There is nothing interesting that you will read in my blog today. There is nothing funny in here, nor anything thought provoking, just like all the other times. This is simply a gratitude post. A gratitude post to a minor section of men.
It seems like my grandfather did not know that he was married to a woman. Actually, I think my grandmother thought it was her duty of never letting him find out about it. She also made sure that he did not know that there was a daughter among the three kids that they had together. Funny, but true! Ok, let me come clear and tell you that my grandfather lived in a house where the women pretended to never have periods.
It was fun to watch you know. My mother sneaking in sanitary napkins into the house as if it was a stash of cocaine, just because my grandfather was reading newspaper in the veranda. How one second I would be holding my stomach, whining to my grandmother about the first day of absolute pain (the kind of pain you get when your uterus squeezes out blood) and the next second I would be sweeping the house clean because grandfather spotted some dirt on the window sill. We made sure that he never knew about the monthly issue that came our way. We PMSed in private.
My brother too was kept in the dark. Every time he innocently pointed at the Whisper advertisement and asked what it was for, my mother and I became the most creative people on the face of earth. We just could not muster enough courage to tell him about womanhood. It’s like we were ashamed of what made us, us.
And then something magical happened. I heard my mother on the phone asking my father to buy pads on his way back from office. I looked at her and she simply said to me “He is not like your grandfather.” And mind you, my father did get sanitary napkins on his way back, that too the right kind.
Last week I went to the medical shop to buy Crocin. Now, it was around 6 pm and the shop was crowded. I was waiting to be attended when a man standing nearby said “Bhaiyya, ek packet Stayfree deejiye”. It was amusing how every other man in the shop stared at him as if he had broken some code of masculinity. It was even more amusing to note that this man wasn’t a tad bit uncomfortable with the attention he was garnering. He spent a while choosing the correct sanitary napkin, paid for it and left the scene. I looked at the men around me, all smiling slyly. I wonder if they felt this uncomfortable while buying condoms.
I think I now know what my mother meant when she said that my father wasn’t like my grandfather. I also think I know how difficult it must be for a man to be different from the rest; to be someone who understands women. It’s embarrassing to be someone who acknowledges the strength that is required to be a woman. But yet, these few men continue to be different from the rest because they know their women matter much more.
Women are to be blamed. We keep menstruation a secret, as if it’s a sin instead of an inevitable biological process. Imagine discussing periods with your father or any male member in your life. Trust me, they would prefer you menstruating than being pregnant and not doing so. So why do we hush it up? Why not give them the opportunity to accept our reality?
So today I want to thank the men who are not like my grandfather. We need more men like you. We need more men like the guy I saw in the medical shop and lesser like the rest who were mocking him silently. Thank you for being real.
Dear men, this women’s day gift the women in your life, a better you.
P.S- Dear women, let us promise ourselves one thing today. That we would stop outsourcing our life. We must start making our own decisions instead of letting someone else do it for us. Promise yourself that you would never outsource your life.