Favour!!

Can you do me a favor?

Look into my eyes and see the darkness that holds me,

Kiss my lips and stop them from trembling,

Wrap your arms around me to ease the pain,

Hold my hand to assure me,

Match your steps with mine and let us walk together a thousand miles,

Brush my hair like you used to, let me sleep in your arms like I always wished to,

Feed me with your hands and pamper me, do all of this once for me,

I know you will do this as a favor to me, but whatever you do baby, don’t leave come back to me!

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The bleeding soul!

Our country India is full of taboos. As a woman one of them that I find very amusing and annoying at the same time is the taboo or beliefs around the menstrual cycle.

I would like to start by mentioning that India is probably the only country that has temples dedicated to a menstruating Goddess. The popular ones are located at Kerala and in Guwahati.

Chengannur Mahadeva Kshetram Alappuzha district – This is one of the oldest temples in Kerala. The presiding deities are Lord Shiva and his wife Goddess Paravti. So the legend says that when the temple priest spots a blood stain in the clothing of the Goddess he take the cloth to his wife who then inspects the cloth and if she confirms that it indeed is a menstrual stain then the idol of the Goddess is removed from the main area of the temple and placed in an isolated chamber (see, Goddess are not spared either). The idol is kept there for the next 3 days and on the fourth day it is taken to a nearby river for a holy bath and gets dressed in new clothes, jewelry etc… She is then brought back to the temple where Lord Shiva is waiting for her. Also the cloth that has the menstrual stain is considered auspicious and it used to be auctioned.

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Maa Kamakhya Devi temple Guwahati – This temple is one of the Shakti peeths in India. Legend says that, Once Goddess Sati wanted to attend a yajna( a vedic ritual) and her husband Lord Shiva was not very interested in it. So she argued her way out and attended to yajna only to see her husband get insulted by her father. Out of anger and embarrassment she jumps into the holy fire and dies. Lord Shiva devastated by his wife’s death picks up her charred body and starts tandav( a form of dance) which continued for days. This worried the other Gods and Goddess as Lord Shiva’s anger and pain could be destructive. So Lord Vishnu releases his Sudarshan Chakra (a circular weapon) and cuts Goddess Sati’s body into 108 pieces. These pieces fell all over the world and the one that fell in Guwahati was her womb and vagina. So when the Goddess has her menstrual cycle the temple is closed and the river alongside the temple turns red. The water is distributed as the Prasad (holy offering).

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Interesting isn’t it! The reason why the Goddess is worshiped during “that time” is because menses represents new, life etc… But I wonder what happens when we mere souls go through are menses. All of us ladies bleed. Let’s face it. Whether she is a mother, sister, girl friend or wife. She bleeds every month. So why is it disgusted?  Why are so many rules attached to “those days of the month”. The common ones I have come across are

Restricted from the temple

Not entering the kitchen

Not touching the food

Not touching the pickles

Getting isolated

Celebrating the first period

I remember my granny telling me about these rules when I had started menstruating. I asked her why I have to follow all this. Do other girls go through the same ordeal? She replied with a smile and said that this is just to get you a lot of rest. Our body is going through a lot of contractions and expansions within and we need rest. This is something I could connect with. Because you know, I was feeling the contractions and expansions myself in form of pain. So over the years with School College and job in place I have learnt how to deal with the monthly visitor. However, I am surprised to see that a lot of people do follow all of this religiously. The irony of it is that the same men will go to the temple and pay visit to the Goddess, but will avoid his wife, sister at home on “those days”.

The funniest of them all is celebrating the first period! Have you ever seen an Indian family celebrating birth of a girl? But they celebrate the first period! Why? Exactly my thought when I attended a function for the first time. It was like a mini wedding. So I asked around to understand the reason behind it. And somebody told me that celebrating the first period marks the transition of a girl to womanhood, also, the society gets to know that she is eligible for marriage(yes, everything apparently revolves around marriages in India).

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But my concern is far more than all of these. What I want to bring to notice is that. This is such a taboo, that it is not spoken about. 90% girls are unaware of the menstrual cycle till they experience their first menses. They are not really informed about the pain, the hygiene and other issues related with the same. Many girls don’t discuss menses related issues even with their mom. This is surprising because, our menses can speak a lot for our health. I have noticed a lot of changes lately though. With open advertisements of sanitary pads to female hygiene products, we are getting more and more comfortable with this. But, I would like to bring the first change at the very beginning i.e. educate the girls about the menstrual cycle and their transition into teenage and change in hormones before they see their first period.

Let this topic not be a taboo anymore!

God created Man and Woman. He has given us our ways to give birth to a new life. Menstruating is just our way. It is a part of who we are!

Disclaimer: All the images are sourced through google.com.

Consent or Rape????

“British woman accuses India’s hockey captain of ‘blackmailing her into having an abortion after they met at London Olympics and got engaged”- dailymail.co.uk

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I like Sardar Singh. He is a well-known sports person in India. So, this news about him did interest me. However, when I read the complete article I realised that the situation they are in is a very common occurrence in the present scenario.

There have been many such cases reported and published by the media. However, since this one involves 2 sports personalities it has gained a wide spread attention.

A little background for the ones who are unaware of this piece of news: “A U.K based Indian origin hockey player Ashpal Bhogal has accused Sardar Singh of forcing her into abortion under the pretext of marriage, while they were engaged. This has caused her physical and emotional trauma.”

I get it. You know heartbreaks are difficult. They are emotionally and physically exhausting. Nobody wants to go through them. They are one of the worse things to happen to a person.  But what I fail to understand is that can we change consensual sex to rape? I mean is it that convenient. I understand that he would have pressured her to get an abortion. The whole negativity and the family’s involvement would have drifted them apart. But, did he rape her? People, who report getting raped under the pretext of marriage, do not even understand what the word rape is! Rape is the worst nightmare for a person (man or woman). I believe in marital rape. I know how that feels I have looked into that monster straight in the eye. But, rape under the pretext of marriage is just a joke. Rape and martial rape is a reality. The ones who endure that pain knows what it is. It kills your soul and sex for marriage is like a bargain. Moreover, getting pregnant in it feels more like a blackmail. I mean as a women do you not know our cycle? Do you not understand that if you have frequent sex, you might get pregnant. Have you not heard of protection and contraceptives?

Why are you having sex with that person? Simple! Because you want to. You think if you make yourself physically available for them they will marry you. That is a notion that you have in mind. Somebody who wants to marry you will marry you with or without sex. So you are basically using sex as a tool to get that person to marry you? Is that not unfair?

What frustrates me that, these allegations are given importance, So that would mean after getting married if the couple separates, either of them can go on record and accused the other of rape. You know they were married and had sex so they are not supposed to get separated! It is just Bul*****.

I mean no offense to anybody. But I just wish that these sorts of allegations should not be compared to a serious crime like Rape. Rape is like a plague in our society. It needs to stop. Please do not demean the rape victims by having consensual sex and then calling it a rape. Please.

The Bermuda triangle of life!

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We have all heard of the Bermuda triangle. It is also known as the Devils triangle. But did you guys know that we have a Bermuda’s triangle in our life too. Surprised! Let me explain. Most of us spend our typical day juggling work family and other responsibilities. We hardly get anytime for ourselves. Tell me how many of us actually spend sometime by ourselves indulging in things that we like? Not many right! That is our Bermuda triangle. It sucks us in taking away who we can be or who we want to be.

I know it is easier said than done. I am guilty of it too. I have been sucked into my triangle for the longest time. But one day, I just said to myself. I need to be better. I need to do things that make me happy. It was not easy. I know. I get it. But it is worth it. I started off by taking care of my long lost health. My PCOS was its peak which led to thyroid and immense weight gain and weakness. I was always irritable. I started eating clean. Started walking. I am lucky that I earn my living doing what I love the most i.e. writing. But after a few failed attempts at blogging over the years I started again. I am wiser now. I know I just need to be myself. I don’t have to pretend to be somebody I am not just so that people would read my stuff.

It took a while for me to come out of my triangle and yet not lose myself in the bliss of it all. I still juggle between work and family and all the other responsibilities. But not at the expense of me. I have to say NO a lot. I know it at times does not go down well with people around me. And believe me when I say this I was very bad at saying NO. I always wanted to be Miss Goody shoes. Never wanted to hurt anybody. Why? The fear that they would misjudge me and leave me. But then, I realised that somebody who loves me will want to stay with me no matter what, and I am not doing anything wrong. I just am giving a bit of time to myself as well.

I urge you to think on it. If I can do it. So can you. Let not the Bermuda triangle of life eat you up!