The Irony of Menstruation: Vital but Impure

IMG_2664 (1)

“Sorry I cannot sit in the prayers, as I have my periods”

Does that sound familiar? I am sure it does!! Not surprisingly, many of us have either turned down invites for religious or related ceremonies or have had our relatives, friends and acquaintances do that, just because of the monthly menstrual cycle.

I was born in India and I also had a similar notion – I used to avoid going to temples during this phase of the month.  I don’t remember my mother ever explicitly asking us to follow this norm but I was well-aware of it- could have been through friends or overhearing someone in or outside the family. It seemed to be a norm- it was followed and accepted.

I am (generally) not a rebel and I usually choose my battles wisely. Having said that, this didn’t pose a threat to my freedom nor did it affect me emotionally. I don’t remember thinking in those terms at that age any way. However, I do reminisce one instance where I couldn’t go to a ‘Jagrata’ in the neighbourhood, an all night long Hindu ritual, in the honour of ‘Maa Durga’, where all my friends went and I missed out on the tasty ‘prasaad’. I am sure I must have questioned, “why I could not go?”, but I cannot recall the response I may have got. Continue reading