use the company’s name until the shopkeeper asks my choice.
Then he asked me the company, I told him, Stayfree. He asked me the size. I told him. A friend of mine from college, a male friend came inside the shop. I smiled at him. He saw me holding the pack of pads. Then he took his pills and went on his way. He did not even talk to me. He was shy that he ‘caught’ me buying pads.
Then the shopkeeper suddenly emerged with a newspaper, and two polythenes. He took a newspaper, wrapped up my pad, then took up a white polythene, and then put the white polythene in the black polythene.
I said, “Bhaiiya, bomb nahi hai. Aur itna plastic waste mat kariye. Charas leke nahi jaa rahi.” ( Bhaiiya, it is not a bomb, and do not waste so much plastic. I am not taking hashish anyway.)
He just looked at me with a confused look. I removed the polythene, and all the cover ups he had given the mighty packet of pads. I was not even carrying a bag. I just took the plain Stayfree packet in my hand, and I WALKED towards home. And by home I mean college. I live in my college.
Sadly the route I took inside college had nobody. Nobody could see what I had done. I just wished somebody saw me with the packet. Because I bet their reactions would have been priceless- shocked, and flustered.
Why? Why is a packet of pad a matter of shame that it has to be covered up? Why is that it is not simply thought of as medicare? I bleed in a gap of 27 days every month and hell, so did your mother, so does your sister, so does your girlfriend. It is not a matter of shame- it is actually a sign of the health of a woman. Please, I hold hands and I beg of you, not to buy a black polythene covered pad. Just throw it directly in the shopping basket.
And my dad buys sanitary napkin for me, if my mother is unwell and I can’t go out for some reason. Guys, if you are told by your girl-friends, girlfriends, wives, sisters or mothers to buy a pack of pads- do not be ashamed. It is not a matter of shame- it is something a girl needs and it need not be a matter of shame. Please, try and be logical about this. It is not a matter of being flustered. I bleed, I need something to cover it up, and you are buying it, and I am buying, and if you are a seller you are selling it, you don’t have to cover it up under polythenes over polythenes. It just symbolises our society- covered up with hypocrisies and bullshit and whatever is underneath gets lost.