Sunday, November 9, 2014


The sun was yet to rise, but she was already collecting the bed sheets to be washed. This time she could not be excused for not washing them. She Took care not to touch the curtains as she crossed the passage to the bathroom. There was a door mat that could obstruct her from entering the bathroom However she managed to jump over it and succeeded in entering bathroom without touching them .She unturned the red plastic bucket kept in the dark corner and a steel mug kept beneath it.  Cold water flew in through the taps and being a winter morning, she could feel the chill in her spine. All her life she has hated to bath in cold water in winters. Again she tried hard to Pull the towel out of the bathroom wardrobe without touching others Towel or underclothes.

4.00 am.

Walking through the woods, beating the harsh winter with water dripping through her just washed hair, without a sweater or woolen was indeed a tough task. She heard some chants of Lord Ayappa far away , indicating that some of the pilgrims were coming that way. She walked silently trying her best not to be noticed by them. And then at a secluded spot, she disposed the plastic cover into the pit, and  covered it with mud.
Filled with guilt and negative thoughts all over her mind, She rushed back home.
Fortunately her parents did not wake up. She walked through the pavement as if she was soiled and touching the walls or curtains would soil them too.  It dreaded her to rinse the bed sheets and dry them at the window grill. Wet bed sheets were so heavy. This is when she thanks the inventor of washing attaching for attaching a dryer component to it.

7.00 am

She passed three hours filled with boredom staring at a wall. She sat there silently in the corner with her legs folded and chin stationed on her knees. Only then she smiled, when her mother entered her room with the morning coffee.
Her mother placed the steel glass on the floor and moved away. Lakshmi lifted it with utmost care not to spill the tea, filling the glass to its brim.

“Make sure you wash it in the bath room and keep it beside the kitchen door. Do not enter Kitchen”
Her mother warned and moved to the next room, “And yes don’t touch the curtains”.

Lakshmi frowned. She loathed this part of the year, When her Dad is on his 45 days fast to his visit to Sabarimala and the seven days during that month she is menstruating. She is devoid of life. She cursed her principal for declaring a Study leave in this month, Else she could have spent the entire day in the college. She wouldn’t have to take care not to touch curtains, or not to enter living room, dining hall or the kitchen, or not be treated as an untouchable at her home.

This is the only time of the year; she hated herself for being a WOMAN


  1. hmmm we still beleive in all these rituals .. sad sad


    1. Yes. Sadness is in knowing that it still exists somewhere..

      thanks for reading

  2. an honest and brutal portrayal of reality....nicely put

  3. This practice is more in South of India and in China. By asking them to sit separately for these 3 days, the family is advertising to the entire world what is happening with her daughter. Very sad.

  4. This is such a brutal reality... I wonder if there is any difference in treatment between a mensurating woman and an animal. They are forcibly estranged from their own homes. At least thank God that they make her go through this once in a year - when her father is taking vratham to Sabarimala. Because I kniw families who follow this on a monthly basis. They are not even allowed to sit on a sofa!

    1. Thank you for this comment.

      Indeed it is brutal, and whats more brutal is no one is ready to accept this brutality And it never going to stop,as we all know. Since out of fear of wrath , we agree to these custom.

      I know of a friend who has to stay in her outhouse and sleep on a cement floor during such days. SAD

  5. Right when we actually feel like crap and need all the cuddles and understanding we can get. Practised by the most educated of people, in the most advanced of times. Wow. Humanity has hit a new low.

    1. Exactly, When a girl is menstruating, it is tough. The mood swings, the cramps, all you need is support. and understanding of course. But then in return you get isolated.I do not say everyone does. But I have seen that it is practiced widely